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The West Wing: Season 1 [1999] (4 discs)

Length:990 minutes
(16 hours 30 minutes)
MPAA Rating:TV-14
Sorting Category:TV Show
Sorting Tub:Kilo
IMDB Rating:8.7/10
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Synopsis: Inside the lives of staffers in the West Wing of the White House.

Reaction: Great first season to a fantastic series.

Personal Rating: ...

Select Guest Cast
Aaron Lustig => Senate Aide (Let Bartlet Be Bartlet)
Andy Buckley => Mike Satchel (Let Bartlet Be Bartlet)
Paul Provenza => Steve Onorato, Aide to the Sen. Maj. Leader (Let Bartlet Be Bartlet)
Allison Smith => Mallory O'Brien (Pilot)
Annie Corley => Mary Marsh (Pilot)
Devika Parikh => Bonnie (Pilot)
F. William Parker => Rev. Al Caldwell (Pilot)
Lisa Edelstein => Laurie (Pilot)
Mindy Seeger => Reporter #3 (Pilot)
Suzy Nakamura => Cathy (Pilot)
Austin Pendleton => Barry Haskell (Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics)
David Huddleston => Sen. Max Lobell, R (Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics)
Reiko Aylesworth => Janine (Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics)
Bill O'Brien => Kenny Thurman (Take This Sabbath Day)
Karl Malden => Father Thomas Cavanaugh (Take This Sabbath Day)
Marlee Matlin => Joey Lucas (Take This Sabbath Day)
Noah Emmerich => Bobby Zane (Take This Sabbath Day)
Bob Balaban => Ted Marcus (20 Hours in L.A.)
Christopher Shea => Man #2 (20 Hours in L.A.)
David Hasselhoff => David Hasselhoff (20 Hours in L.A.)
Jay Leno => Jay Leno (20 Hours in L.A.)
John de Lancie => Al Kiefer (20 Hours in L.A.)
Jorja Fox => Agent Gina Toscano (20 Hours in L.A.)
Robert Pine => Greer (20 Hours in L.A.)
Veronica Webb => Veronica Webb (20 Hours in L.A.)
Bradley James => Secret Service Agent (Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc)
Jana Lee Hamblin => Bobbi (Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc)
Renée Estevez => Nancy (as Renee Estevez) (Post Hoc, Ergo Propter Hoc)
CCH Pounder => Deborah O'Leary, Secretary of Housing & Urban Development (Celestial Navigation)
Vaughn Armstrong => Sgt. MacNamara (Celestial Navigation)
Charley Lang => Congressman Skinner (Mr. Willis of Ohio)
Eric Balfour => Frat Boy #3 (Mr. Willis of Ohio)
Michael O'Neill => Secret Service Agent Ron Butterfield (Mr. Willis of Ohio)
Clyde Kusatsu => Joe (Lord John Marbury)
Erick Avari => Pakistani Ambassador (as Eric Avari) (Lord John Marbury)
Iqbal Theba => Indian Ambassador (Lord John Marbury)
Roger Rees => Lord John Marbury (Lord John Marbury)
Edward James Olmos => Mendoza (The Short List)
Harry Groener => Secretary of Agriculture Roger Tribbey (He Shall, from Time to Time...)
James Handy => Rep. Joseph Bruno, R-PA (Take Out the Trash Day)
Jay Underwood => Congressman Christopher Wick (Five Votes Down)
Victor Love => Reporter Mike (Five Votes Down)
John Amos => Percy Fitzwallace (A Proportional Response)
Kathleen York => Andrea Wyatt (Mandatory Minimums)
Kim Webster => Ginger (In Excelsis Deo)
Raynor Scheine => Homeless Man (In Excelsis Deo)
Nick Offerman => Jerry (The Crackpots and These Women)
Richard Fancy => Congressman (The White House Pro-Am)
William Lucking => Bobby Russo (The State Dinner)
Alan Taylor => Director
Alex Graves => Director
Anthony Drazan => Director
Arlene Sanford => Director
Bill D'Elia => Director
Christopher Misiano => Director
Clark Johnson => Director
Don Scardino => Director
Ken Olin => Director
Kevin Rodney Sullivan => Director
Laura Innes => Director
Marc Buckland => Director
Michael Lehmann => Director
Robert Berlinger => Director
Thomas Schlamme => Director
Aaron Sorkin => Writer
Jeff Reno => Writer
Patrick Caddell => Writer
Paul Redford => Writer
Rick Cleveland => Writer
Ron Osborn => Writer
Allison Janney => C.J. Cregg
Bradley Whitford => Josh Lyman
Dulé Hill => Charlie Young
Elisabeth Moss => Zoey Bartlet
Janel Moloney => Donna Moss
John Spencer => Leo McGarry
Kathryn Joosten => Mrs. Landingham
Martin Sheen => President Josiah 'Jed' Bartlet
Melissa Fitzgerald => Carol
Moira Kelly => Mandy Hampton
NiCole Robinson => Margaret
Richard Schiff => Toby Ziegler
Rob Lowe => Sam Seaborn
Stockard Channing => Abbey Bartlet
Tim Matheson => Vice President John Hoynes
Timothy Busfield => Danny Concannon (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Janel Moloney originally auditioned for the part of CJ Cregg. After being cast as Donna, she was never supposed to be a regular. Co-star Bradley Whitford pointed out the obvious chemistry between the characters of Josh and Donna, and Aaron Sorkin agreed. Nevertheless, Moloney was credited as a guest star for the entire first season. The first time her name appears in the opening credits, is in season two, episode one, "In The Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I." To the horror of her father, in particular, her last name was misspelled. This was subsequently corrected.
  • During a 2014 Screen Actors Guild Foundation interview with Roger Rees (moderated by writer [?] Rick Elice, Rees's husband), Elice said that Rees had originally auditioned to play Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, and it eventually came down to a choice between Rees and John Spencer, who won the role. But after that process, Aaron Sorkin told Roger Rees that he would write a different part for him, which he did: Rees played the recurring character of British advisor (and eventually ambassador) Lord John Marbury throughout the show's run. Elice also said that Sorkin came to Rees for help with tracking down the composer of a piece of music that Sorkin remembered from the Royal Shakespeare Company 1982 production of "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby" that Sorkin wanted to use in the episode "Posse Comitatus"; Rees had played the title character in that production.
