For the first time in 17 years, the cast of The West Wing will reunite, along with creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme, for a special benefit stage presentation of a 2002 episode on HBO Max. The Oct. 15 reunion will support When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama.
Cast members Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, Anna Deavere Smith and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles from the third-season episode “Hartsfield’s Landing.”
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote also will include act breaks with guest appearances from Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Emmy-winning composer W.G. Snuffy Walden will perform The West Wing score on guitar, and folk rock band The Avett Brothers will close out the special.
When We All Vote was founded to increase participation in America’s elections. WarnerMedia will make a donation to the organization. The production will strictly follow COVID Safe Way Forward Protocols.
“Hartsfield’s Landing” originally aired February 27, 2002 on NBC, and, in HBO Max’s description, finds Sheen’s President Bartlet engaging 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 Sorkin and directed by Vincent Misiano.
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 and Schlamme will serve as director.
When We All Vote defines its mission as changing the culture around voting by bringing together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations to increase participation in every election, and 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.
Over the course of seven seasons from 1999 to 2006, The West Wing won 27 Primetime Emmy Awards. The political drama set in the Oval Office and chronicling a fictional president’s close circle of staffers and friends, was created by Sorkin, who exec produced with Thomas Schlamme and John Wells.