|Rob Lowe as||Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn||Deputy Communications Director|
|Stockard Channing as||Abbey (Abigail Ann) Bartlet M.D.||First Lady|
|Dulé Hill as||Charlie (Charles) Young||Personal Aide to the President|
|Allison Janney as||C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg||Press Secretary|
|Janel Moloney as||Donna (Donnatella) Moss||Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff|
|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 Stars|
|Ron Silver as||Bruno Gianelli||Campaign Strategist|
Marlee Matlin as
|Joey (Josephine) Lucas||Pollster|
|Anna Deavere Smith as||Dr. Nancy McNally||National Security Advisor|
|Evan Handler as||Doug Wegland||Campaign Strategist|
|Connie Britton as||Connie Tate||Campaign Strategist|
|NiCole Robinson as||Margaret||Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
|Bill O'Brien as||Kenny Thurman||Sign Language Interpreter|
|Glenn Morshower as||Mike Chysler|
|Victor McCay as||Peter|
|Peter James Smith as||Ed||Congressional Liaison|
|William Duffy as||Larry||Congressional Liaison|
|Kris Arnold as||Staffer|
|John Emmanuel as||Agent|
In a converted apartment house on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, writers for "The West Wing" are busy hatching the third-season opener, where President Jeb [Jed] Bartlet announces from the steps of the New Hampshire statehouse that he is seeking a second term.
They need a subplot; under consideration is the approval of the abortion pill RU-486, which most of them know next to nothing about. So they have summoned on a conference call President Clinton's former top economic adviser, Gene Sperling, who is telling them everything he knows about the morning-after pill--not to mention living the fantasy of political operatives all over Washington.
"Washington Casts an Eye on Hollywood"
by Faye Fiore
July 15, 2001
Los Angeles Times
"They've got to convince the public that MS isn't fatal, and that the president is not going to have an attack in the situation room and bomb Heidelberg during Oktoberfest or something. They're all still a little shellshocked. The president whom they loved and trusted so much has surprised them with something they didn't expect. They're not 100 percent on board with him yet. It's put some dents in the bumper of this guy." - Aaron Sorkin
"Sorkin's drug subplot ending"
by Ed Bark
July 22, 2001
Dallas Morning News
Aaron Sorkin said he's glad the halo over Bartlet has been tarnished.
"I love that it put some dents in the bumper of this guy," he said. "I think Martin really likes it too."
"Sorkin's glad to be back and working on 'West Wing'"
by Rob Owen
July 23, 2001
"In coming back and writing the season opener, I found that a lot of what I feel about the chaos of the time [in his own life] is in there. You know, there's an invasion of privacy that happens that is pretty staggering when it happens to you.
"I'm trying to remember who said it, but they were talking about jealousy, and they said it's like seasickness: For the person it's happening to, they want to kill themselves. For everybody else, it's hysterical. That's what this was like, too. I know, it's Orson Wells who said it.
"So there's a little of that in the season opener. Everyone, including the press to a certain extent, feels a sense of betrayal and is reacting in a certain way. The press in Bartlet's world - which by and large has been very supportive and sympathetic because he's their kind of guy and they like him and a lot of them feel like they're responsible for getting him elected - have all of sudden come down on him like a brick bank. And so he's feeling that pressure,"
"Sorkin faces up to a sorry spring"
by David Zurawik
July 23, 2001
"They're all a little shell-shocked," Sorkin explained. "They're doing their jobs and they're trying to do them well. But this guy, who they love and trusted so much and worked so hard for, has surprised them with something that they didn't expect. And they're not 100 percent on board." - Aaron Sorkin
"'West Wing's' Sorkin gives state-of-detox address"
by Allan Johnson
July 23, 2001
We are working on episode one and two now simultaneously. - Stockard Channing
"West Wing's First Lady"
July 24, 2001
"It's three months later, and they're now in full re-election mode, ..." "They've gone to New Hampshire to prepare for a big campaign announcement. They're in trouble because they hid the president's multiple sclerosis, Abbey (Stockard Channing, who becomes a regular this season as the president's wife, Abigail Bartlet) is in trouble with the American Medical Association for what she knew, and they're in trouble in the polls. But the numbers show they're in the game." - Aaron Sorkin
""West Wing"'s Sorkin has had a lot to answer for"
by Gail Pennington
July 26, 2001
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Sorkin has already written to two-part season opener in which Press Secretary to C.J. Cregg makes a mistake and pays a heavy price with the press, and Bartlet, who has lied about having multiple sclerosis and betrayed the trust of the people who work for him, suffers the consequences. Sorkin is clearly exploring the issues that breach of trust and public exposure of one of the deepest and most private secrets: "Something has shaken their world. There is fear in their world now."
As there is now in his world?
"If he will literally be able to connect the dots to what has happened. But..." he says, before his voice trails off.
"State of Disunion"
by Mary Murphy
August 11, 2001
TV Guide (American edition)
Word is the show's wranglers have been talking with Democratic political consultant Carter Eskew about using his ranch in Virginia.
Aaron Sorkin and his writing staff want to turn it into the "summer White House" of President Josiah Bartlet -- though, on a coming episode titled "Manchester," the ranch would be in Bartlet's home state of New Hampshire.
"Mariah's Feeling More Secure in City"
by Rush & Molloy
August 14, 2001
New York Daily News
"It's funny because in the season opener one of the things that we talk about is Bartlet's polling numbers have obviously gone down, and the difficulty in raising them is once the press writes about the polling numbers going down, that pushes the polling numbers down, and it's difficult to climb out of that." - Aaron Sorkin
"'West Wing' writer makes no excuses"
by Scott D. Pierce
August 21, 2001
In the spring, producers of the hit television show "The West Wing" shut down Washington National Cathedral to film a scene for the show's season finale. Now, it's the Bluemont Community Center's turn.
