Ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election, HBO Max and “The West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin Aug. 25 announced that for the first time in 17 years, the original cast of the award-winning drama series from Warner Bros. Television will come together 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 theatrical stage presentation of the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from the show’s third season. The presentation is designed to raise awareness for “When We All Vote,” a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama, which was founded to increase participation in every election in America.
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Spanning seven seasons (1999-2006), “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.
The series 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.
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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 Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles in early October. Series 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, the staged production will also feature special guest appearances, including a special message from 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 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 Thomas Schlamme will serve as director of the production.
“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,” Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max, said in a statement.
Sorkin created the series and served as an executive producer with Emmy winners Schlamme and 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.