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The Long Goodbye

Original Airdate 01-15-03

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C.J. (Allison Janney) goes home to Dayton---and finds herself in the middle of an achingly sad family crisis---in this poignant change-of-pace episode.
She's making the trip to speak at her 20th high-school reunion, but when she arrives at her father's house she discovers that his new wife (her old English teacher) has left him. That's troublesome enough, but the fact that her father (Donald Moffat) has Alzheimer's makes it almost unbearably heartbreaking. C.J. does find a soulmate at Dayton's airport, though: a classmate named Marco (Matthew Modine), who was a punk rocker in high school and now repairs watches.
From NBC:
In a special episode guest written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, C.J. (Allison Janney) reluctantly returns to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion but her return home includes an impromptu encounter with a rich and handsome classmate (Matthew Modine) -- and a sobering understanding that her intellectual father is suddenly deteriorating from Alzheimer's Disease. While C.J. is confronted with a kaleidoscope of emotions, she can't help but check in on Toby (Richard Schiff) who struggles to fill in for her during news briefings.
From Warner Bros.:
C.J. reluctantly returns home to Dayton, Ohio, to speak at her 20th high school class reunion. Her visit includes an encounter with a rich and handsome classmate, Marco Arlens (Matthew Modine), and the sobering realization that her father, Talmidge (Donald Moffat), is rapidly deteriorating from Alzheimer's disease. While C.J. confronts her myriad emotions, she can't resist keeping in contact with Toby, who struggles to temporarily replace her during news briefings. The episode was written by playwright Jon Robin Baitz


Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Press Secretary
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
Special Guest Stars    
Donald Moffat as Talmidge "Tal" Cregg C.J.'s Father
Matthew Modine as Marco Arlens C.J.'s Classmate
Guest Starring    
Verna Bloom as Molly Lapham Cregg Tal's 3rd wife
Betsy Aidem as Libby Molly's daughter
Terry Beaver as Dr. Lee Voight Tal's friend / Neurologist
Elijah Roberts as Harry Libby's son
Randolph Brooks as Arthur Leeds (last name) / Reporter
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Mindy Seeger as Chris Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Nomination by
Allison Janney

Media Quotes

Another first is that Sorkin has asked friend and playwright Jon Robin Baitz to be a guest writer for a mid-season episode. Essentially, Sorkin says, Baitz will "take one of our characters, and put them in a play. He's taking C.J. and sending her back to a reunion."

"'West Wing' wizard"
by Heather Salerno
October 6, 2002
Journal News

Ten copies of the Dayton Daily News that left town last week will return to the Miami Valley early next year as props on an episode of the hit NBC drama series The West Wing.

The episode, filmed in Chicago, is to air in January. The newspapers will be part of a story that has White House Press Secretary C.J. Cregg, played by former Oakwood resident Allison Janney, returning to Dayton to speak at her 20th high school class reunion, when she learns her father has Alzheimer's disease.


Copies of the newspaper will be strewn about the set during a scene at C.J.'s father's home. The production crew will build a Dayton Daily News newspaper box, which will appear in a scene where C.J. is a passenger in a car driven by her father.

"They talked about filming the episode in Dayton, but discovered it would be cheaper to do it in Chicago," said Lora Ducat, NBC's director of TV production clearance.

"'West Wing' episode to feature Dayton"
by Bob Batz
November 13, 2002
Dayton Daily News

You'd think the REAL president was present! Oak Park-ers have been intrigued by the hush-hush filming--complete with super-tight security--surrounding a North East Avenue house in the western suburb the past few days. A crew from the NBC hit "The West Wing" is here, working on a story line about Alzheimer's disease. Emmy winner Allison Janney, who plays the presidential press secretary on the acclaimed series, is among cast members here for the taping. A number of Chicago film sites also will be used.

"Fonda to Enquirer: That wasn't me! "
by Bill Zwecker
November 14, 2002
Chicago Sun-Times

Millions of people will soon think Horwath's Restaurant is in Dayton, Ohio.

The restaurant at 1850 N. Harlem Ave. in Elmwood Park was used to tape scenes Thursday for an episode of "The West Wing" television show. The scenes are supposedly taking place in Dayton.


