west wing reunion

The Bartlet Administration is back. Sort of.

HBO Max will stage a reunion of The West Wing for the first time in 17 years, with creator Aaron Sorkin and the original cast all coming together for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote. The reunion is to benefit When We All Vote, a non-profit org founded by Michelle Obama to inspire voter participation in every election. And in case you forgot, there’s a pretty big election coming up.

I consider myself a West Wing fan. I’ve seen every episode, and for its first three seasons, the show was on fire, with a great cast delivering snappy dialogue. That said, I can’t imagine ever revisiting the series. It would feel like it existed in a completely different world. In the idealized world of Aaron Sorkin’s series, the government is functional and while they may have their differences, Republicans and Democrats are able to work together. Of course, none of that seems plausible these days, and to return to that world would just feel…wrong.

But that’s just my opinion. Others have pined for a West Wing reunion, and now they’re getting it. HBO Max and Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote organization are bringing together the original cast of the show for an event that will stage a “special theatrical stage presentation of the ‘Hartsfield’s Landing’ episode from the show’s third season. The creative team and cast organized this historic production in order to raise awareness for and support the vital mission of When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama which 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.” Here’s more info on When We All Vote:

When We All Vote is a national, nonpartisan, non-profit 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.

“Hartsfield’s Landing” focuses on a remote New Hampshire town’s election, whose 42 votes are “counted immediately and always predict the winner of that state’s primary.” Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles from the episode, with “special guest appearances, including a special message from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama, among others” and “additional cast members and special guests from the worlds of public service and the arts” being announced in the upcoming weeks. The special will air on HBO Max sometime before the election this fall. The stage production will be directed by Thomas Schlamme, who executive produced the original series and directed more than a dozen episodes of the show.

“With A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, we are excited to revisit this legendary series and offer our passionate fans something that is substantial, meaningful and unforgettable, while also promoting an important message for our time,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content, HBO Max. “Combined with WarnerMedia’s donation to When We All Vote, this special not only entertains, but also helps ensure the organization can carry forth its mission to increase voter participation in every election.”

Sorkin added: “Tommy and I are incredibly excited to be getting The West Wing cast back together for this staged reading and to support When We All Vote in their efforts to get all of us involved in this election.”

EW has a video with the cast members discussing the reunion, which you can see below.

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