Aaron Sorkin is returning to The West Wing. The creator of the celebrated 1999-2006 NBC TV series is writing new material to augment a special recreation of the third season episode titled “Hartsfield Landing”. Cast members Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles in the episode. It’s unclear who will take the place of the late John Spencer.
The special, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, will film in October at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles. Series director Thomas Schlamme will helm the production. In addition to the aforementioned actors, the special will feature guests from “both the fields of public service and the arts”. There will also be a message from former First Lady Michelle Obama, a co-chair of When We All Vote, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will be released on HBO Max at some point prior to the November 3rd election. It’s unclear if the special will be made available for non-subscribers but it seems like that’s a possibility.
Here’s the announcement:
HBO Max and THE WEST WING Creator Aaron Sorkin Announce Historic A WEST WING SPECIAL TO BENEFIT WHEN WE ALL VOTE
Award-Winning Original Cast Will Come Together for First Time in 17 Years for a Special Staged Theatrical Presentation of “Hartsfield’s Landing” Episode
Special to Benefit When We All Vote, a Non-Profit, Nonpartisan Organization Founded by
Michelle Obama to Inspire Increased Voter Participation in Every Election
Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and Casey Patterson to Executive Produce, Schlamme to Direct
LOS ANGELES – August 25, 2020 – Ahead of one of the most pivotal elections in our nation’s history, HBO Max and The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin announced today that for the first time in 17 years, the original cast of the Emmy®- and Peabody Award–winning hit Warner Bros. Television drama series will come together with Sorkin and executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, which will debut on the streaming service this fall. A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will feature a special theatrical stage presentation of the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from the show’s third season. The creative team and cast organized this historic production in order to raise awareness for and support the vital mission of When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama which was founded to increase participation in every election in America. In honor of the special, WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We All Vote. Entertainment Weekly revealed a cover story today featuring The West Wing cast standing alongside Sorkin as they unite to get out the vote.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will shoot over multiple days at the iconic Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles in early October. The West Wing stars Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles from the episode. In addition to the participation of the original series cast members, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will also feature special guest appearances, including a special message from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama, among others. Additional cast members and special guests from the worlds of public service and the arts will be announced in the coming weeks.
The unique stage production connects Sorkin with his roots in the theatre as the playwright of acclaimed productions A Few Good Men, The Farnsworth Invention and To Kill a Mockingbird. Sorkin will write original exclusive material for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, and Schlamme will serve as director of the production.
Aaron Sorkin said: “Tommy and I are incredibly excited to be getting The West Wing cast back together for this staged reading and to support When We All Vote in their efforts to get all of us involved in this election.”
“With A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, we are excited to revisit this legendary series and offer our passionate fans something that is substantial, meaningful and unforgettable, while also promoting an important message for our time,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Combined with WarnerMedia’s donation to When We All Vote, this special not only entertains, but also help ensure the organization can carry forth its mission to increase voter participation in every election.”
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote is produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and Casey Patterson are the executive producers. Rob Paine is co-executive producer. The production will strictly follow COVID Safe Way Forward Protocols.
Spanning seven seasons, The West Wing provided a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of an eclectic group of frenzied staffers in the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House. Emmy® winner Aaron Sorkin created the series and served as an executive producer with Emmy® winners Thomas Schlamme and John Wells (ER, Shameless). One of the most critically acclaimed and lauded shows in television history, The West Wing won 27 Primetime Emmy® Awards (including one for The West Wing: Documentary Special), two Peabody Awards, two Humanitas Prizes, two Golden Globe® Awards, seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Writers Guild of America Awards, two Directors Guild of America Awards, and five Television Critics Association Awards, among many others.
