Inside the lives of staffers in the west wing of the White House.

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Top Rated TV #80 | Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 117 wins & 253 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 C.J. Cregg (155 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Leo McGarry (155 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Josh Lyman (155 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet / ... (155 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Donna Moss (150 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Toby Ziegler (145 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Charlie Young (137 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Margaret / ... (106 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Carol Fitzpatrick / ... (102 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Sam Seaborn (85 episodes, 1999-2006)
...
 Will Bailey (80 episodes, 2002-2006)
...
 Abbey Bartlet (70 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

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

West Wing  »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
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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

For the first season, both Stockard Channing and Allison Janney received Emmy nominations as Supporting Actresses. Janney, who eventually won, did the whole season as a regular cast member. Channing did three episodes as a Special Guest Star. A similar thing happened for the third season, when Channing, Janel Moloney and Mary-Louise Parker were nominated as Supporting Actresses. Channing won having done ten episodes but now part of the opening sequence. Moloney did the whole season as a regular cast member and Parker only did seven episodes as Guest Star. For the sixth season, Alan Alda was nominated as Supporting Actor having done six episodes as a Special Guest Star. He won the following year, but for the seventh and last season he was a regular on the show. See more »

Goofs

Some long shots of Washington from season 1 are flipped horizontally, e.g: at one point, the Smithsonian is north of the Mall. See more »

Quotes

Donna Moss: She should stick around. Your whole campaign is like some Dr. Seuss nightmare - One Fish, Two Fish, Dead Fish, We Fought The Good Fight Fish.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Episode titles are usually the first thing shown on screen (after recaps). This is one of the only American series to show episode titles before its opening credits. 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Brilliant
27 August 2003 | by (Florida) – See all my reviews

I couldn't get into the West Wing when it began its run. The people spoke too quickly, I didn't get most of the references, and where the heck were they powerwalking to? I just didn't get it. After an episode or two, I just forgot about it.

On a recent weekend, though, I heard the pilot was being broadcast and thought I'd give it a try. Watching this show from the beginning - and being able to see episodes over again - makes all the difference. This time, I realized that I wasn't *supposed* to understand what they were referring to right out of the gate; it would be explained before the episode ended. After watching the pilot, I also realized that unlike most TV shows, The West Wing episodes are visual manifestations of great books. Both force the viewer to ask questions, challenging simple answers, refusing to provide easy, fixed-in-60-minutes situations, and providing sudden, unexpected plot twists.

As excellent as the actor's performances are, it's the writing that makes the show so good. It doesn't shy away from moral ambiguity, it rarely takes the easy way out, and it compels you to believe in your government despite all the reasons it gives you to despair of it.

Some might think that only jingoistic supernationalists enjoy the West Wing, but neither of those words describe me. I feel very comfortable questioning the decisions my government makes, and I appreciate how the West Wing has broadened my understanding of how it operates. For that reason alone, it deserves the accolades it receives. It's one of the best shows in the history of television.


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