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October 6, 2015

The West Wing is about to get crowded

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Mar 1st 2006 10:52AM

West WingGet excited folks. While the number of remaining West Wing episodes is getting smaller, the cast just got a whole lot bigger. Unlike ABC and Alias, it seems that NBC actually cares about giving The West Wing a proper send-off.

Bob had some info about the final episodes a few weeks ago, but this morning a boatload of casting news was announced. Most notably, Rob Lowe will return as Sam Seaborn for the final two episodes. I know there had been a lot of speculation about Lowe's return, but now it's happening. Also set to reprise their roles:

  • Mary-Louise Parker (Amy Gardner)
  • Anna Deavere Smith (Nancy McNally)
  • Emily Proctor (Ainsley Hayes)
  • Marlee Matlin (Joey Lucas)
  • Gary Cole (VP Bob Russell)
  • Tim Matheson (Ex-VP John Hoynes)
  • Timothy Busfield (Danny Concanon)
  • Annabeth Gish (Elizabeth Bartlet Westin)

[via The Hollywood Reporter]

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I add my vote to the excited pile, too. TWW is and always will be my favorite show ever, so the correct send off is greatly appreciated.

A couple of comments though:

First, I LOVE Emily Proctor... And I love the character of Ainsley Hayes, but I don't see how she'd fit into the ending of the show, other than to be at Leo's funeral. Most of the stuff she did was with Sam, and I hope they've got "bigger" plotlines for Sam (and by bigger, I mean more with the main cast, and not as the VP canidate, b/c that's not anywhere near reasonable).

Second... We get one sister, but not the other two? Especially considering that Zoey has been more central to the arc of the show than the other two? I feel a little cheated (Though, I've loved Gish since Shag, so any excuse to see her on screen).

Related, Charlie will definately be back. He's one of the regular characters that had his order cut back this year, he was down to five episodes.

MLP is a nice touch (Love the actress, hate the character), but hopefully only in the context of Leo's funeral. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if they try to make more excuses to get their characters on screen, that we miss out on the "tying things up" angle.

Biggest ommission on this list, however, is far and away Allison Smith. If they try to give us some convuluted excuse as to why Leo's daughter isn't at the funeral, I'll be pissed. I mean, they brought her back for the beginning of Season 6 just to stand in the background in the hospital scenes (Same with Zoe in the S6 finale)... I'm hoping that this list of returning actors is not inclusive.

Best news, however, is that they signed Lowe to come back. It would have been pretty sad for him not to be around in the end, especially for the funeral.

March 01 2006 at 8:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Toby OB

I would have hoped the two younger Bartlet daughters might have made an appearance as well, especially Zoey in conncetion with Charlie.

And I hope Charlie is considered still a regular and will be back as well!

It might have been nice to have Mallory O'Brien back to put a family stamp on any remembrance of her father Leo McGarry. And with Sam coming back, it would have been nice to see them re-ignite their pairing.

I suppose there's always a possibility we might still see him in one of these last episodes, but I wish we got a chance to meet Jed Bartlet's brother at least once during the run of the series. He was only mentioned a few times, but it seems to me they could have found a lot of storyline possibilities with the character.

March 01 2006 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sam Seaborn coming back?

That's the best news i've heard all week.

March 01 2006 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

If only Aaron Sorkin were writing the them, these episodes would truly harken back to the golden period.

But Ainsley Hayes? Yay!

March 01 2006 at 2:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No way Sam will be the VP Nom. They picked Leo to add heft to the ticket. Sam has less experience than Santos. Plus: "Leo dies five days before election. Wells says that it's not possible for a VP candidate to be replaced that close to an election"

I'm looking forward to everyone's return - especially Toby.

March 01 2006 at 1:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hope this means the show is going out in style! I'm so looking forward to the episodes now. Thanks for the great news.

March 01 2006 at 1:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Great news re: casting! I can't wait to watch the final send off of this fabulous show.

As for Moira Kelly. She now resides over on One Tree Hill. (yes, I watch it, so what?!)

March 01 2006 at 12:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hadn't dared dream that Emily Proctor could or would get a little time of from my enjoyment of her on CSI: Miami to pay back the show that launched both her, and my affection for her.
Same for MLP and "Weeds," though they seem to be taking a while getting the second season started...
Anyway, this is all tremendous news that I, for one, am excited about.
Doesn't seem like they're going to resolve the greatest mystery of all, though, what happened to Moira "Mandy Hampton" Kelly.
( http://www.tvsquad.com/2006/01/20/the-five-great-shows-bad-characters/ )

March 01 2006 at 12:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Looks like Sam Seaborn will be Santos' VP, no?

March 01 2006 at 11:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Malfoy R

Ainsley Hayes and Vinick = GREAT TEAM.

March 01 2006 at 11:25 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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