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Election Day
(Part 1)

Original Airdate 04-02-06

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Election Day finally arrives, and between analyzing exit polls, and mulling over news reports, a few Santos staff members discover the joys of campaign romance. Meanwhile, C.J. ponders life after the White House; and Annabeth makes a tragic discovery.
From NBC:
The night before Election Day makes for interesting bedfellows. Josh (Brad Whitford) stresses over returns. Meanwhile, CJ (Allison Janney) is faced with her future job offers. Annabeth (Kristin Chenoweth) makes a startling discovery.


Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Schott Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Deputy Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Chief of Staff
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Communications Director
Mary McCormack as Kate (Katherine) Harper Deputy National Security Advisor
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Santos Campaign Manager
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Democratic Candidate for President
Special Guest Stars    
Janeane Garofalo as Louise "Lou" Thornton Santos / McGarry Director of Communications
Teri Polo as Helen Santos Matt Santos' Wife
Ron Silver as Bruno Gianelli Vinick / Sullivan Campaign Strategist
Guest Starring    
Stephen Root as Bob Mayer Vinick Speechwriter
Cress Williams as Lester Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Melinda McGraw as Jane Bruan Vinick Campaign Manager
Matthew Del Negro as Bram (Howard) Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Karis Campbell as Ronna (Beckman) Santos' Aide
Ramón De Ocampo as Otto Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Diana-Maria Riva as Edie (Edith) Ortega Deputy Campaign Manager for Strategic Planning
David Ramsey as Teddy Wallace Santos / McGarry Campaign Staffer
Special Musical
Appearance By
Foo Fighters  
Jonathan Runyon as Drew  
Annie Morgan as Annie Vinick Staffer
Rebecca Marshall as Carrie Marino  
Ivan Allen as Anchor #1 Roger Salier
Paul Moyer as Anchor #2  
Paul Keeley as Agent Ellis Taylor

Information Links



Emmy Awards

Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series Nomination for
Mimi Leder

Media Quotes

Fellow executive producer Thomas Schlamme keeps reminding him that a Josh-and-Donna relationship should be saved - for the "fifth season," Sorkin joked.

"As the world turns"
July 17, 2000
Philadelphia Daily News

But no less impressive is Bradley Whitford, who plays Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman. His chemistry and memorable banter with Janel Moloney, who plays assistant Donna Moss, helped elevate her to a series regular.

"I think what Aaron has written that you don't see often is two people who are, just in their reptilian brain stems, mad for each other, but they have no idea," Whitford says. "It's an interesting dynamic in a relationship that you don't see very often."

July 22, 2000
Orlando Sentinel

Said West Wing co-star John Spencer: "If I were NBC, I would hold another election, bring in a whole new cast and go another eight years."

"Brad & Jen; 'Sex' talk; Adriana of 'Sopranos' is really dead"
by Bill Keveney and William Keck
September 20, 2004
USA Today

"The thing that has prevented us from proceeding on the Josh and Donna romance is the Moonlighting syndrome (a reference to a poor outcome involving Cybil Shepherd and Bruce Willis on that ABC series). I'm not really sure how interesting that relationship is once the actors end up in it. Also, it would have been a very bad idea for Josh, as Donna's supervisor, to allow a relationship to develop. It's strictly prohibited within the White House and in most workplaces."

"New flight for 'West Wing'"
by Mike McDaniel
October 14, 2004
Houston Chronicle

Asked how the producers of that NBC drama might ultimately choose among the two apparent front-runners - a cranky Republican senator played by Alan Alda and an earnest Democratic representative played by Jimmy Smits - Mr. Sheen leaned on the cane his character uses to combat the effects of multiple sclerosis and proposed ripping a page from the playbook of "American Idol."

"You could do it the way you would on, what do you call it, one of these reality shows," said Mr. Sheen, still wearing the three-piece navy suit his character, President Jed Bartlet, had worn for a scene set at a party. "You could put Mr. Alda, Alan, and Jimmy Smits before the audience and say, 'Who would you like?' It would be interesting, wouldn't it?"

While the show's writers have ruled out a national referendum to elect their next president - the ultimate vote will be cast by John Wells, the show's executive producer, who has yet to throw his support to a candidate

"On TV as in Life, Presidents Don't Last"
by Jacques Steinberg
January 24, 2005
New York Times

Should The West Wing's next president be the people's choice? It's a split vote.

