Ahead of the 2020 presidential election, “The West Wing” cast is staging a reunion on HBO Max. Creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme are putting together a theatrical staging of episode “Hartsfield Landing” for this fall. Titled “A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote,” it is designed to create awareness for a nonprofit organization former first lady Michelle Obama.
Original cast members Martin Sheen, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Dule Hill and Janel Moloney will reprise their roles from the NBC drama series. The late John Spencer was also part of that episode from the third season.
“The West Wing” debuted on September 22, 1999, centering on the ins and outs of a White House staff, with Sheen front and center as the noble, dedicated President Jed Bartlet. There’s Chief of Staff Leo McGarry (Spencer), Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Whitford), Communications Director Toby Ziegler (Schiff), Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Lowe, Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Janney), personal aide Charlie Young (Hill) and Josh’s senior assistant Donna Moss (Moloney).
Throughout its seven season run, the show racked up an impressive 95 Emmy nominations and 26 wins, including a record-tying four consecutive prizes in Best Drama Series (2000-2003). In its first season alone, it broke the record for most victories in a single season with nine (“Game of Thrones” surpassed it in 2015 with 12). Alan Alda, Stockard Channing, Janney, Schiff, Spencer and Whitford all won individual acting prizes, while Mary Louise Parker, Lowe, Moloney, Parker and Sheen earned nominations.
Where does “Hartsfield Landing” fit among the greatest of all “West Wing” episodes (if it made the cut at all)? Tour our photo gallery above ranking the top 20 from worst to best. Our list includes the “Pilot,” Christmas episodes “In Excelsis Deo” and “Noel,” “Two Cathedrals,” “Let Bartlet Be Bartlet” and more.
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