West Wing creator/writer Aaron Sorkin pays tribute to Silver in Time. He says that Silver was not only the type of actor who was very generous ("someone who's there for the piece and not for himself"), but one that would make the other actors laugh and get into a good mood between takes.
Last year I picked The West Wing's "The Indians in the Lobby" episode as a standout episode of the series. It just so happens that we're blessed with two Thanksgiving episodes of the show that are standouts. This one is called "Shibboleth."
The plots: While President Bartlet has to figure out what to do with dozens of Chinese immigrants who have stowed away on a freighter, Toby tries to get Leo's controversial sister nominated for an education post, C.J. has to pick one of two turkeys who will get to be pardoned by the President, and Charlie goes shopping for the perfect carving knife for the President.
I didn't know Tim Russert on a personal level. I rarely even saw him in his own element as host of NBC's Meet the Press. However, when he suddenly died last Friday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. It was the fact that he was a huge presence on television, particularly during this year's Presidential election. It made Russert feel like he was a part of the family.
So it has been with many television personalities that have left this earth before their time. It's the intimacy of the industry and the fact that this person has come into our homes night after night, week after week, that the unexpected death of these personalities hits us much harder than, say, movie stars. Unfortunately, there have been a number of these surprising deaths over the last few decades. Here are 12 such deaths that affected millions of television viewers.
"The Indians in the Lobby"
Originally aired on November 21, 2001
There are so many ridiculously great episodes of The West Wing, trying to pick one out is like trying to pick out the best note in a piece by Mozart. But since it's November, I figured I'd choose the best of the show's Thanksgiving Day episodes, "The Indians in the Lobby" (and yes, fans of "Shibboleth," I love that one too, but this one has just a little bit more.)
It's Thanksgiving, and President Bartlet is making the stuffing ...
We've said it here a million times (and by "we" I'm including TV Squad readers): Toby would never have leaked classified information the way he did in the last season of The West Wing. And in the off chance that he did, it would only be because he was covering for someone else. Now, Richard Schiff (in the pic on the right with his wife, actress Sheila Kelley) says he agrees (this is an addendum to an article from last year).
In an interesting interview in The Independent, Schiff says that he felt let down by the writers in the last season, and in fact to get through it he actually made a fictional plot in his head as to why Toby was acting the way that he was.
(Part 1 of 5) It's the time of year when we talk about what happened over the past year, and that unfortunately includes the deaths of many notable personalities. After the jump is a list of the celebrities and other TV-related people we lost in 2006, in no particular order. (Note: it's not easy to compile a list like this and I'm sure I forgot someone. Let me know in the comments and I'll try to add them.)
Well, I know what I'm giving myself for Christmas this year.
Warner will release The West Wing: The Complete Series on DVD November 7. The set will include every single episode of the series (154 episodes) on 45 discs. The set will contain the same sets as the individual sets already released, but will also include a copy of the pilot script, including a special intro by creator/head writer Aaron Sorkin. The set will sell for around $300.
The set for the last season will also be released that day, separately, with bonus materials.
The series finale got so many things right and also a few things wrong. Let's talk about them.
- NBC might have canceled its West Wing retrospective for next Sunday, but EW gathers the cast and crew and goes down memory lane. Among the tidbits: Sidney Poitier was the first person talked about to play the President; producers offered Bradley Whitford the role of Sam, but he wanted to play Josh; John Spencer was the first person cast, but Sorkin had originally seen Judd Hirsch as Leo and had to rewrite the character for Spencer; Eugene Levy auditioned to play Toby; CCH Pounder auditioned to play C.J., as did Janel Moloney; and NBC bought the West Wing only if John Wells agreed to also do Third Watch.
- Paris Bennett says "Don't be sad."
- Gillian Flynn answers the question: what is the worst show to have a long run?
- New DVDs: they give a B+ to the first and second season DVD set of The Facts of Life, and an A- for the Scrubs third season set.
- Funny review of 7th Heaven by Ken Tucker, calling the series finale flashback "creepy."
- Bruce Campbell gives a guest review of Supernatural. He says it's fun, but it's scare factor is too conservative and the lead actors pose too much.
- A look at the new Lost tie-in book, Bad Twin.
And I found out that Bradley Whitford is a lot like Josh Lyman, except for ... well, I'll let him explain that.
Anyone know who he was? Really odd that they didn't have another regular cast member to be a pallbearer.
I was a little afraid they'd rush though the Leo memories and shove in the whole Santos plot, but that didn't happen. You had to show what was going on with the Santos plot (life does go on after all), and it was a nice balance of the old and the new.
Some other tidbits from the article: the cast filmed their last scenes together on March 31, the last episode will be broadcast on May 14, and Martin Sheen is going back to college (at age 65)!
Let the debate begin, readers. Would you have rather have seen a Vinick win, regardless of how or why that happened, or did The West Wing have to end with a Democratic victory?
NBC is fond of calling their comedies "Must See TV." But this was truly the one must see episode of any NBC show in quite a while. Leo dies, and the election goes down to the wire, all in one episode. Must see, but not handled as well as it could have been. Some good scenes with Josh, and some nice moments in the White House between Bartlett and C.J., but they really should have given Margaret more to do, get more of a reaction from her besides one shot of stoic tears.
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