Several cast members support an interactive voting system that would allow viewers to choose the successor to Democrat Jeb [Jed] Bartlet when his second term ends in May. (Eight years, six seasons - White House math.)

Martin Sheen (Bartlet) votes nay. So does executive producer John Wells. But Alan Alda (GOP Sen. Arnold Vinick) and Jimmy Smits (Democrat Rep. Matt Santos), the two leading contenders, say yes. Ditto for Allison Janney, Bartlet's chief of staff, C.J. Cregg.

"Why leave it up to a couple of Hollywood writers?" Alda said in an interview during the TV critics' winter meetings Friday. "They shouldn't run the country. We should rely on the values of the American people."

Wells, a Hollywood writer, will create his own storylines, thank you. Besides, Wing's production schedule couldn't accommodate an interactive feature, he says.


"I think it would be a kick just to see how the rest of the country would vote," she says. "I'm curious to see what the people out there are thinking."

With or without official sanctioning, there will be voting among Internet bloggers, Alda says. "It will happen spontaneously, by itself. I'm a geek, so I know you can put software that allows for voting on any Web site.

"It will be interesting to see how the [Wing] writers respond."


To Smits, a viewers' vote is cool "if it's better for the show. I'm easy. I guess it's possible for them to shoot two or three different endings."


Alda: "My guy would be better for this great country of ours."

Smits: "My guy's ideals come from a very pure place in this jaded political landscape. There's still room for finding this purity."

"'West Wing' cast differs on a viewer vote for president"
by Gail Shister
January 24, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer

To a degree, the actors playing the candidates are truly "running" for the office. "What we're looking for always is the alchemy between the actors," Wells said. "It's referred to in writers' rooms as 'writer Darwinism,' where you're interested in the people who give you something interesting and who can play all the different kinds of things and who interact in a way that's fascinating. It's usually [that] you always guess wrong as a writer. You almost always think you know where it's going to go, and it never, ever goes where you think it's going to go."

If that means installing a Republican administration in a show that many consider fundamentally Democratic, so be it, Wells insisted. "Over the last few years, it has not been so much about Republican or Democrat as it has been about who you actually want to vote for," he said. "To put it into simple terms: the person that you're going to feel more comfortable with if you had him over for dinner in your own home."

Wells also said he and the writers "want to keep in the audience's mind this question of not only who you think would make the best president, but who are the people around that person who would make for the best administration. We're also trying to get kind of behind it and see all the questions that you have to answer for yourself as a candidate. Who are you going to be? What are you willing to sacrifice? What of your integrity? What do you have to do to be politically expedient? The political professionals telling you, 'It doesn't really matter what you say. You're just trying to get the votes and make a difference when you get elected,' is the recurring theme."

""West Wing" gets a makeover"
by Noel Houston
February 6, 2005

"We're hoping that by the time we get into the fall, that there will be a real question in the viewer's mind as to who would make the better president. They both have strengths and weaknesses," says John Wells, executive producer of "The West Wing," while talking with TV critics about the future of the political drama.

"Red or blue?"
by Rick Bentley
April 4, 2005
Fresno Bee

Next week, Beth Troutman can add another entry to her resume, which so far includes:

Child advertising genius.

The Carolinas Carrousel Queen.

Assistant to Alex Graves, executive producer of "The West Wing."

Challenger -- and not all that far from winner -- for the congressional seat held by Rep. Robin Hayes, R-N.C.

Come Monday, the Concord native can put down full-time co-host on the WCCB (Channel 18) morning show "Fox News Rising" with Robin King.


Troutman says she knows who is going to be the next president on "West Wing." "But I can't say."

C'mon, Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda?

"Can't say."

So, you'd vote for?

"I love Smits' character."

"Troutman headed to TV"
by Mark Washburn
April 9, 2005
Charlotte Observer

It's the opposite of her "West Wing" role as Donna Moss, Josh Lyman's former aide. "Josh and Donna would never rush into anything," she says.

"TV movie tells Amber Frey's story"
by Mike Hughes
May 18, 2005
Ganett News Service

"I think Alan, who initially said, "oh, I'm only going to do X number of episodes,' said "well, I could more if you want me to,' " said Reilly.

It is unclear if Alda's character or Jimmy Smits' character will become president and when the election will be held.

