The real White House has seen plenty of drama drama in recent weeks with the US election, but if you’re looking for some escapism, why not enjoy the escapades of a fantastic fictional President and his team?
Running for seven seasons, The West Wing is one of the finest TV shows ever made and it is endlessly re-watchable- and binge-worthy if you want to watch all the episodes in a mammoth blitz.
Here’s all the essential info you need on how and where to watch The West Wing.
Where can I watch The West Wing?
The show was not available via a UK streamer for some time but now, thanks to Channel 4, we can now watch the whole thing. All seven seasons, plus two specials, are now streaming on All4 and if you have never seen the show before, you are in for a treat and some of the best episodes of television ever made.
What is The West Wing about?
Following the ins and outs of the US presidential office under the reign of President Bartlett, the show puts its focus on the characters that make up the senior White House staff. And what characters they are, with all the main players being memorable and charming to the point that is nigh on impossible to pick a favourite.
From communications director Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) to the press secretary CJ Cregg played by Oscar winner Allison Janney, creator Aaron Sorkin has gifted us with an array of people that is a joy to spend time with.
The West Wing’s dialogue, characters and energy has influenced some of modern TV’s best shows and the scripts are full of the trademark, quick-talking genius that fans have come to expect from Sorkin.
In politically-charged times such as these, what better time to settle into the walk-and-talk, whip-smart dialogue of The West Wing?
Where was The West Wing filmed?
The majority of the series was shot on a soundstage at the Warner Bros. lot in California with more exterior shots taking place around Los Angeles.
Some shots were filmed in Washington itself while the actual White House set was previously seen in the movies The American President and Contact.
Who was in the cast of The West Wing?
President Josiah Bartlet is played by Martin Sheen, other previous work includes a main role in Apocalypse Now and as Kit Carruthers in Badlands. His Chief of Staff Leo McGarry is played by the late John Spencer, who won a Primetime Emmy Award for his work on the show in 2002, whilst the First Lady Abbey Bartlet is played by Stockard Channing, who previously starred as Rizzo in Grease.
Josh Lyman, the Deputy Chief of Staff to McGarry, is played by Bradley Whitford, who also starred as Danny Tripp in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and appeared in 2017’s Get Out. Janel Moloney stars as Lyman’s Senior Assistant Donna Moss. Moloney recently starred as Mary Jamison in the HBO drama The Leftovers and appeared opposite Nicole Kidman in The Undoing.
Toby Ziegler, the White House’s Communications Director, is played by Richard Schiff who currently stars as Dr Glassman, the president of the teaching hospital in The Good Doctor. His deputy Sam Seaborn is played by Rob Lowe, who has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards and starred in The Outsiders, St Elmo’s Fire and Square Dance and currently stars in 9-1-1: Lone Star.
Other cast members include the incredible Allison Janney as press secretary CJ Cregg, Dulé Hill as the President’s aide Charlie Young, Moira Kelly as Mandy Hampton, Joshua Malina as speechwriter Will Bailey, Mary McCormack as Security Advisor Kate Harper, Jimmy Smits as Matt Santos, Alan Alda as Californian Senator Arnold Vinick, and Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Scott, who works in the press.
How many Emmys did The West Wing win?
The West Wing won, in total, 26 Primetime Emmy Awards – including a four-year consecutive win of the award for Outstanding Drama Series.
The series also won three Golden Globes and two Peabody Awards. Pretty amazing, right?
How many seasons of The West Wing are there?
The series has seven seasons, making a whopping 156 episodes in total. There was also a bonus episode filmed ahead of the election this year that was made available on HBO Max in America and featured Sterling K Brown in the role of Leo following the passing of John Spencer since the show ended. The episode was a retelling of the classic season three episode, Hartsfield’s Landing.