The West Wing (1999–2006)
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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 »


Thomas Schlamme


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin

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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


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.

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Release Date:

22 September 1999 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Governor of Florida is named as Pat Thomas, but later on the series it is established that Robert Ritchie (James Brolin) is Governor of Florida, having been elected in 1996. See more »


When Leo is on the phone with the New York Times, he is complaining that they have misspelled the name of Muammar Gaddafi. There is no "correct" spelling of his name in English (specifically the Roman alphabet) because his name is spelled in Arabic. There is no standardized way to transliterate Arabic names into the Roman alphabet, and the "official" spelling is generally determined by the person who is being named. However, the Libyan dictator notoriously refused to spell his name except in the Arabic Alphabet, resulting in different publications using different spellings. One would expect the White House Chief of Staff to know this. See more »


President Josiah Bartlet: May I have some coffee, Mr. Louis? Al, how many times have I asked you to denounce the practices of a fringe group that calls itself the Lambs of God?
Rev. Al Caldwell: Sir, that's not up to me.
President Josiah Bartlet: Crap! It is up to you, Al. You know, my wife Abby, she never wants me to do anything when I'm upset.
[takes coffee]
President Josiah Bartlet: Thank you, Mr. Louis. Twenty-eight years ago, I came home from a very bad day at the statehouse, I tell Abby I'm going out for a drive. I get in the station wagon, put it in reverse, and pulled out of the ...
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References ABC News Nightline (1980) See more »


Moment of Weakness
Written by Bif Naked and Peter Karroll
Performed by Bif Naked
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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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