In an episode originally broadcast live (there are two versions, one for the Eastern and Central time zones; one for the Pacific time zone), Santos and Vinnick square off in a debate with TV newsman Forrest Sawyer (as himself) moderating. Halfway through the debate, Santos departs from the "script" and begins delivering statements while pacing the stage; Vinnick joins in. Other cast members appear briefly in backstage film segments, and Ellen DeGeneres hosts (also on film) from an adjacent sound stage. Alan Alda (Vinnick), an accomplished stage actor, seems much more comfortable with the live format than Jimmy Smits (Santos) who blows several lines during the East Coast hour. Written by
Did You Know?
The episode was shot "Live" so the TV-debate would have the same live debate "flavor" that the real debates have. This is most notable in the quality of the image on screen, which is more crisp, than the image of the other episodes, which is actually shot on 35mm film See more
West Wing Main Title
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony See more