The little western Loudoun County town of Bluemont will stand in for the New Hampshire hometown of Josiah Bartlet, the show's fictional Democratic president, played by Martin Sheen. Producers have told the staff that they will film on the center's grounds and inside the center, which will play the part of an old New Hampshire schoolhouse.
The Loudoun Valley High School Band has been invited to attend the Bluemont filming. If its scene makes the cut, the Vikings band will portray a New Hampshire high school marching band.
The show's crew also will film exterior shots in Middleburg and at several other undisclosed locations across Loudoun early next week.
Rick Gleason, manager of the Bluemont Community Center, said officials from the show first contacted him about the shoot three weeks ago. "They were scouting areas in Loudoun where they might film, and they just showed up on our doorstep," he said. "They haven't told us how our scene is going to tie into the whole plot."
The television show will pay the community center for its use, but Gleason declined to say how much. The center's staff will work Sunday to make sure the shooting goes without a hitch. Gleason said the show's crew has promised to get everything back to normal at the center before leaving town, which is important because the first day of preschool at the center is Monday.
"Whatever they do, we're going to have to change it all back around pretty fast," Gleason said.
Rick Reaves, director of the Loudoun Valley band, said the 91-member, award-winning group has been practicing the official version of "Hail to the Chief," as played by the U.S. Marine Corps Band for President Bush. He said the piece should be polished and ready to go by Sunday's filming.
Reaves also faxed the show a copy of the group's usual repertoire, and the band will be prepared to perform any song on the list.
"They haven't told me anything about the plot, except they were looking for a small town, and we're a small-town band," Reaves said. Loudoun Valley High is in Purcellville.
"Town Ready for Its Close-Up on 'West Wing'"
by Rosalind S. Helderman
August 22, 2001
The old schoolhouse festooned with red, white and blue bunting is stark white, nestled into the trees. A line of green mountains is visible from the schoolhouse door. A set of risers and folding chairs awaits the visiting president as the local high school band prepares to play in his honor. Signs hung in front of the school read, "New Hampshire is Bartlet Country."
But this is not rural New Hampshire. It is Bluemont, a tiny Loudoun County community at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and near the West Virginia border. It is there that the cast, crew and more than 300 extras have come to film scenes for the season premiere of the NBC hit show "The West Wing."
In the two-part premiere, set to debut Sept. 19, Bartlet returns to New Hampshire. There, he visits the old schoolhouse, played by the Bluemont Community Center.
"'West Wing' Dismays the North"
by Rosalind S. Helderman
August 27, 2001
When Purcellville mayor John Marsh's historic farmhouse was the runner-up (55 houses were considered) for shooting the at-home scenes in the episode, the producers offered him a deal he couldn't refuse in return for selecting Bluemont to shoot the television program: bring some friends and neighbors and join the 300 extras in the crowd scenes.
Martin Sheen told him, said Marsh, "You picked the right place to be mayor. This is absolutely beautiful."
It was hard, said Corley (? Linda and Don Corley of Bluemont ), not to think of Sheen as the President. "I was startled to see him walking around with no protection."
But he had Hollywood security guards, talking into their wrists, and a Hollywood bomb dog (a friendly German shepherd) handled by a Hollywood trainer in full bomb gear.
The entire staff of the Bluemont Community Center started work at 8 a.m. Sunday, said assistant manager Don Stinnette, and stayed till 4 a.m. when the crew folded their tents for the night. They opened the community center at its normal 6 a.m. a few hours later, and the crew came back in mid-afternoon for more filming. By mid-afternoon yesterday the whole production crew was hard at work for a scene in front of the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg.
Sheen was fantastic, very easy going, said Stinnette and everyone else who ran into him during the day. Sheen got a little edgy when the Buick Open Golf Classic went into sudden-death overtime late Sunday and he couldn't break away from the cameras to watch Tiger Woods. He kept throwing questions out to the crowd of extras (between kissing babies) how's Tiger doing?
"Only in Hollywood"
by Shannon Sollinger
August 28, 2001
"He [Martin Sheen] was so generous with his time. He didn't finish shooting until 6 a.m. He slept all day and had dinner with these kids before he headed off to start shooting again." - Carol Fennelly [Hope House director]
West Wing fans, take note: Either these scenes, filmed in Middleburg, Va., take place at night, or the production team is going to great lengths to avoid noise and crowds.
"NAMES & FACES:Dinner With the 'President'"
Compiled by Barbara E. Martinez from staff and wire reports
August 30, 2001
"Yes, episodes have tended to end more somberly this year than perhaps everyone had come to expect. But I think we've done some of our best work," he [Aaron Sorkin] added, citing the two-part season premiere, "Manchester, Parts I and II," and "The Women of Qumar," in which C.J. adamantly opposes selling arms to a Persian Gulf country where women have no rights.
""West Wing" returns to nothin' but blue skies"
by Gail Pennington
January 29, 2002
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
In 2001, a Bartlett descendant joined New Hampshire Magazine in a campaign to persuade the show's producers to film certain scenes in New Hampshire. Producers said that would be too expensive.
Instead, the crew went to rural Virginia to film the Bartlet family farm.
"I was very sad," said Ruth Albert, 55, Bartlett's great-great-great-great-granddaughter. "It would have been so fun to have them come to the real house. It would have brought a little more authenticity to the show."
" As 'West Wing' folds, NH will miss its fictional native son"
by Scott Brooks
January 24, 2006
Manchester Union Leader