The West Wing (1999–2006)

TV Series  |   |  Drama
8.8
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Inside the lives of staffers in the west wing of the White House.

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2006   2005   2004   2003   2002   2001   … See all »
Top 250 TV #79 | Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 112 wins & 238 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 C.J. Cregg (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Leo McGarry (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Josh Lyman (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet / ... (154 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Donna Moss (149 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Toby Ziegler (144 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Charlie Young (136 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Margaret / ... (105 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Carol Fitzpatrick / ... (101 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Sam Seaborn (84 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Will Bailey (80 episodes, 2002-2006)
...
 Abbey Bartlet (69 episodes, 1999-2006)
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Storyline

When the erudite Democrat Josiah "Jed" Bartlet is elected U.S. president, he installs his administration. He places confidants from his electoral campaigns in the White House. Each of these people play a significant role in the Washington power game: the Chief of Staff (Leo McGarry), his deputy (Josh Lyman), Communications Director (Toby Ziegler), deputy (Sam Seaborn, and later, Will Bailey), and press secretary (CJ Cregg). Also in key positions are the assistants of each of the power players. We follow these people through many political battles, as well as some personal ones. Also playing roles are the First Lady (Abigail Bartlet), the President's daughters (Elizabeth, Eleanor, and Zoey), and the personal aide to the President (Charlie Young). All make this series, which supposedly follows the political events (often paraphrasing historical reality) almost day by day, more than merely a political soap. The demands of office on each character show the personal sacrifice and the ... Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jimmy Smits goes to Washington. See more »

Genres:

Drama

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

West Wing  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first American drama series to react to the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States. Aaron Sorkin wrote a special episode ("Isaac and Ishmael") that was filmed and broadcast within only a couple of weeks. The episode, which featured the lead characters discussing a terrorist threat upon the US and being locked down inside the White House due to the name of a man on a Terrorist Watch List matching that of an (innocent) White House worker, was not considered part of "West Wing" continuity. See more »

Goofs

Secret Service code names for the First Family always begin with the same letter (for example, the Obama family code names are Renegade, Renaissance, Radiance, and Rosebud), which means that if President Bartlet's code name was Eagle, Zoey's would not have been Bookbag. Her code name would have begun with the letter E as well. See more »

Quotes

President Josiah Bartlet: [Before the State of the Union, Bartlet is counseling a cabinet member on what to do in the event of a terrorist attack] You got a best friend?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Is he smarter than you?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: Would you trust him with your life?
Roger: Yes, sir.
President Josiah Bartlet: That's your Chief of Staff.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The special post-9/11 episode was broadcast without the regular opening credits. Instead, the episode began with the cast, out of character, speaking about the episode, followed by credits on a black screen. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dinner for Five: Episode #2.11 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude
(uncredited)
Written by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Charming and intelligent drama - a joy to watch
16 May 2000 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

This gem of a series really took me by surprise. Observing the world of American politics and the lives of those working in the White House could be an extremely dull concept. But thanks to an outstanding script and the wonderful skills of the experienced cast, The West Wing effortlessly draws the viewer in and provides top quality drama in every action-packed episode.

Following the trials and triumphs of those working behind-the-scenes in and around the Oval Office, this series perfectly portrays the shrewdness that the president and his staff require to do their jobs and the way they inter-relate in a manic environment to get those jobs done, while still managing to maintain a personal life. Combining a subtle mix of poignancy, humour and dramatic tension with varying degrees of pace, it is a joy to watch.

Each episode is relatively self-contained with running storylines developing throughout the series. The characters are perfectly rounded, the script continually sharp, and credit goes to the directors and editors who ensure such slick movement and spot-on timing on screen.

Singling out any particular member of the cast is difficult as each one of them is truly first-rate. However, Martin Sheen is excellent as President Bartlet, a fiercely intelligent and discerning man with a genuine passion for his job. Rob Lowe is a revelation as Sam Seaborn, the wise and witty deputy communications director, and Allison Janney, as the astute press secretary, CJ, is far removed from her almost unrecognisable role as Barbara Fitts in American Beauty.

Whether White House life is in reality as appealing as this remains to be seen. It would, however, be very reassuring to believe that those who actually do hold such influential positions are as unashamedly charming as The West Wing brilliantly depicts them.


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