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The West Wing was a political drama produced for American TV by the screen writer Aaron Sorkin, which ran for 156 episodes over seven seasons. Based around the workings of the members of the federal government close to the President of the U.S.A.; each episode commonly follows a day or small number of days as members of the President's staff explore a political issue or problem facing the President or passing a law.

The majority of The West Wing takes place in the area of The White House around the Oval Office where the President and his senior staff members work. President Josiah Bartlet is the fictional leader of the free world who heads a Democratic administration; the President is played by Martin Sheen. Writer Aaron Sorkin grew the idea of The West Wing from unused plot points and themes unused from the 1995 Sorkin penned film The American President; Martin Sheen played the President in Sorkin's film. Alongside Martin Sheen the series opened with a cast including Stockard Channing as the First Lady, Abigail Bartlet and Rob Lowe as Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn.

Aaron Sorkin was responsible for writing or co-writing 85 of the first 88 episodes in the first four seasons; at the end of the fourth season Sorkin left The West Wing. After Sorkin left the show the focus slowly moved away from the characters of the first four seasons and by the sixth season the race to become the next President was the main focus of The West Wing. Jimmy Smits played the Democratic nominee for President and Alan Alda the Republican nominee to replace President Bartlet.

The West Wing is often praised for its realism, aided by the fact the producers created a large set based on the real West Wing of The White House. The seven seasons of the show ran on NBC in the U.S. between 1999 and 2006.

7 Seasons, 156 Episodes - Canceled
September 22, 1999
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The West Wing Full Episode Guide

  • As the Bartlet administration prepares to make their exit, the staff pauses to look back on their past 8 years working in the West Wing. Meanwhile, the incoming Santos administration nervously awaits the inauguration, and then Santos' staff take their new positions and offices in the White House.

  • With Santos' inauguration nearing and the Bartlet administration preparing to leave the White House, C.J., as well as the other staff members, has to decide what to do with her future. Meanwhile, Andy asks Bartlet to pardon Toby so he won't be faced with jail time, and C.J. and Danny talk about their relationship.

  • While Santos debates who to choose as his Vice President, Helen has to deal with her new duties as First Lady and new issues the First Family are facing. Meanwhile, Vinick has to figure out what to do now that the election is over.

  • The White House is shocked when the President-Elect calls the President of China, taking a different position on foreign policy than that of President Bartlet. Meanwhile, Josh debates who to choose as deputy Chief of Staff.

The West Wing News

'More As the Story Develops': Aaron Sorkin To Produce New Cable News Drama Pilot for HBO

When Keith Olbermann left MSNBC with a hastily announced and controversial exit last week, rumors flew that he may end up working with Aaron Sorkin on a new project. Sorkin is in the running for an Academy Award for the writing he did on “The Social Network,” and he’s perhaps best known for creating the hugely popular “The West Wing.” Oh, and his crack problem. Now Entertainment Weekly is reporting that HBO has ordered a pilot for a new dramatic series Sorkin is producing about cable news.

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