"The West Wing"
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1-20 of 47 items from 2005   « Prev | Next »


Tributes Paid to Spencer

20 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Colleagues of late The West Wing star John Spencer have paid tribute to the actor who died of a heart attack on Friday. He was 58. Spencer played the President's chief of staff Leo McGarry in the Emmy award-winning show. Co-star Richard Schiff says of Spencer, "(He was) one of those rare combinations of divinely gifted and incredibly generous." The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin adds in a statement, "John was an uncommonly good man, an exceptional role model and a brilliant actor. We feel privileged to have known him and worked with him. He'll be missed and remembered every day by his many, many friends." Spencer was nominated as Best Supporting Actor at the Emmy awards each year from 1999 to 2004. He won the award in 2002 Writers and producers on the show are expected to meet this week to discuss what will happen to Spencer's character. He has already appeared in seven of the 14 episodes of season seven. Filming is due to resume after Christmas. »

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'The Office,' 'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Earl' Top WGA Nods

16 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The US version of The Office, medical drama Grey's Anatomy and comedy My Name Is Earl are leading the nominations at the 2006 Writers Guild Of America awards. The 12 person team behind ABC's Grey's Anatomy are up for Best Dramatic Series and Best New Series, while the 13 writers for NBC's My Name Is Earl are up for Best Comedy Series and Best New Series. The 11 person team behind the American version of British funnyman's BBC series The Office are fighting for Best Comedy Series and Best New Series. Other shows up for awards at the February 4 ceremony include Curb Your Enthusiasm, House, The West Wing, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Malcolm In The Middle and Desperate Housewives. »

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Actor John Spencer Dies at 58

16 December 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actor John Spencer, who won an Emmy award for playing chief of staff Leo McGarry on The West Wing, died Friday of a heart attack; he was 58. Spencer's publicist, Ron Hoffman, said that Spencer died at a Los Angeles hospital, and no further details were available at press time. Born in New York to a lower middle-class family, Spencer began his acting career in 1963 with a recurring role on The Patty Duke Show; stage work throughout the country followed, and he earned an Obie award for the Vietnam veteran drama Still Life. Spencer didn't really become known to a wide audience until the mid-80s, though, when a number of character parts in both film and television led to a regular role in the hit series LA Law. His role as tough New York attorney Tommy Mullaney, who was a transplant to Los Angeles, spanned a four-year run, and roles in a number of television movies and feature films (including Cop Land, The Rock, and The Negotiator) followed. But it was The West Wing, which launched in 1999, that brought Spencer his most memorable role, as well as a number of Emmy nominations, five in all; he won the Best Supporting Actor award in 2002. Like his character, Leo McGarry, Spencer was also an alcoholic as well as a self-proclaimed workaholic, and used his own experiences to illuminate Leo's personal and professional lives. Recently, his character (who suffered a heart attack on the show) was tapped as the vice-presidential candidate to Jimmy Smits' presidential contender Matt Santos. Services and funeral arrangements are currently pending. --Prepared by IMDb staff »

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'Earl,' 'Office' lead WGA's TV writing noms

14 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

My Name Is Earl and The Office led nominations Wednesday among multiple television categories of this season's Writers Guild Awards, which have been expanded to recognize the writing teams behind the best drama, comedy and new series. In terms of sheer numbers, The Simpsons dominated, taking all six of the nominations for animated series. Besides Earl and Office, both of which got three nods, Grey's Anatomy, Six Feet Under and The West Wing were the other multiple nominees with two apiece for their writers. These series also figured prominently in the three new categories recognizing the teams behind the best dramatic series, comedy series and new series. The new categories for writing teams, which will be voted on by members, are intended to be more representative of what the membership and general public are watching since they recognize a series, not just a single episode. »

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'Earl,' 'Office' lead WGA's TV writing noms

