8.8/10
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247 user 17 critic

The West Wing 

TV-14 | | Drama | TV Series (1999–2006)
Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Creator:

Aaron Sorkin
Reviews
Popularity
248 ( 22)

Episodes

Seasons


Years



7   6   5   4   3   2   1  
2006   2005   2004   2003   2002   2001   … See all »
Top Rated TV #73 | Won 2 Golden Globes. Another 118 wins & 253 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Allison Janney ...  C.J. Cregg 155 episodes, 1999-2006
John Spencer ...  Leo McGarry 155 episodes, 1999-2006
Bradley Whitford ...  Josh Lyman 155 episodes, 1999-2006
Martin Sheen ...  Jed Bartlet / ... 155 episodes, 1999-2006
Janel Moloney ...  Donna Moss 150 episodes, 1999-2006
Richard Schiff ...  Toby Ziegler 145 episodes, 1999-2006
Dulé Hill ...  Charlie Young 137 episodes, 1999-2006
NiCole Robinson ...  Margaret / ... 106 episodes, 1999-2006
Melissa Fitzgerald ...  Carol Fitzpatrick / ... 102 episodes, 1999-2006
Rob Lowe ...  Sam Seaborn 85 episodes, 1999-2006
Joshua Malina ...  Will Bailey 80 episodes, 2002-2006
Stockard Channing ...  Abbey Bartlet 69 episodes, 1999-2006
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Storyline

Presidential advisers get their personal lives hopelessly tangled up with professional duties as they try to conduct the business of running a country. Fictional Democratic President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet suffers no fools, and that policy alienates many. He and his dedicated staffers struggle to balance the needs of the country with the political realities of Washington, D.C., working through two presidential terms that include countless scandals, threats and political scuffles, as well as the race to succeed Bartlet as the leader of the free world. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Right place. Right time. Right man. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

West Wing See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While critics often praised The West Wing for its writing, others faulted the show as unrealistically optimistic and sentimental. A large part of this criticism came from the perceived naiveté of the characters. Television critic Heather Havrilesky asked, "What rock did these morally pure creatures crawl out from under and, more important, how do you go from innocent millipede to White House staffer without becoming soiled or disillusioned by the dirty realities of politics along the way?" See more »

Goofs

White House sugar packets do not have labels or manufacturers' names on them, only a presidential seal. See more »

Quotes

Representative Matthew Santos: Who's that hugging Mommy?
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 »

Alternate Versions

The first airing of the episode "20 Hours in America" contained a scene between President Bartlet and the First Lady in which they good-naturedly tease each other, calling each other Medea and Jackass. This scene was not included in subsequent reruns because of commercial limitations and was also not included on the DVD. 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

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User Reviews

 
A series to savour
21 April 2007 | by Philby-3See all my reviews

Now that the last episode has been shown in Australia, and having very much enjoyed the show despite seeing it out of order in several different countries, I'd like to make a few general comments. Thankfully the ABC showed series six and seven weekly in blocks of two episodes without commercials; thus the pleasure was undiluted.

1. Whatever inaccuracies there may have been in the depiction of White House procedure (apparently Clinton adviser Dick Morris was not impressed) and however impossibly smart everybody seemed, "West Wing" caught the essential flavour of politics, US style, where a squillion issues, some great, others trivial, all compete for attention in a complex legalistic and ponderous system.

2. There is a lot of emphasis on the trappings of the "imperial presidency"- flitting around the countryside in Air Force One at a cost of about $10,000 an hour, the amazing White House protocol for almost everything, the veneration of the public for the office. Louis XIV never had it so good. But then I was brought up in a country where until recently the Prime Minister's phone number was in the phone book and he used to walk the 800 metres to work. Of course the security measures don't require much justification in the land of guns for all.

3. President Jed Bartlet is indeed the liberal ideal (the show could well be called "Left Wing") but he is also a patriot, and to those of us who have to put up with the US heaving its weight around abroad this is a problem, not a matter for praise.

4. The "walking heads" delivering rapid-fire dialogue are off-putting at first, but do give the show pace; compare "Commander in Chief" which is leadenly slow (and otherwise dire) by comparison. It no doubt helps to know something about how the US political system works but generally there is enough information provided to at least follow the story.

5. The internal politics of the White House are downplayed; Bartlet's team are portrayed as uniformly bright, keen and loyal, both to the president and each other, and not interested in internecine conflict. Lucky Jed.

6. The acting from the main players is all that one could ask for – they emerge as real people, but then they get a lot of air time, sometimes with most of an episode to themselves. Some of the minor roles tended to be written and played as stereotypes. My favourite was Lily Tomlin as the Pres's secretary – she acted as if she could do his job herself, although Allison Janney as CJ ran a close second.

7. It must have been a fun series to create and we must thank Aaron Sorkin for the effort he made in developing this show from his "The American President" which was a piece of fluff by comparison. He got away with what must be about the talkiest show on television. Alas, things did tail off a bit after he left (after the fourth series) but the show had enough momentum to make it entertaining right to the end of Bartlet's second term, though the last few shows were rather limp.


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