|Rob Lowe as||Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn||Deputy Communications Director|
|Moira Kelly as||Mandy (Madeline) Hampton||Public Relations Consultant|
|Dulé Hill as||Charlie (Charles) Young||Personal Aide to the President|
|Allison Janney as||C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg||Press Secretary|
|Richard Schiff as||Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler||Communications Director|
|John Spencer as||Leo Thomas McGarry||Chief of Staff|
|Bradley Whitford as||Josh (Joshua) Lyman||Deputy Chief of Staff|
Martin Sheen as
|Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet||President of the United States|
|Special Guest Star
Carl Lumbly as
|Jeff Breckenridge||Nominee for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights|
|Timothy Busfield as||Danny (Daniel) Concannon||(Washington Post) Reporter|
|Jorja Fox as||Gina Toscano||Special Agent|
|Janel Moloney as||Donna (Donnatella) Moss||Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff|
|Elisabeth Moss as||Zoey Patricia Bartlet||Bartlets' youngest daughter|
|Suzy Nakamura as||Cathy||Assistant to Deputy Communications Director|
|Allison Smith as||Mallory O'Brian||Teacher / Leo McGarry's daughter|
|Lindsay Sloane as||Stacy||Zoey's friend|
|Christopher Wynne as||Edgar Drumm||Charleston Citizen "Reporter"|
|Ron Butterfield||Head of POTUS' Secret Service detail|
|NiCole Robinson as||Margaret||Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
|Kim Webster as||Ginger||Assistant to Communications Director|
|Devika Parikh as||Bonnie||Communications' Aide|
|Melissa Fitzgerald as||Carol||Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
|Kenneth Choi as||Secret Service Agent #1||Mike|
|Todd Sandler as||Secret Service Agent #2|
|Kimiko Gelman as||Secret Service Agent Kelly|
|Heather Dawn as||College Student #1|
|Erin Leshawn Wiley as||College Student #2|
"I have slavery reparations for African Americans," Sorkin says, lighting the first Merit of the workday and shuffling through four orderly piles of research on his desk, the closest his writing staff will get to actually writing anything. "I have a panda crisis--that's been around for two episodes--China won't give us a replacement panda. I like that. Then there's the president with a lesser brother, but I don't think I'll use that one. And I have public school vouchers--that's interesting, but I'm not sure how to work it in."
He flicks an ash into a tray in his casually luxurious office on the Warner Bros. lot: an overstuffed leather couch, a massive framed map, potted palms and bowls filled with candy. "Did you know we paid $1.2 billion to Japanese Americans in 1988?" he says, bemused. "Someone has calculated that the net wages owed to black Americans pre-emancipation is something like"--he scans some typed notes--"$4.4 trillion." He looks up. "And that looks like a steal to me." Pause. "Where would we get the cash?" Ahhh--a scene in the making. Sorkin half-smiles. "I'll do that. I'll look at the research and start talking out loud: 'That looks like a steal to me.' 'Where would we get the cash?' " he says. "Once you get two people to disagree about something, you have a scene."
By Tuesday, four days after Sorkin planned to complete episode 18, the cast has assembled. Shooting has begun.
The script isn't finished.
By this point Sorkin is too tired to be in an active state of panic, though that's clearly what the situation calls for. "They're shooting today and I'm not done," he says glumly. "My mind is turning to jello. My brain is not working the way I would like it to." So far he's gotten to Act 3, three-quarters of the way through the show.
Still, he resists calling on his staff of writers. He'll set pen to paper, and fingers to keyboard, and see what comes out.
"Art Meets Politics"
by Sharon Waxman
March 8, 2000
"I had done some impromptu lip-synching in my trailer that Aaron happened to be privy to," says [Allison] Janney, "and he wrote that into an episode. I'm kind of shy, but the more he gets to know me, the more I see familiar things in my character."
"Allison Janney: a Towering Figure"
by Frazier Moore
August 7, 2000
[Aaron] Sorkin, who is white, also admits he was surprised by the hate mail that came after he arranged an impromptu "walk and talk" scene last season in which Zoey and Charlie kissed. Developed on the fly to add 45 seconds to an episode, the scene draw a few ugly letters that turned the executive producer's head.
"Frankly, the most surprising thing . . . is that these people were watching our show and not WWF Smackdown!," he said, scorn rising in his voice. "In my world, such ([interracial] romances) are not particularly noteworthy. Having said that, I created an extreme case to remind us that it's not completely irrelevant."
"Too subtle for the small screen"
by Eric Deggans
February 26, 2001
St. Petersburg Times