West Wing reunion special sets pre-election premiere date
UPDATE: Mark your calendars now, because The West Wing reunion special officially has a premiere date — and some very special guests in attendance.
The reunion featuring a theatrical stage presentation of season 3's "Hartsfield's Landing" episode will debut Oct. 15 on HBO Max, two weeks before the national election. And the special, benefitting When We All Vote, will include act breaks with guest appearances from When We All Vote co-chair Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Plus, fans will also be treated to musical performances by composer W.G. Snuffy Walden playing the iconic West Wing theme song on his guitar and folk rock band The Avett Brothers, who will close out the special.
EARLIER: It's time to walk down memory lane — or, in this case, Hartsfield's Landing. The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin announced on Tuesday that the original cast of the political drama will come together for a special featuring a theatrical stage presentation of season 3's "Hartsfield's Landing" episode. It will air this fall on HBO Max in support of When We All Vote, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization co-chaired by Michelle Obama.
A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, which will shoot in Los Angeles in October at the Orpheum Theatre, will see stars Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen reprise their roles in the episode. Sorkin is returning to his roots as a playwright to pen original exclusive material for the special, and West Wing executive producer and director Thomas Schlamme will helm the production.
The special will also feature guest appearances, including a special message from Obama, among others, and additional cast and guests from "both the fields of public service and the arts" will be announced in the coming weeks, producers said. "Hartsfield's Landing," from the show's third season, centers around both literal chess matches and foreign policy showdowns with China focused on the Taiwan Strait. There's also a bellwether primary in a tiny New Hampshire town where 42 votes have long predicted the winner of the state. The episode originally aired in October 2002.
Two unannounced details to look out for: Who will step in for Bartlet's Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, originally played by the late John Spencer, who died in 2005? And actress Anna Deveare Smith, who played recurring character Nancy McNally and appeared in that episode, could also potentially return for the special.