The West Wing (1999–2006)
8.7/10
1,022
3 user 1 critic

Pilot 

The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a ... See full summary »

Director:

Thomas Schlamme

Writers:

Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rob Lowe ... Sam Seaborn
Moira Kelly ... Mandy Hampton
Allison Janney ... C.J. Cregg
Richard Schiff ... Toby Ziegler
John Spencer ... Leo McGarry
Bradley Whitford ... Josh Lyman
Martin Sheen ... Jed Bartlet
Annie Corley ... Mary Marsh
Lisa Edelstein ... Laurie
Suzy Nakamura ... Cathy
Allison Smith ... Mallory O'Brien
Marc Grapey ... Billy
Janel Moloney ... Donna Moss
F. William Parker ... Al Caldwell
Kathryn Joosten ... Mrs. Landingham
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Storyline

The West Wing staffers are introduced as each learns via phone or pager that the President was in a cycling accident. Josh faces the possible loss of his job after an on-air insult of a political opponent, which Toby tries to prevent by having Josh make a personal apology. Sam's fling the previous night with Laurie, who unbeknownst to Sam is a call girl, puts him in hot water, which he compounds when ineptly lecturing a class of 4th-graders about the White House and then asking their teacher which child is Leo's daughter. Leo must deal with the fallout from Josh's blunder, as well as 137 Cuban refugees who escaped on rafts and are seeking asylum. The president walks in during Josh's apology, recites the First Commandment, and lambastes three Christian pols for not denouncing a fringe group.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Rob Lowe says the line, "Alger Hiss just walked in with my secret pumpkin." Hiss was a State Department official in the 1940s accused of spying for the Soviet Union. His accuser was Whittaker Chambers, who hid copies of government files in a pumpkin on his farm before giving them to then Rep. Richard Nixon, a member of the House Un-American Activities Committee. The line most likely refers not to the original incident, but to North by Northwest (1959), in which Cary Grant's character asks, "Did you get the pumpkin?". See more »

Goofs

Sam speaks to Mallory for the first time, not knowing she is Leo's daughter. When he says the line, "And it turns out, I accidentally slept with a prostitute last night," his mouth does not match his words. See more »

Quotes

[discussing a large group of Cubans currently floating from Havana to Miami on rafts]
Leo McGarry: How many are there?
Josh Lyman: We don't know.
Leo McGarry: What time exactly did they leave?
Josh Lyman: We don't know.
Leo McGarry: Do we know when they get here?
Josh Lyman: No.
Leo McGarry: True or false: If I were to stand on high ground in Key West with a good pair of binoculars, I'd be as informed as I am right now.
Josh Lyman: That's true.
Leo McGarry: The Intelligence budget's money well spent.
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Connections

References ABC News Nightline (1980) See more »

Soundtracks

West Wing Main Title
(uncredited)
Written by W.G. Snuffy Walden
Performed by Pete Anthony
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User Reviews

 
Welcome to the West Wing
21 August 2017 | by studioATSee all my reviews

This is a wonderful pilot episode of what became a wonderful show (well, at least for the first four years), penned by the incredible talent that is Aaron Sorkin.

To introduce and get us to like all those characters, even the minor ones, and establish the world that is the daily life of West Wing staffers, as well as trying to tell a story, was a huge task, but it's all carried off in style.

A lovely first episode.


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