Fans of “The West Wing” have reason to rejoice: Bradley Whitford and Allison Janney are reuniting on the small screen. Whitford will appear alongside Janney in an upcoming episode of CBS’s hit comedy “Mom,” set to air in January 2017. This laffer, which earned Janney consecutive Emmy wins for Best Comedy Supporting Actress in 2014 and 2015, returns for its fourth season on Oct. 27.
Whitford will play a friend of Adam (William Fichtner), the former stuntman and current boyfriend of Bonnie (Janney). Whitford’s as-yet-unnamed character is a Hollywood director with a fondness for alcohol, which is sure to put him at odds with recovering addicts Bonnie and her daughter Christy (Anna Faris).
Whitford’s role as Josh Lyman on “The West Wing” earned him an Emmy for Best Drama Supporting Actor in 2001, and he picked up additional noms in the same category in 2002 and 2003. He has also received two consecutive Best Comedy Guest Actor nominations for his work on Amazon’s “Transparent,” winning that category in 2015; “Mom” could bring Whitford back into this race in 2017.
In addition to her two Emmys for “Mom,” Janney earned a statue for Best Drama Guest Actress for “Masters of Sex” (2014) and four for “The West Wing”: two for Best Drama Supporting Actress (2000, 2001), and two for Best Drama Lead Actress (2002, 2004). That brings her career tally to seven Emmy wins for acting, putting Janney in a tie for second place — along with Edward Asner, Mary Tyler Moore and Julia Louis-Dreyfus — among all-time acting Emmy champs, just one win shy of Cloris Leachman’s record of eight Primetime Emmy victories.
In the meantime, Janney is still waiting for her first Golden Globe after five nominations (one for “Mom” and four for “The West Wing”). The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. wasn’t as fond of “The West Wing” as the TV academy was: it won Best TV Drama Series and Best TV Drama Actor (Martin Sheen) in 2000, but that’s it. As we’re all so accustomed to seeing Janney give acceptance speeches that perhaps the HFPA thinks they’ve awarded her already.
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