14 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

My Name Is Earl and The Office led nominations Wednesday among multiple television categories of this season's Writers Guild Awards, which have been expanded to recognize the writing teams behind the best drama, comedy and new series. In terms of sheer numbers, The Simpsons dominated, taking all six of the nominations for animated series. Besides Earl and Office, both of which got three nods, Grey's Anatomy, Six Feet Under and The West Wing were the other multiple nominees with two apiece for their writers. These series also figured prominently in the three new categories recognizing the teams behind the best dramatic series, comedy series and new series. The new categories for writing teams, which will be voted on by members, are intended to be more representative of what the membership and general public are watching since they recognize a series, not just a single episode. »

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Japan's 'golden time' tarnished

7 December 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TOKYO -- Japanese TV viewers are taking to imports such as 24, The West Wing and The Sopranos amid signs that the viewing public is growing weary of the local fare they are served by their five terrestrial commercial channels and Nippon Hoso Kyokai, the national broadcaster. "It's the same faces on all the shows across all the channels," said Makoto Watanabe, media commentator and lecturer in media and communications at Hokkaido University. "Increasing numbers of people are expressing their boredom with the programming that is available, and I'm one of those who is getting tired. The problem is that there have been no changes for more than a decade, and I rarely turn on the TV during what we call 'golden time.' " Primetime for Japanese broadcasters is 7-11 p.m., but golden time runs from 7-10 p.m. and is dominated by sitcoms, dramas, light entertainment and music programs. It also is the most expensive time of day for advertisers. »

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Troubled Japan broadcaster seeks 'Housewives' help

10 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

TOKYO -- When Japan's staid public network NHK began airing Desperate Housewives this fall, the move was seen by industry observers as an attempt to counter tumbling income that may be directly related to a series of scandals at the network. Though the wayward women of Wisteria Lane were the most visible of the network's program imports for the new season, the series was certainly not the only jolt to NHK's normally conservative programming menu. Other programs purchased for its fall schedule included ER IX and the fourth season of The West Wing -- known here as The White House -- and reruns of Rawhide in its "classic series" slot. Though NHK claims that there has been a positive response from the public to the network's deviation from its charter aim of educating, informing and providing quality television programs, the broadcaster is not putting out any hard data to prove its case. »

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Blizzard of tributes floats Chernin, Wells

9 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

At first blush, the careers of multihyphenate dramatist John Wells and News Corp. president Peter Chernin might not seem to have much in common. But as the tributes flowed Monday night at the Museum of Television & Radio's annual Los Angeles fundraising gala, both men were hailed -- by speakers ranging from Jimmy Smits to Jack Valenti -- for demonstrating many of the same qualities, including their innate leadership skills, ability to stay cool in a crisis and dexterity at harnessing their many talents. "When everyone else is flopping around like a suffocating fish, (Wells) always has that 'I've-got-a-quarter-billion-dollars-in-the-bank' look in his eye" that leaves him unfazed by the crises that inevitably crop up on movie and TV sets, said Bradley Whitford, a co-star of the Wells-produced NBC drama The West Wing, who co-hosted the event at the Beverly Hilton with his wife, Malcolm in the Middle star Jane Kaczmarek. »

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Active Sunday sees ABC's 'Housewives' notch win

7 November 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The first Sunday of the November book featured a smorgasbord of special programming, from a killer storm wreaking havoc on CBS, a live West Wing presidential debate followed by a two-hour Law & Order: Criminal Intent on NBC and a two-part, four-hanky installment of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC. But nothing had the drawing power of the weekly spectacle on Wisteria Lane. ABC's 9 p.m. anchor Desperate Housewives still reigned as the most-watched program of the night with an average of 24.4 million viewers and 10.3 rating/22 share in the adults 18-49 demographic, according to preliminary estimates from Nielsen Media Research. The only program that came close was Housewives' 10 p.m. companion Grey's Anatomy, which pulled a solid 19 million viewers and 8.5/20 in the key demo. Coupled with the 7-9 p.m. Extreme Makeover, which soared in its final hour (18.4 million, 7.3/17). »

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EMAs for 'Huckabees,' 'Wing'

