The West Wing (1999–2006)
8.8/10
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

F. William Parker and David Sage share a scene together in the pilot to "Babylon 5: The Gathering" (1993) (TV) and The West Wing. In Babylon 5 they are the businessmen (credited as "Business Man 1" and "Business Man 2" who hire telepath Lyta Alexander to monitor their business deal. In The West Wing they play the Reverend Al Caldwell and John Van Dyke who attend the meeting in the west wing with Mary Marsh. See more »

Goofs

When Leo McGarry is on the phone with the New York Times complaining about the spelling of GADDAFI in the crossword puzzle, he says he has, in the past, ordered, "a preemptive Exocet missile strike against his air force." The Exocet is an anti-ship missile, and the USA has never had any of them. See more »

Quotes

President Josiah Bartlet: With the clothes on their backs, they came through a storm. And those that didn't die want a better life. And they want it here. Talk about impressive. My point is this: break's over.
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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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