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'The West Wing' reunion trailer out: Release date, plot, cast, guests and all you need to know about election special

The special, titled ‘A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote’, will be a theatrical stage reenactment of ‘Hartsfield’s Landing’, the 14th episode from season 3 that premiered on February 27, 2002
Martin Sheen (Screengrab/YouTube)
Martin Sheen (Screengrab/YouTube)

Do you miss President Jed Bartlet, Josh Lyman, Toby Ziegler, Sam Seaborn, C.J. Cregg, Charlie Young, Donna Moss, and others from Aaron Sorkin’s beloved NBC White House drama, ‘The West Wing’? Of course, you do. Anyone would. Well, it is time to no longer bask in nostalgia. ‘The West Wing’ reunion is happening and it is coming your way soon.

Release date

The special, titled ‘A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote’, will debut on HBO Max on October 15.


‘The West Wing’, which ran on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006, was set in the titular wing of the White House, where the Oval Office and offices of presidential senior staff are located. The show followed the fictitious Democratic administration of Jed Bartlet, and the moral and philosophical dilemmas his liberal regime faced on a daily basis. 

For the first time in 14 years, the original cast of the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning drama series will come together and perform a theatrical stage reenactment of the ‘Hartsfield’s Landing’, the 14th episode from season 3 that premiered on February 27, 2002.

In the episode, President Bartlet engages Deputy Communications Director Sam and Communications Director Toby in chess matches. These matches underscore the president’s diplomatic tactics with the Chinese, who threatened to turn their war games in the Taiwan Strait into an active act of aggression if Taiwan began test-firing their new U.S. Patriot defense missiles. At the same time, Deputy Chief of Staff Josh (Bradley Whitford) is left worrying about every vote out of the total of 42 cast in a remote New Hampshire burg that is counted immediately and always predicts the winner of the day's crucial state primary. 

The reunion special was shot at the Orpheum Theater in Los Angeles, and it hopes to raise awareness for the non-partisan, nonprofit organization ‘When We All Vote’, co-chaired by Michelle Obama. It was reportedly filmed in October with COVID-19 protocols in place.


The regular main cast of ‘The West Wing’ will be present. Martin Sheen as Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet, Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman, Rob Lowe as Sam Seaborn, Dulé Hill as Charlie Young, Allison Janney as C.J. Cregg, Janel Moloney as Donna Moss, and Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler will be joined by Sterling K. Brown, who will fill in as White House chief of staff Leo McGarry. In the show, John Spencer played McGarry. Spencer died in 2005. Reportedly, special guests will also include Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Samuel L. Jackson, and former President Bill Clinton.

Martin Sheen as Josiah ‘Jed’ Bartlet

The 80-year-old American actor rose to prominence for his roles in the films ‘The Subject Was Roses’, ‘Badlands’, and ‘Apocalypse Now’. His leading role in ‘The West Wing’ has received global acclaim, both popular and critical. More recently, Sheen appeared as Robert Hanson in the Netflix television series ‘Grace and Frankie’.

Bradley Whitford as Josh Lyman

The 60-year-old actor is still best known for his role on ‘The West Wing’ -- a role for which he has received three Primetime Emmy Award nominations (he won one in 2001), and three Golden Globe Award nominations. Most recently, Whitford was seen as Dean Armitage in the horror film ‘Get Out’, as Commander Joseph Lawrence in Hulu dystopian drama ‘The Handmaid's Tale’, and as Roger Peralta in ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’.

Richard Schiff as Toby Ziegler

The 65-year-old American actor and director is still best known for his role as Toby in ‘The West Wing’. But more recently, his performances in the HBO series ‘Ballers’ and the ABC medical drama ‘The Good Doctor’ have earned him acclaim. 


The trailer for the reunion special for ‘The West Wing’ is a tear-jerker for fans of the show. It is quite something to see the same actors (who have now aged significantly) still emulate those powerful roles as if not a day has passed since the airing of the episode. Of course, diehard fans will dearly miss John Spencer. But Sterling K. Brown seems like a worthy successor to that role.


If you like ‘The West Wing’, you will also like

‘Sports Night’, ‘The Newsroom’, ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’, ‘The Trial of the Chicago 7’, and ‘Molly's Game’.