"All of a sudden, I think collectively (the writers) are going, "well, you know we thought the election was going to go this way. Maybe if we just sort of let the election seek its course,' " said Reilly.

"Pressure is her partner"
by Alan Pergament
July 29, 2005
Buffalo News

Question: So, now that The West Wing is coming to an end, is there any hope for us Josh and Donna fans, or will John Wells exile them to the planet of Unresolved Sexual Tension? — Katherine

Ausiello: How much do I love you guys? So much that this was the first question I asked John Wells when I tackled him Sunday following NBC's West Wing session at press tour. I think you'll like his answer: "One of the great things when you know the show is ending [is that] you can actually do stuff that you probably wouldn't do if you thought the show was continuing."

"Ask Ausiello"
by Michael Ausiello
January 25, 2006
TV Guide Online

Although the producers of "The West Wing" had requested a Santa Paula City Seal to decorate the booth used by Vinick, played by award-winning actor Alan Alda, it wasn't used in the episode according to City Manager Wally Bobkiewicz. "But," Bobkiewicz noted, "they mentioned his hometown of Santa Paula several times" in the episode written by Lauren Schmidt, who has been the city's main "West Wing" contact since the City Council launched the aggressive Vinick favorite son effort in January 2005.

"'West Wing' screening: References to SP grow as election finale nears"
by Peggy Kelly
February 7, 2006
Santa Paula Times

Everything is different. A lot of things can happen in a series that's ending that can't happen when it's ongoing." That means a lot of artistic freedom, and "a lot of chances. It forces characters to look at each other in ways they haven't before once you're bringing things to conclusions." - Lawrence O'Donnell Jr.

"No Good-Bye Blues for West Wing - Yet"
by Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith
February 10, 2006
Creators Syndicate

Whitford, who plays White House aide-turned-campaign-manager Josh Lyman, let on that in taping an upcoming episode, "I did spend the day naked in bed with a woman." This got all the long-denied Josh-and-Donna proponents revved up -- though when asked specifically about Janel Moloney 's character, Whitford declared that "if we consummate, that's the most boring thing on TV."

"The White House Goes Orange"
by Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
February 15, 2006
Washington Post

With West Wing winding down, the big question is whether Josh and his assistant, Donna Moss (Janel Moloney), will finally consummate their seven-year flirtation.

"I'm ready," he says. "All that foreplay - there's a word for that if you're a man. I imagine it would be horribly inconclusive if they didn't hook up."

Adds Moloney: "The fans won't be disappointed."

"Scott Palmer finally makes the Phillies, at age 56"
by Gail Shister
February 21, 2006
Philadelphia Inquirer

Krause said she is not going to speculate whether or not Senator Vinick might already be packing for a trip home to Santa Paula but "I'm sure they'll mention Santa Paula again as they get into the election…I'm pretty confident."

And if Senator Vinick did visit his hometown campaign headquarters at the historic Depot – still festooned with patriotic bunting and where campaign pins and T-shirts are still available for sale – Krause said she would be cheering, albeit with realistic caveats.

"If he did come to Santa Paula I would be cheering him and loving him. I think Alan Alda is a wonderful actor and as a presidential candidate his good character traits won out last night…it showed again his Santa Paula upbringing."

"Is Senator Vinick closer to coming home after SP 'West Wing' reference?"
by Peggy Kelly
March 22, 2006
Santa Paula Times

Whitford said, "What surprised me was the vehemence and frustration people expressed in line at Starbucks, as if I had control of what my character did." During the shooting of one of the last episodes, the actor's 91-year-old mother asked him how his day had gone. "Great," Whitford told her. "I spent the day naked, in bed with Janel."

"Well, thank God you finally slept with her," his mother replied.

"'West Wing's' Scarlett and Rhett finally do the deed"
by Mimi Avins
May 10, 2006
Los Angeles Times

John Spencer's death last December had to be tough, both on and off the set.

It was devastating. Brad [Whitford] called to tell me, and we were all in shock. John certainly had his health problems and we figured, at the least, he'd be in the hospital awhile. But it was so unexpected, you don't know where to put it in your mind. He is irreplaceable and was such an essential part of the group for seven years [playing Leo McGarry, chief of staff and vice presidential candidate]. Doing the shows about Leo's death, that was reliving the grief over and over. - Allison Janney

"Allison Janney, the Anti-C.J."
by Kathy Blumenstock
May 14, 2006
Washington Post

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