Casey McCall and Dan Rydell are sports anchors and best friends. At "Sports Night", their nightly cable program, the two display their unique talent and skills in reporting up-to-the-minute... See full summary »
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
During a 2014 Screen Actors Guild Foundation interview with Roger Rees (moderated by writer Rick Elice, Rees's husband), Elice said that Rees had originally auditioned to play Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, and it eventually came down to a choice between Rees and John Spencer, who won the role. But after that process, Aaron Sorkin told Roger Rees that he would write a different part for him, which he did: Rees played the recurring character of British advisor (and eventually ambassador) Lord John Marbury throughout the show's run. Elice also said that Sorkin came to Rees for help with tracking down the composer of a piece of music that Sorkin remembered from the Royal Shakespeare Company 1982 production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" that Sorkin wanted to use in the episode "Posse Comitatus"; Rees had played the title character in that production. See more »
Secret Service code names for the First Family always begin with the same letter (for example, the Obama family code names are Renegade, Renaissance, Radiance, and Rosebud), which means that if President Bartlet's code name was Eagle, Zoey's would not have been Bookbag. Her code name would have begun with the letter E as well. See more »
This guy's walkin' down a street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out. A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, "Hey you! Can you help me out?" The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and moves on. Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, "Father, I'm down in this hole; can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on. Then a friend walks by. "Hey, Joe, it's me. Can ya help me out?" And the ...
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The special post-9/11 episode was broadcast without the regular opening credits. Instead, the episode began with the cast, out of character, speaking about the episode, followed by credits on a black screen. See more »
I couldn't get into the West Wing when it began its run. The people spoke
too quickly, I didn't get most of the references, and where the heck were
they powerwalking to? I just didn't get it. After an episode or two, I
forgot about it.
On a recent weekend, though, I heard the pilot was being broadcast and
thought I'd give it a try. Watching this show from the beginning - and
able to see episodes over again - makes all the difference. This time, I
realized that I wasn't *supposed* to understand what they were referring
right out of the gate; it would be explained before the episode ended.
watching the pilot, I also realized that unlike most TV shows, The West
episodes are visual manifestations of great books. Both force the viewer
ask questions, challenging simple answers, refusing to provide easy,
fixed-in-60-minutes situations, and providing sudden, unexpected plot
As excellent as the actor's performances are, it's the writing that makes
the show so good. It doesn't shy away from moral ambiguity, it rarely
the easy way out, and it compels you to believe in your government
all the reasons it gives you to despair of it.
Some might think that only jingoistic supernationalists enjoy the West
but neither of those words describe me. I feel very comfortable
the decisions my government makes, and I appreciate how the West Wing has
broadened my understanding of how it operates. For that reason alone, it
deserves the accolades it receives. It's one of the best shows in the
history of television.
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