If real-life politics and presidential campaigning leaves you longing for some made-for-TV White House drama, we’ve got good news! Those worlds are about to come together in the best way possible for “West Wing” fans.
The familiar faces that brought political intrigue to the small screen in the early aughts are reuniting — again and again.
“The West Wing” ended its run 14 years ago, but as star Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman) revealed during a Tuesday morning video visit to the 3rd hour of TODAY, the cast is working with creator Aaron Sorkin to stage a special theatrical presentation of the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from the third season of the classic series. It's coming to HBO Max this fall.
And they’re doing it for a good cause — one that could have an impact on the non-fictional political landscape, by promoting efforts to get out the vote. In particular, the special will benefit When We All Vote, a non-profit and nonpartisan organization founded by former first lady Michelle Obama that aims to see maximum participation and voter turnout in U.S. elections.
"I think we would all love to get back together," Whitford said. "I think we feel like we had such a unique and wonderful experience that we don't want to go back and have a lesser version of it. This was a way to use us getting back together to make a statement about getting people out to vote."
Whitford will be joined by Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Janel Maloney (Donna Moss), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler) and, of course, commander in chief Martin Sheen (President Jed Bartlet). This will mark the first time the original cast of the Emmy-winning drama have joined forces with Sorkin for do-over since the series ended in 2006.
"The farther we get away from that show, I think I speak for everybody in the cast, the luckier we feel to have been able to be a part of a show that was such an amazing creative experience, and most importantly to me, celebrated a non-cynical vision of public service," Whitford said. "It's amazing. These people are family. We stay in touch, but we rarely get the whole group together."
“A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” will be filmed at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles in October. But fans won’t have to wait until then to see the whole gang together again.
There’s even more big news for faithful fans of President Bartlet’s on-screen administration. During Whitford’s visit to TODAY, the 60-year-old actor also revealed that he and his former co-stars have already reunited for Entertainment Weekly, both on a Zoom call meetup and — through the magic of editing — on the magazine’s cover.
Whitford, Schiff, Maloney, Sorkin, Hill, Lowe, Janney and Sheen all appear on the upcoming cover, but due to the need for social distancing, each star was photographed separately and brought together in one nostalgia-packed image.