  • Martin Sheen was originally only scheduled to appear in four episodes per season. It was only after the pilot was filmed, that it was decided to make him a regular cast member.
  • Actors originally considered to play the President included Alan Alda, Sidney Poitier, and [?] Jason Robards Jr.
  • Eugene Levy was considered to play Toby Ziegler.
  • Bradley Whitford was originally cast as Sam. Whitford, who had read for the part of Josh, called Aaron Sorkin and told him "I'm not Sam, I'm Josh!".
  • Edward James Olmos was asked to play Judge Mendoza on a semi-regular capacity, and even though he wanted to, he had just been offered the role on [American Family], a show he considered important to have on television at the time.
  • At the 2000 Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Awards (the Emmys), the show won a record nine Emmy awards - the most for any season of a television series - and it was also only in its first season.
  • In Excelsis Deo - A stuffed penguin is on a table during a scene in which Charlie and Ms Landingham are discussing why Ms Landingham is depressed over Christmas. This is the same penguin called "Hugsy" that Joey from [Friends] gives away to Rachael's daughter Emma.
  • What Kind of Day Has It Been - During the taping of the final scene, Jorja Fox's foot was run over by one of the limousines. She continued working on the scene until Aaron Sorkin was informed by the driver of the car that her foot had been run over. She was taken to the hospital and treated for a broken foot before returning to work. According to Sorkin, Fox apologized and said that it was her fault for missing her mark.
  • Six Meetings Before Lunch - Aaron Sorkin found Allison Janney lip syncing to [?] Ronny Jordan's The Jackal in her trailer, and wrote it into the episode. Janey was initially doing it too well, and was told to make it more awkward.
  • A Proportional Response - The acronym BDA is used without explanation - it stands for "bomb damage assessment".
  • Pilot - The first time President Bartlett is on screen, he is walking with a cane due to his biking accident. The last time he is seen, he is walking with a cane again (due to his MS), acting as an interesting character and series bookend.
  • Take This Sabbath Day - This was Karl Malden's final acting role before his death on July 1, 2009.
  • 20 Hours in L.A. - During a party Donna walks away from Josh to "Go stalk Matthew Perry". Matthew Perry goes on to appear in episode 20 of season 4. He also appears in Aaron Sorkin's later TV show [Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip] with Bradley Whitford who plays Josh Lyman.
  • Lord John Marbury - Erick Avari, who plays the Pakistani ambassador, is Indian, while Iqbal Theba, who plays the Indian ambassador, is actually from Pakistan.
  • In Excelsis Deo - After reading through the script, the Pentagon was very touched by the handling of the story line dealing with the death of a homeless veteran of the Korean conflict. In fact, they were so impressed that they gave the show access to film at Arlington National Cemetery, (ANC is administered by the U.S. Army Military District of Washington). The Department of Defense then supplied the Marine Honor Guard and chaplain, and set up the whole funeral. During the funeral scene, all persons in uniform are members of the U.S. Armed Forces, performing their actual roles in a military funeral. Richard Schiff, (Toby Zeigler) has said that it was such a powerful and moving story, that after every take, he broke down and cried.
  • Enemies - China is in fact known for its romantic songs despite Sam Seaborne's sarcastic comment on the matter.
  • A Proportional Response - John Amos (Fitzwallace) guest starred as Dulé Hill's (Charlie's) Uncle Burton on his later TV show [Psych].
  • The Crackpots and These Women - Aaron Sorkin got the idea for a story about the NSC card after [?] George Stephanopoulos showed him his card. Press Secretary [?] Dee Dee Myers assured Sorkin that the card didn't exist, unaware that only certain people were issued one.
  • Five Votes Down - While President is high on his back pills, he tells his aide Charlie that "Charlie's a great name." Martin Sheen, who plays President Bartlet, named his youngest son "Carlos" but nicknamed him "Charlie", i.e. Charlie Sheen.
  • The State Dinner - "Indonesian" is indeed a language, albeit an invented one. It starts with Malay as its grammatical base, then adds vocabulary items from the various other languages of the islands.
  • Five Votes Down - The long Steadicam shot in the episode teaser took thirteen takes and five hours of filming to accomplish.
  • The State Dinner - CJ is asked and has told the Press that the First Lady will be wearing a "Gabriel Sanchez freshwater pearl necklace with tourmaline beads" and "will be carrying a Christina Bomba silk pleated organdy drawstring evening bag". Abbey Bartlet, when seen is neither carrying an evening bag (and most-likely would not, there would be no need), and is never wearing a necklace.
  • The Crackpots and These Women - Leo's "Big Block of Cheese" story is true. [?] Andrew Jackson received an enormous block of cheese from the people of New York City, and when he hadn't touched it in two years, gave it to the people of D.C. to celebrate Washington's birthday. They finished it in two hours. Several years after this show went off the air, President Barack Obama also added a real "Big Block of Cheese Day" to his administration's schedule. On January 24, 2014, the Obama White House announced that in the spirit of both [?] Andrew Jackson and the television program [The West Wing], they would host a real version of the show's "Big Block of Cheese Day," in which White House officials would be available to answer questions from ordinary Americans (albeit online instead of in person, as the "cheese day" meetings were on the show).