20 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Fox Searchlight's I Heart Huckabees, with its environmentalist protagonist, and an episode of NBC's The West Wing that prominently featured a hybrid vehicle, took home the respective prizes for movies and TV episodic drama at the 15th annual Environmental Media Awards. The EMAs, held Wednesday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, recognize the creative teams behind television, film and music productions that expand public awareness of environmental issues. In the TV episodic comedy category, the award went to Fox's King of the Hill episode "A Rover Runs Through It," while the award for children's television went to the Disney Channel's Lilo & Stitch: The Series episode "Ploot." »

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Sorkin back at NBC with 'Studio' deal

17 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

The West Wing ticket of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme is in the running again at NBC, which outbid CBS late last week for their very expensive drama pilot from Warner Bros. Television. But instead of probing the corridors of the White House, the hourlong series will be set in what seems a lot like the peacock's own house. A draft of Sorkin's spec script making the rounds in Hollywood last week depicts the behind-the-scenes tumult of a fictional sketch-comedy show in the mold of Saturday Night Live, as well as the corporate culture of a TV network not unlike NBC. »

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NBC wins Sorkin-Schlamme bidding war

14 October 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

NBC has emerged the winner of a broadcast bidding war over a new series from Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme with Warner Bros. Television, according to sources. The peacock topped CBS to commit to a project that takes a behind-the-scenes look at a sketch-comedy series not unlike Saturday Night Live. Details of the commitment are still being determined in negotiations ongoing Friday. The script, titled Studio 7, was written on spec by Sorkin, who previously worked with Schlamme on NBC's The West Wing. The pair pitched ABC, NBC and CBS last Friday, igniting a skirmish for their services. »

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'The West Wing' Set To Go Live with Presidential Debate

3 October 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hit political drama The West Wing is set to go live in November, with a presidential debate between Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits. Smits, who plays Democratic presidential candidate Matt Santos on the show, is gearing up for a televised debate between his character and Alda's Republican Senator Arnold Vinick. And while bosses of the show have yet to confirm the plans, Alda and Smits are very enthusiastic about it. Alda says, "I love that sense of danger. The only training I had as an actor was as an improviser. It kind of fits with my aspiration to be as spontaneous as I can be. In fact, when I was a young man on the stage, if another actor missed an entrance and I was alone on stage, I thought, 'Oh boy, is this great? I can make up my own play now!' So the opportunity to do a presidential debate, although it's scripted, it'll be live, and there'll be a certain amount of uncertainty - my blood is up for that." »

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Sheen set to exec produce WBTV comedy

19 September 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

What's an ex-president to do after his final term in office? Executive produce a sitcom, that's what. At least that's Martin Sheen's post-The West Wing transition plan. Sheen is attached to exec produce an untitled comedy project that is set up at NBC through Warner Bros. Television. Brian Bird is on board to pen the script and co-executive produce. The show is described as loosely based on a situation that occurred in Sheen's extended family whereby a heterosexual man found himself living with his gay older brother and his brother's lover, all three of which are tasked with taking care of the straight man's ailing mother-in-law. The mother-in-law, however, is a fundamentalist Christian and thus is kept in the dark about the true relationship between the gay couple. »

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Mwff: Red Mercury

29 August 2005 | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

- In Red Mercury, three young members of a terrorist cell - Asif (Navin Chowdhry), Shahid (San Shella) and Mushtaq (Alex Caan) - are warned of an impending police raid and flee their flat with the makings of a bomb. When they discover that their car has been clamped, they take refuge in a nearby restaurant, and the establishment's well-to-do diners become hostages. Before long, a sophisticated police and security services operation has been assembled outside, taking on added urgency when its leader, Sofia Warburton (Juliet Stevenson), discovers that the three young men are in possession of red mercury, a potential ingredient for what the London security services fear most: a 'dirty' bomb, capable of causing far greater death and destruction than an ordinary explosive device. Like Dog Day Afternoon, Red Mercury explores the shifting dynamics of the relationship between the three young Muslims, as well as those between the »

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Lowe: 'Clinton Pitched 'West Wing' Ideas'