"They're filming a scene for C.J.'s character," said Horwath's co-owner George Roumeliotis. "It's her high school reunion."

The restaurant was chosen by Patrick Muldoon, assistant location manager, who has been a customer at Horwath's.

"He thought of us right away," Roumeliotis said.

Muldoon, a River Forest native, also checked the restaurant's Web site at He took photos of the restaurant and the director and producer of the show agreed it would be a good location.

Roumeliotis said the casting director asked for a list of names of people who could play extras in the scenes. He sent a list of servers, bartenders, employees and customers who were later called and asked to bring two outfits for the fictional cocktail party.

"It's fun for our good friends," Roumeliotis said. "We're excited about it."

The restaurant closed Thursday for the filming, but Roumeliotis was not upset about a day without business.

"It's nice exposure for us," he said.

In the episode, C.J.'s character also visits her father, who is in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease.

The scenes with her father, played by actor Donald Moffat, were shot in a home in Oak Park.

"Show to feature local restaurant"
by Karen Long and Cheri Bentrup
November 27, 2002
Chicago Pioneer Press

Eleven-year-old Nikki Cull is getting used to strangers approaching her and talking to her as if they know her.


Cull's latest assignment involved riding a bicycle as part of a scene in the TV series "West Wing." The scene was shot in November in the Oak Brook area.

The episode is expected to air at the end of January, and it will be hard to miss Cull. She is wearing a brightly colored coat in the episode.

"She will be easy to see," said her mother, Nancy.

"N. Aurora youngster in the spotlight"
by Eric Schelkopf
December 27, 2002
Kane County Chronicle

In November, a large film crew spent a day shooting scenes for the episode on Rosebrook Circle, at the home of Dawn and Dennis Pavlopoulos and their 8-year-old son, Christian. In all, producers spent four days in Westchester, including two days to set up the home, one long day to film and one day to clean up.


Dawn and Dennis Pavlopoulos said they met Modine and that he, along with Janney, filmed scenes in their home.


In addition to the scenes in Westchester, "The West Wing" filmed several other scenes around Chicago and the western suburbs in November. Scenes were shot in Oak Park and Chicago's Taylor Street area, as well as Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook and the Wyndham Drake Hotel in Oak Brook.

"Westchester set for debut in 'West Wing'"
by Ben Steverman
January 11, 2002
Chicago Suburan Newspapers

West Lafayette's Cassandra Schomer will appear on Wednesday's episode of the hit television drama The West Wing.

Schomer plays an old classmate of White House press secretary C.J. Cregg at their 20th high school reunion. Cregg, played by Allison Janney, is giving a speech to a crowd in a banquet hall that includes Schomer and about 50 other extras.

While she has no lines, Schomer has a close-up in a panning shot and is in the background of a few other shots. The scene was supposed to take place in Dayton, Ohio, but was shot in Chicago on Nov. 21. Schomer was on the set from 12:30 p.m. to 4 a.m.


During the scene, Schomer is seated at a small table with a few other "classmates" and sips coffee. She's wearing a black and purple spaghetti-strapped cocktail dress and black chiffon wrap.

The scene also features veteran actor Matthew Modine. Schomer said she was given little information about the overall plot of the episode, but she thinks Modine plays an old friend of Cregg's and may become a love interest.

About 120 extras were cast in all, but fewer than half were used. Schomer said things were exciting on the set, and she said she felt sorry for the other extras who had to hang out at a restaurant all day, but were not on camera.

She had to stay longer than some extras because her red Buick Regal was in some exterior shots.

Extras are not allowed to talk to the stars in between takes, but Schomer said Janney came to her table still in character and acted as if they went to high school together and hadn't seen her in years.

"I didn't think fast enough for a funny reply. She seemed really nice," Schomer said.

"Local actress to be seen on 'West Wing'"
by Tim Brouk
January 18, 2002
Journal and Courier

"I love the personal-relationship side of C.J.," she [Allison Janney] says with a chuckle. "I think I've got the press briefings down pretty much, and I'd love to get into some complicated relationship scenarios."

"Allison Janney is the softer side of C.J. Cregg"
by Jay Boyar
July 29, 2003
Orlando Sentinel

For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
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