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Red Haven's on Fire

Original Airdate 02-26-03 Rerun 12-31-03

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The hostage crisis in Africa has cut short the president's California trip, though Toby remains in Orange County to manage Sam's faltering congressional campaign. Meanwhile, Josh stiffs the First Lady on a budget request involving immunization education, so she takes his advice and hires a "professional" chief of staff. And Will Bailey, under the gun to produce speeches fast on the White House tax proposal, is terrorizing the interns assigned to him.
From NBC:
The President (Martin Sheen) waits tensely for the results of a military strike to rescue three captive American soldiers in Africa while Toby (Richard Schiff) tries to help Sam's (Rob Lowe) California congressional campaign and Josh (Bradley Whitford) butts heads with the First Lady (Stockard Channing).
From Warner Bros.:
Bartlet waits tensely for the results of a military strike intended to rescue three captive American soldiers in Africa. Meanwhile, Toby tries to help Sam's California congressional campaign, and Josh clashes with Abbey.


Rob Lowe as Sam (Samuel Norman) Seaborn Democratic Candidate in
California 47th
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
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Deputy Communications Director
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    
Mary-Louise Parker as Amy (Amelia) Gardner Political Operative
John Amos as
Admiral Percy "Fitz" Fitzwallace Chairman of the Joint Chiefs
Lily Tomlin as
Debbie (Deborah) Fiderer President's Secretary
Guest Starring    
Carrie Snodgress as Mrs. Martha Rowe Mother of Lance Corporal
Raymond Rowe
Danica McKellar as Elsie Snuffin Will Bailey's Stepsister
Renée Estevez as Nancy Aide
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Thomas Kopache as Bob "Bobby" Slatterly Assisant Secretary of State
Claire Coffee as Cassie Tatum Intern #24
Lee Garlington as Alana Waterman Op-Ed Writer
Elisabeth Rosen as Diane Halley Wife of Lance Corporal
John Halley
Daniel Zacapa as Esteban "Steve" Hernandez Father of
PFC Herman Hernandez
Michael Leydon Campbell as Max Abbey's Nephew
Catherine Kwong as Lauren Chin Intern #48
Lara Phillips as Lauren Romano Intern #60
Kimberlee Peterson as Lauren Shelby Intern #21
Mary Gallagher as Maddy Tatum (last name)
Madeline Lovejoy as Betty 3-year-old / Halley (last name)
Rocky McMurray as Taylor Officer
Gil Christner as OMB Aide #1  
Karl T. Wright as OMB Aide #2  
Ivan Allen as Reporter Roger Salier
Stephanie Venditto as Reporter Jenn / previously June Wheeler
Amy Parks as Bartender Tammy
Giselle Fernandez as Anchor  
Christopher Schauble as Newscaster  
Joy Stevens as Woman Call Girl with cell phone

Information Links


Media Quotes

"He [Rob Lowe] will exit probably at the end of February," NBC Entertainment President Jeff Zucker said Wednesday. "He will probably be in 16 of the 22 episodes.'"

"Rob Lowe will wing it -- quits Sam Seaborn role"
by Hal Boedeker
July 25, 2002
Orlando Sentinel

But Lowe's still committed to appear in 11 episodes this season.

"The lowdown on Rob Lowe leaving 'West Wing'"
by Susan Young
July 26, 2002
Oakland Tribune

Sorkin is writing episodes for the upcoming season with Lowe's departure in mind, but would be willing to take the actor back.

"There is a plan in place and I'm sticking to it," Sorkin said. "Sam Seaborn isn't going to die. The door is always going to be open."

"Say it ain't so, Lowe"
by Stephen Battaglio
September 6, 2002
New York Daily

... he'll [Bartlet] have to get by minus one speechwriter as Rob Lowe makes his widely publicized departure. "We're going to make it as graceful as possible," exec producer Thomas Schlamme says. "Hopefully it won't be treated like Cal Ripken's farewell."

"Fall Preview"
by Unknown
September 9, 2002
Entertainment Weekly

Like its millions of fans, Wells is waiting to hear if Rob Lowe will indeed exit the series or make a last-minute decision to return.

"I've told Rob the door is open for him. It can swing whichever way he wants it to. He has two more years in his contract, but we won't hold him to it," says Wells, whose dark family drama White Oleander premiered at the Toronto Film Festival.

