A “West Wing” reunion to benefit Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization will premiere on HBO Max on Oct. 15, two weeks prior to the national election.
The special marks the first time in 17 years that the original cast of the Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning Warner Bros. Television drama series will come together with creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer-director Thomas Schlamme for a special theatrical stage presentation of the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from the show’s third season. “The West Wing” stars Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles from the episode.
The special will include act breaks with guest appearances from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Emmy Award–winning composer W.G. Snuffy Walden will play the iconic score for “The West Wing.” Folk rock band The Avett Brothers will also close out the special.
The creative team and cast organized the production to raise awareness for and support When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that was founded to increase participation in every election in America. In honor of the special, WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We All Vote.
The production will strictly follow COVID Safe Way Forward Protocols.
Spanning seven seasons, “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. Emmy winner Sorkin created the series and served as an executive producer with Emmy winners Thomas Schlamme and John Wells (“ER,” “Shameless”). “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.
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In the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode, original air date Feb. 27, 2002, Bartlet (Martin Sheen) engages 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 Aaron Sorkin and directed by Vincent Misiano.
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When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit launched by co-chair Michelle Obama in 2018 on a mission to change the culture around voting by bringing together citizens, institutions, brands, and organizations to increase participation in every election. They are also on a mission 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. Learn more here.