3 August 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Hollywood actor Rob Lowe remembers his time on hit TV drama The West Wing fondly, because former U.S. President Bill Clinton often pitched plot ideas to him. Lowe, who worked on the show about a fictional U.S. president for four years starting in 1999, was amazed he ended up discussing possible ways to take The West Wing forward with the real-life leader. He says, "I'd find myself in situations, shooting in Washington, where they'd say, '(Secretary Of State) Madeleine Albright is coming down, can you wait to see her?' Or I'd be in the Oval Office with President Clinton and he'd be pitching story ideas! It was literally surreal." »

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'Chief' concerns: Family first

28 July 2005 | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Both the creator and star of ABC's upcoming dramedy Commander in Chief are acknowledged Democrats, but they pledge that the new ABC drama is more of an East Wing type of show. Commander in Chief stars Geena Davis as a married mother and independent vice president who is thrust into power after the death of the Republican president, battling concerns by her predecessors' advisers and cabinet as well as her family and associates. Creator/executive producer Rod Lurie said there will be politics in the series but it's not the only focus of the show. "We're going to deal with East Wing stuff, residential stuff," as well as the presidential issues, Lurie said at the Television Critics Assn.'s summer press tour Wednesday afternoon at the Beverly Hilton. Lurie called The West Wing "one of the great shows in the history of television" but its focus is more political than the family values that will be embodied in Davis' character. »

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Lowe Ignores Terror Fears To Tread London Boards

28 July 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

American actor Rob Lowe refuses to let terrorists scare him away from London as he prepares to star on the West End stage. The heartthrob is playing rookie navy lawyer Daniel Kaffee in A Few Good Men at the British capital's Haymarket Theatre Royal from next month and laughed off friends' worries back in America over the safety of the city. Lowe, his wife Sheryl and children Edward and John have temporarily moved to London for six months while the former West Wing star treads the boards. London's public transport system was the scene of carnage on July 7, when explosions caused by four suicide bombers left 52 dead and over 700 injured. Lowe says, "I'm not worried about working in London. I've brought my family over, my kids are going to school here. We love you and adore you. After the attacks, I'm actually more anxious to do the play so I can do my bit. I know what you are going through. We went through it with 9/11 in New York and we just got on with what he had to do, and that's what's happening here now. I feel very honored that your country has stood by our war on terror - the war in Iraq and this is my way, if only by helping in a tiny way, to repay you for your support. I know there has been a tremendous cost for supporting my country's war on terror, but I appreciate it. I think the current climate will actual infuse the emotions of the play." »

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Janney Considers Marrying Beau in Her Garden Bar

23 June 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

The West Wing star Allison Janney is considering marrying her fiance Richard Jenik in a tiki bar she's had built in her back garden - because she can't find anywhere else to do it. More than a year ago, Janney announced her engagement to her beau, but admits that schedules and other commitments have obstructed her efforts to find the perfect place to wed - so she's considering using her home's palapa (an open-sided structure thatched with palm leaves). She says, "We've been thinking about getting married at the palapa 'cause it's so festive and fun... We've been having a hard time finding the place, with the West Wing schedule and my movie schedule and trying to find a location." And Janney guarantees that once she and Jenik host their family and friends in their hillside open-sided dwelling, they'll all want one of the thatched roof constructions on their properties. She adds, "It's one of those things that you don't know you need until you have it. And now everyone who's gonna come to my house is gonna say, 'Oh my God, I need a palapa!' Everyone needs one." »

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Channing Plans To Fight DUI Charges

31 May 2005 | WENN | See recent WENN news »

Actress Stockard Channing is planning to challenge her recent drink driving charge, by insisting the instruments Los Angeles cops used to breathalyze her were faulty. The West Wing star has called in top DUI defender, attorney Richard Hutton, to help her fight her case and have misdemeanor charges against her dropped. Channing pleaded not guilty to two counts of driving under the influence of alcohol in a Los Angeles court last month, and faces a fine and probation if she's found guilty. She was arrested while driving on the hard shoulder of Los Angeles Hollywood Freeway in December. »

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