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

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Top Rated TV #81 | 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

Official Sites:

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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

Aaron Sorkin told Entertainment Weekly that the first actor he and the producers wanted to play President Bartlet was Sidney Poitier. That idea was abandoned when Poitier's fee was, in Thomas Schlamme's words, "very high", and John Wells was able to ascertain that Poitier was not interested when his manager asked Wells to stop calling. See more »

Goofs

Episode 4.02, Twenty Hours in America Part II, Donna, Josh an Toby are soaking wet when the go into the hotel, but in the next shot, when Toby an Josh have crossed the lobby they and their clothes are completely dry. See more »

Quotes

Reporter: Would the White House care to comment on the expected contrast between the high degree of organization and discipline in the Republican Convention and the Democrats' anticipated free-for-all?
Annabeth Schott: I believe the American people will be the beneficiaries, in that they will be presented with a clear choice: do they want to be governed by people who are animated, or animatronic?
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 Saints Row IV (2013) 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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