The West Wing starred Emmy® nominee Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation, 9-1-1: Lone Star), Emmy® winner/Oscar® nominee Stockard Channing (The Good Wife, Six Degrees of Separation), Emmy® nominee Dulé Hill (Psych), Emmy® and Oscar® winner Allison Janney (Mom; I, Tonya), Emmy® nominee Janel Moloney (The Leftovers), Emmy® winner Richard Schiff (The Good Doctor, Clemency), the late Emmy® winner John Spencer (L.A. Law), Emmy® winner Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale, Get Out) and Emmy® winner Martin Sheen (Grace and Frankie, The Departed), and was produced by John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.
About When We All Vote
When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit launched by Co-Chair Michelle Obama in 2018 on a mission to change the culture around voting by bringing together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations to increase participation in every election. They are also on a mission to close the race and age voting gap and empower all eligible voters to cast their ballot by harnessing grassroots energy, establishing strategic partnerships, and implementing digital organizing strategies. Learn more here.
About “Hartsfield’s Landing” Episode – Season Three, Episode 15
Original Air Date: February 27, 2002
Bartlet (Martin Sheen) engages both Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) in intricate chess matches that mirror the wily game of brinksmanship that Bartlet is playing with the Chinese, who are conducting war games in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese threaten real war if Taiwan begins test firing its new U.S.-made Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is nervous about the 42 votes in a remote New Hampshire town’s election, which are counted immediately and always predict the winner of that state’s primary. Mischievous C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to upset Charlie (Dulé Hill) by hiding his copy of the President’s top-secret daily schedule — prompting a spate of playful tricks. The episode was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Vincent Misiano.
About HBO Max
HBO Max is WarnerMedia’s direct-to-consumer offering, which debuted May 27, 2020. With 10,000 hours of curated premium content, HBO Max offers powerhouse programming for everyone in the home, bringing together HBO, a robust slate of new original series, key third-party licensed programs and movies, and fan favorites from WarnerMedia’s rich library including motion picture and TV series from Warner Bros., highlights from New Line, and catalog titles from DC, CNN, TNT, TBS, truTV, Turner Classic Movies, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, Looney Tunes and more.
About Casey Patterson Entertainment
Casey Patterson Entertainment is a full-service production company producing premium content, live events, and talent-driven series and specials, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. Casey Patterson is a five-time Emmy®- and two-time PGA Award–nominated, NAACP Image Award–winning, and critically acclaimed executive producer who has created and produced an array of groundbreaking programming during her 25-year career, including such high-profile events as The Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, The Concert of the Century at the White House, The 9/11 Concert for New York City, A Very Murray Christmas on Netflix, Some Good News with John Krasinski, MTV Movie & TV Awards, One Night Only: Alec Baldwin, and NBC’s Concert for America.
About Warner Horizon Unscripted Television
Warner Horizon Unscripted Television is one of the entertainment industry’s leading producers of primetime reality series for both network and cable. A division of Warner Bros. Unscripted & Alternative Television, led by Mike Darnell, Warner Horizon Unscripted Television’s slate includes “The Voice,” “Little Big Shots” with Melissa McCarthy, the Ellen DeGeneres–hosted “Ellen’s Game of Games,” “Ellen’s Greatest Night of Giveaways,” and Ava DuVernay’s “Home Sweet Home” for NBC, plus “The Bachelor” franchise for ABC, which includes “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and the touring version “The Bachelor Live on Stage,” as well as digital and podcast extensions of the long-running franchise. Warner Horizon Unscripted Television recently announced signature docu-series unit includes “Helter Skelter” for EPIX and “EQUAL,” coming to HBO Max later this year.
WarnerMedia is a leading media and entertainment company that creates and distributes premium and popular content from a diverse array of talented storytellers and journalists to global audiences through its consumer brands including: HBO, HBO Max, Warner Bros., TNT, TBS, truTV, CNN, DC, New Line, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Turner Classic Movies and others, as well as Xandr’s suite of advanced advertising solutions designed to help to improve advertising for brands, publishers, and consumers.
What do you think? Have you watched The West Wing TV show? Do you plan to check out the reunion?