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October 7, 2015

The West Wing

Former Obama Speechwriter Sells White House Family Comedy to NBC

by Alex Moaba, posted Oct 25th 2011 3:30PM
A zany family comedy set in the White House could be coming to NBC. According to The Wrap, the network has ordered a put pilot commitment for a show titled '1600 Penn,' written by Jon Lovett, a former speechwriter for President Obama.

'1600 Penn' reportedly focuses on a fictionalized, "dysfunctional" first-family and will be shot as a single-camera show. It's co-produced by 'The Book of Mormon' star Josh Gad and 'Modern Family' writer Jason Winer.

Lovett left the Obama administration in September to take his writing talents to Hollywood. His first-hand experience working in the government is similar to that of Lawrence O'Donnell, who worked as a legislative aid for Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan before becoming a writer on 'The West Wing.'

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Best 'West Wing' Episodes of All Time

by Allison Waldman, posted Nov 6th 2010 3:30PM
west_wing_nbc_cast_flagCounting down the top 10 greatest 'West Wing' episodes ...

There has never been a television show quite like 'The West Wing,' which delved into the inner workings of politics from the point of view of the people working for the President of the United States, as well as the man himself.

NBC greenlit the show when Aaron Sorkin, who'd written the successful romantic comedy 'The American President,' came to them with material he had left over from that project.

The show debuted on NBC on September 22, 1999, and ended its on May 14 2006, after 146 episodes. In that time, 'The West Wing' had won four Emmys as the Outstanding Drama Series and a slew of other awards for the acting, writing and direction.

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'The West Wing' Cast: Where Are They Now?

by Rich Keller, posted Sep 22nd 2010 6:05PM
West Wing castOnce you enter 'The West Wing,' you never really leave.

The cast members of the award-winning NBC drama, which premiered 11 years ago on Sept. 22, 1999, can't seem to let each other go -- they've often paired up on other shows since the series ended in 2006.

Interestingly, many of these pairings have taken place in shows on the USA network. Maybe it's due to the drama's huge cast of regulars and recurring characters, the stranglehold NBC Universal had on these actors, or the fact that they all liked working with each other.

So, where is the cast of 'The West Wing' now? Doing a lot of television and, as usual, pairing up. Here's a breakdown:

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Happy Birthday, Martin Sheen! A Look Back at His Memorable Roles

by Jane Murphy, posted Aug 3rd 2010 9:00AM
And many happy returns! Actor, activist, father, grandfather and perhaps our greatest pretend President, the Emmy, Tony and Golden Globe Award winner Martin Sheen turns 70 today. He's that old? Wait, he's that young?!

The actor, of Spanish and Irish ancestry, was born Ramon Estevez in Dayton, Ohio on Aug. 3, 1940. He's been a professional actor since the Kennedy administration (more on the Kennedys later). Responsible for an IMDB.com entry as long as your arm, no one has ever accused him of being over-exposed -- he's always a welcome presence.

Let's face it, he's aged better than most in Hollywood; he portrayed tormented young men well into his 30s, and his rosy cheeks and luxurious hair would still make him a lousy choice to play Father Time.

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Bradley Whitford Shows Off His Porn Acting Skills -- and His Mustache (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Jul 29th 2010 9:30PM
Bradley Whitford Shows Off His Porn Acting Skills -- and His MustacheYou might know actor Bradley Whitford from the sitcom 'The Good Guys.' Or perhaps you remember him from 'The West Wing.' But on 'The Kilborn File' (weeknights, 7PM ET on Fox), Bradley discusses the most important thing about himself -- the fact that he's from the great state of Wisconsin! (That's the Badger State, if you need a little help with that one.)

Host Craig Kilborn is a Midwestern boy himself -- he's from the great state of Minnesota. And while Bradley is on the show, the two of them discuss several important Midwestern issues, including how "horrible" Wisconsin accents are. Bradley points out that this is why there are no great female porn stars from Wisconsin -- because of the weirdness of the accent. Then, he does a impression of how a Wisconsin porn starlet might talk: "OHH GAWD YAH ... YAH, YOU'RE DOIN' GREAT DOWN THERE, Y'KNOW?" Good stuff.

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And Still More Fanesia Moments: Conan, 'The West Wing,' and Barney Fife

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 8th 2010 5:03PM
ConanSeveral years ago on this very blog I introduced the concept of fanesia. That's not a new soft drink or an 'American Idol' contestant, it actually stands for 'fan amnesia,' those TV moments that we refuse to acknowledge even happened on our favorite shows. Past examples I've used have included Fitzwallace dying on 'The West Wing,' the last episode of 'Seinfeld,' Mark dying on 'ER,' and 'Will & Grace' not speaking to each other for years in their final episode. In my mind, those things never happened on those shows.

Here are four more. Let us know your favorite Fanesia moments in the comments.

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Jimmy Smits Returning to TV in NBC Legal Drama

by Allison Waldman, posted Mar 10th 2010 10:31AM
jimmy_smits_west_wing_flagIs it a step down for Jimmy Smits that he'll only be a Supreme Court Justice in a new NBC pilot? Some might think so since his last stint on NBC was as Congressman Matt Santos who became the President of the United States on the last season of 'The West Wing.' However, in the pilot that John Eisendrath is putting together, Jimmy Smits has agreed to play a judge for NBC.

Not any judge. The character is a strict interpreter of the constitution, a 'by the book' Supreme Court Justice (there are only nine at any one time), who steps down from the bench so he can return to the law as an attorney who specializes in fighting constitutional injustices.

