'There’s no subtext, there’s no nuance [to Trump],' the series creator said

By Nick Romano
January 04, 2018 at 02:24 PM EST

The West Wing revival Aaron Sorkin floated around still seems to be just a hypothetical instead of an actual reality. But if the series creator did bring it back, the show definitely wouldn’t be based on the Trump administration.

When co-anchor Juju Chang of ABC News’ Nightline asked Sorkin what a Trump-pegged West Wing might look like, the Emmy and Oscar winner said, “It would look like dead air. I wouldn’t do it because I don’t find him to be a terribly interesting character. He is exactly what he looks like.”

Sorkin had told The Hollywood Reporter that if the show came back, he’d want the story to focus on “Sterling K. Brown as the president, and there’s some kind of jam, an emergency, a very delicate situation involving the threat of war or something, and [President] Bartlett, long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon.” Martin Sheen played the fictional President Josiah Bartlet, a two-term U.S. leader, on the original show that ran from 1999 to 2006.

With Trump, “There’s no subtext, there’s no nuance,” he told Chang. “He only talks about two things: himself and his enemies, and that’s it. It’s a character that, you wouldn’t believe the character in a drama. He doesn’t have any of the qualities that you need to tell a story. There’s just no blood there.”

The West Wing got a second wind with a new generation of viewers on Netflix, just as many older shows have done through streaming platforms. Revivals are far more commonplace nowadays with the returns of Roseanne, The X-Files, Will & Grace, Full House, Dynasty, and numerous others; it wouldn’t be shocking to see Sorkin’s Emmy darling make a similar comeback. But for the time being, don’t hold your breath.

  • TV Show
run date
  • 09/22/99
  • In Season
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