"Rob makes more in a week than most people make in a year, but it isn't even 25 percent of what Martin Sheen makes.

"When we conceived the series, the president was meant to be a minor character. When he became the focus of the show and Martin was doing 22 episodes, we had to renegotiate his contract and that meant giving him the big bucks so he'd stay."

"On a wing and a prayer"
by Louis B. Hobson
September 11, 2002
Calgary Sun

The actor's [Rob Lowe's] final appearance on NBC's White House drama ... will now air during the Feb. 26 episode, a show rep confirms.

"Rob Lowe, Jacko and More!"
by Michael Ausiello
February 4, 2003
TV Guide Online

"With so much stuff going on in my life right now, it makes more sense for me to talk about the future," Mr. Lowe said. "But if you're a West Wing fan, you know they weren't writing for Sam Seaborn anymore. What they had me doing in Seasons 3 and 4 didn't compare with what I did in Season 1 or 2. There were other things involved, but the bottom line is if I were creatively happy, I'd still be there."

Mr. Lowe said he expected a bigger sendoff in his fourth and final West Wing season. Instead, his character all but vanished before returning for two concluding episodes last month.

"It got a little confusing -- and quite simply a little confusing to me -- when the producers decided not to use me for the 16 episodes they did have me. But it was one of the greatest paid vacations I've ever had. I traveled the world and had a great time."

"Lowe's moving beyond politics with no regrets"
by Ed Bark
March 14, 2003
Dallas Morning News

There's one other disappointment. "I would have liked to have seen Sam leave with a flourish," says Lowe about Seaborn's muted exit.

"Lowe on a high"
by Bill Brioux
July 25, 2003
Toronto Sun

John Spencer, who plays Leo McGarry, said it was pointed out to him that even the exits of Sorkin, co-executive producer Thomas Schlamme, a genius director, and actor Rob Lowe, reflects reality. "I had a member of the real West Wing say to me, 'In the real West Wing, we lose people every four or five months.' It kind of put things into perspective for me."

"West Wingers still proud of what they do"
by Tom Jicha
January 28, 2004
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Alan started by telling Sorkin that he had attended the first book signing and at that event he had asked Sorkin when Josh Malina was going to appear on TWW since he had appeared in everything else Sorkin had written. Alan then reminded Sorkin that two days later the announcement was made that Lowe was leaving the show and shortly thereafter, that Malina would be joining the show. Alan told Sorkin that because of the timing of everything, he now gets credit from his friends for planting the idea that Malina should be on the show. Sorkin said that that whole thing had been brewing for a while and that the decision to hire Malina had been made by that time. However, Sorkin was willing to give Alan credit for being the guy who got Rob Lowe off the show.

Posted at Forum
by mjforty
January 29, 2004
Notes from a second L.A. book signing with Aaron Sorkin

But he left after four years because of creative differences. What went wrong? Lowe crosses his muscled arms diplomatically. 'I don't look at it so much as what went wrong as how did it go so right for so long? I think one of the useful things in life is to know when to leave the party. And it was hard work. We worked from 12 July to 8 May with a week off for Christmas, on a minimum 13 hours a day - a minimum.'

"A new Lowe from Rob"
by Marianne Macdonald
August 12, 2005
Evening Standard Your West Wing arc was the same one that ushered Rob Lowe off the show. Was he at all melancholy on the set?

[Danica] McKellar: No, I didn't notice that. I think he was really excited about the future. The Lyon's Den didn't do very well, but.... He's in London right now doing A Few Good Men on stage. One day I would love to play the Demi Moore role.

"Danica McKellar's Win-Winnie Situation"
by Matt Webb Mitovich
September 23, 2005
TV Guide Online

"I was in the gym working out and it was on CNN. I am on the treadmill and everyone on the 10 treadmills beside me said, 'Why?' [did Rob Lowe leave West Wing]

"My stock answer is that there's an art to knowing when to leave the party. "Every great long-running show has great years.

"If there's an ER with GEORGE CLOONEY in it, it's going to be great. The West Wing experience was like being in THE BEATLES. It's still one of the best shows, but when (writer/creator) AARON SORKIN left, it wasn't going to be the same. And the truth is, I missed Aaron's dialogue." [Aaron Sorkin left at the same time not before Rob Lowe]

October 6, 2005

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