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Big Name Stars Coming to 'In Plain Sight'

by Allison Waldman, posted Feb 19th 2010 11:01AM
in_plain_sight_mary_mccormack_frederick_wellerLast night during 'Burn Notice,' there were promos for 'In Plain Sight' and it got my heart pumped just to hear Mary McCormack's voice again. Hooray, Mary's back. And so is 'In Plain Sight,' one of the most improved series on cable in its sophomore run last season. The new season kicks off on March 31 on USA Network, and 'In Plain Sight's' lined up some big stars as guests.

The top of the list is Allison Janney. They're not saying if it's more than a single episode -- here's hoping -- but Allison will be a playing a "newly appointed U.S. Marshal who clashes with Mary." If you remember Janney and McCormack in the last couple of seasons of 'The West Wing,' this should be a great reunion.

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Allison Janney joins Matthew Perry's Mr. Sunshine

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 31st 2010 1:29PM
allison_janney_smiling_earringsYou could say that most people's interest in a new comedy from Friends' star Matthew Perry called Mr. Sunshine, would be pretty high. He's a popular actor. Friends was a popular show. People reacted favorably to Courteney Cox's new comedy Cougar Town... You see where I'm going here.

Well, the interest meter just moved up considerably because West Wing Emmy-winner Allison Janney will co-star with Matthew in Mr. Sunshine. Mr. Sunshine is an ABC pilot they'll be filming, and it's about a guy who reaches his 40th birthday and wonders if he can continue just getting by on his charm and nonchalant style.

Mr. Sunshine is set in San Diego, where Perry's character manages an aging stadium. Janney is playing Crystal Cohen, the lady in charge of the place. That's right; she's Matthew's boss.

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Rob Lowe Quits 'Brothers & Sisters'

by Harley W. Lond, posted Jan 21st 2010 8:08PM
Senator Robert McCallister is retiring from office.

Rob Lowe, who plays the ex-presidential candidate in
'Brothers & Sisters,' is leaving the hit series this season, according to reports at Deadline Hollywood and EW.com. Lowe, who joined the ABC drama series a third of the way into the first season, felt he was being underused and asked the network to release him from his contract.

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Will Brothers & Sisters miss Rob Lowe?

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 21st 2010 8:03PM
rob_lowe_brothers_and_sistersAs Bob wrote, Rob Lowe will be leaving ABC's Brothers & Sisters. It's not the show that's writing him out. Rob Lowe has decided that he's not been utilized enough on the show and he wants to move on.

However, ABC wants to keep him part of the network family, so the actor has made a deal with programming head Steve McPherson to try to find a new show for Rob in the future. According to McPherson, "We would like to keep Rob at ABC; we feel he should be anchoring his own franchise. We are in talks now."

If this sounds like a familiar scenario, it's because it is. When Rob Lowe was on NBC's The West Wing, he chose to leave the program in 2003 because The West Wing had become an ensemble, and he had thought he was going to be the star.

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More ex-Friends news: ABC picks up Matthew Perry's show

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 13th 2010 3:30PM
Matthew PerryEarlier today we showed you a clip from Matt Leblanc's new Showtime series Episodes. His old Friends friend Matthew Perry was supposed to have a show on Showtime too called The End of Steve, but the network passed on it. Now Perry has another show and ABC has signed him up.

Perry will star in Mr. Sunshine, a pilot that he co-wrote with Marc Firek and Alex Barnow. It's about the manager of a sports arena who turns 40 and realizes that he has to change his ways and grow up. Fans of two other Perry projects, The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, will be happy to hear that Tommy Schlamme is on board as a producer, and I bet he'll direct an episode or two as well.

We're all getting older. Perry is now a man in his 40s, Leblanc has gray hair, and Courteney Cox is a cougar.

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Best TV of the '00s: Dramatic Actress

by Allison Waldman, posted Jan 1st 2010 11:02AM
allison_janney_west_wingMore of our best of the decade coverage, which started on Tuesday. You can read the other posts at the link above. Here, we talk about the best dramatic actresses of the decade.

Television has always been good to the ladies. Actresses have flourished in dramatic series, and in the past decade, we've seen some amazing performances. There have been lawyers, cops, a U.S. president, nurses, doctors, judges, mothers, daughters and even a real housewife from New Jersey whose husband was in the waste disposal business.

Many of these women have already been honored with Emmys and Golden Globes... and now they get the recognition of TV Squad.

Here, then, without further vamping, the best dramatic actresses of the past ten years:

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Best TV of the '00s: Drama

by Bob Sassone, posted Dec 29th 2009 10:02AM
The West WingJust like the rest of the universe, we've been thinking about the best TV of the decade. But instead of putting out a top ten list, we decided to let each Squadder comment on the show or shows he/she thinks was the best of that category.

We're splitting this out in a number of different categories; you'll see the posts through Sunday. Today, we start off with a biggie: Dramas. -- Joel

It's weird that an entire decade has gone by already, isn't it? I don't even think we've decided on what to call the 00s exactly. And isn't it amazing how many good shows can be jam-packed into 10 years? Sometimes people moan about the state of television, but there were some fantastic TV shows in the 2000s, including dramas.

Here are our picks for the dramas that stood out since 2000.

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Best TV Shows of the 2000s (30-21)

by Kim Potts, posted Dec 7th 2009 6:00AM

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