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Shutdown

Original Airdate 11-19-03


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Descriptions  |  Credits  |  Information Links  |  Media Quotes

Descriptions

From TVGuide.com:
There clearly has been life after Aaron Sorkin for the series, both commercially (ratings have been up) and creatively, as executive producer John Wells has quickened the storytelling pace. And if the dialogue doesn't quite have that the snappy Sorkin sound, it's still literate and entertaining. A case in point is this crackling episode in which a budget impasse with Haffley (Steven Culp) leads to a government shutdown. "If we don't end it now, it'll be a referendum on the Bartlet presidency," Toby warns. That seems to be just what Bartlet (Martin Sheen) wants, even though it's a referendum he's losing.
From NBC:
A disastrous fiscal crisis looms when the Federal government is shut down after the President (Martin Sheen) engages in a war of wills between the powerful G.O.P. House Speaker (Steven Culp) over an extra two percent in budget reductions that would trim many of Bartlet's key social programs -- and the Democrats are blamed because of opinion polls. As Leo (John Spencer), Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Toby (Richard Schiff) send everyone home, they remain uneasy as the President refuses to compromise -- until he arrives on a bold plan to personally and publicly challenge the Republicans in the halls of the Capitol. Meanwhile, Abbey (Stockard Channing) suddenly reappears from her self-imposed exile for a State dinner that she might have to cook herself.
From Warner Bros.:
A disastrous fiscal crisis looms when the federal government is shut down after the President and the powerful Republican Speaker of the House disagree over an extra two percent in budget reductions that would trim many of Bartlet's key social programs. Opinion polls reveal that the public blames the Democrats for the impasse. As Leo, Josh and Toby send the staff home, the trio remains uneasy as the President refuses to compromise--until he hatches a bold plan to personally and publicly challenge the Republicans in the halls of the Capitol. Meanwhile, Abbey suddenly reappears from her self-imposed exile for a State dinner that she might have to cook herself.
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Credits

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 Vice President's Chief of Staff
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
and
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
     
Special Guest Star
Gary Cole as
Robert "Bingo Bob" Russell Vice President
Guest Starring    
Michael Hyatt as Angela Blake from New York
Steven Culp as Jeff Haffley Speaker of the House
Melissa Marsala as Marina "Rena"
H. Richard Greene as Robert Royce Sen. R-Penn
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
     
Co-Starring    
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
Devika Parikh as Bonnie Communications' Aide
Kris Murphy as Katie Witt (last name) / Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Steven Pierce as OMB Director  
Paul Mendoza as Congressman Ramirez Republican Leadership
Sarah Benoit as Senator Lindsay Republican Leadership
Tony Pasqualini as Congressman Jaffe Republican Leadership
Ben Siegler as George Reporter
Brandon Barash as Bret Reporter
Joyce Guy as Charlayne Reporter
Linda Bisesti as Dem. Pundit on TV
Andrew A. Rofles as Rep. Pundit on TV
Billy Mayo as Secret Service Agent  
Michael Mack as Secret Service Agent Randy  
Jane Beard as Tourist  
Michael P. Bryne as Husband Fuel Subsidy
Joanne McGee as Wife Fuel Subsidy
Katya Abelsky as Girl visiting Grandma
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Information Links

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Media Quotes

"What you will see is the new speaker, the majority leadership (Republican) and their views much more represented on the show," Wells told reporters in a conference call last week. "Our characters aren't changing, but the world in which they live forces them to hear the other points of view."

"Big changes in store for 'West Wing'; 'Frasier' to finish up quietly"
by Mike McDaniel
September 23, 2003
Houston Chronicle

"How does he get back to leading the country the way he originally envisioned?" said Wells. "It is what the whole fall is all about."

"'West Wing' looks for another successful term "
by Alan Pergament
September 24, 2003
Buffalo News

The cast of the White House drama "The West Wing" had hauled in flags and busts for verisimilitude, set-dressing the third floor into a stand-in for someplace in the nation's capital.

Some City Hall aides were heard to mutter that as long as it was around, perhaps the Bartlet administration could do something to resolve the transit walkout, the grocery strike and the budget hole.

To which suggestion Bradley Whitford, who plays Josh Lyman on the show, laughed: "Actors have no business in government."

"Davis Gets Sympathy From an Unexpected Corner"
by Patt Morrison
October 27, 2003
Los Angeles Times

He doesn't know if or when he'll be back on "West Wing," which shoots on the same backlot (and shares producer John Wells ) with "ER." But his newest job often reminds him of that one.

"When I was on the 'ER' set, (producer) Jonathan Kaplan kept calling me 'Mr. Speaker.'" - Steven Culp

"Prime timer"
by Alan Sepinwall
February 25, 2004
Newark Star-Ledger

He said he's pleased how true to life the show can be; in Shutdown (his own episode), Bartlet's passionate tirade to Haffley near the end was very similar to Bill Clinton's passionate tirade to Dick Armey during the '95 shutdown season. Gene Sperling, said Goffman, described how he was in the room with Clinton at the time and said that at the end of Clinton's explosion, everybody in the room was "against the wall with their hair on end"; Sperling said that he was very proud of Clinton at that moment

Posted at televisionwithoutpity.com Forum
by EustBev
April 24, 2004
Notes from seminar at Harvard with Mark Goffman

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