HBO Max has released the official trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s highly-anticipated The West Wing special, providing us a preview of the iconic cast’s return as they put together a theatrical stage presentation of the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from the show’s third season. The reunion special is set to make its premiere on Thursday, October 15, two weeks before the U.S. presidential election on November 3. Check out the video in the player below which also features our first look at Sterling K. Brown as he takes on the role of Leo, previously portrayed by the late John Spencer!
First aired on February 27, 2002, the official synopsis of episode 3.15 titled “Hartsfield’s Landing” reads:
Bartlet (Martin Sheen) engages both Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) in intricate chess matches that mirror the wily game of brinksmanship that Bartlet is playing with the Chinese, who are conducting war games in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese threaten real war if Taiwan begins test firing its new U.S.-made Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is nervous about the 42 votes in a remote New Hampshire town’s election, which are counted immediately and always predict the winner of that state’s primary. Mischievous C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to upset Charlie (Dulé Hill) by hiding his copy of the President’s top-secret daily schedule — prompting a spate of playful tricks.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will shoot over multiple days at the iconic Orpheum Theatre in Downtown Los Angeles in early October. The West Wing stars Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen will reprise their roles from the episode. In addition to the participation of the original series cast members, it will also include act breaks with guest appearances from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and more.
The unique stage production connects Sorkin with his roots in the theatre as the playwright of acclaimed productions A Few Good Men, The Farnsworth Invention and To Kill a Mockingbird. Sorkin will write original exclusive material for A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, and Schlamme will serve as director of the production.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote is produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and Casey Patterson are the executive producers. Rob Paine is co-executive producer. The production will strictly follow COVID Safe Way Forward Protocols.
The creative team and cast organized this historic production in order to raise awareness for and support the vital mission of When We All Vote, a non-profit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama which was founded to increase participation in every election in America. In honor of the special, WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We All Vote.
Spanning seven seasons, The West Wing provided a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of an eclectic group of frenzied staffers in the Oval Office and the West Wing of the White House. Emmy winner Aaron Sorkin created the series and served as an executive producer with Emmy winners Thomas Schlamme and John Wells (ER, Shameless). One of the most critically acclaimed and lauded shows in television history, The West Wing won 27 Primetime Emmy Awards (including one for The West Wing: Documentary Special), two Peabody Awards, two Humanitas Prizes, two Golden Globe Awards, seven Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Writers Guild of America Awards, two Directors Guild of America Awards, and five Television Critics Association Awards, among many others.
The West Wing starred Emmy nominee Rob Lowe (Parks and Recreation, 9-1-1: Lone Star), Emmy winner/Oscar nominee Stockard Channing (The Good Wife, Six Degrees of Separation), Emmy nominee Dulé Hill (Psych), Emmy and Oscar winner Allison Janney (Mom; I, Tonya), Emmy nominee Janel Moloney (The Leftovers), Emmy winner Richard Schiff (The Good Doctor, Clemency), the late Emmy winner John Spencer (L.A. Law), Emmy winner Bradley Whitford (The Handmaid’s Tale, Get Out) and Emmy winner Martin Sheen (Grace and Frankie, The Departed), and was produced by John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television.