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THE WEST WING
Wednesdays on NBC (9-10 p.m. ET)

From Emmy Award winners Aaron Sorkin (“A Few Good Men”), Thomas Schlamme (“Tracey Takes On”) and John Wells (NBC’s “ER”) comes this behind-the-scenes glimpse into the Oval Office as seen through the eyes of its eclectic group of frenzied staffers and the devoted First Family.

This sophisticated, one-hour drama series stars Emmy winner Martin Sheen (“Apocalypse Now”), Emmy winner John Spencer (“L.A. Law”), Emmy winner Bradley Whitford (“My Fellow Americans”), Emmy nominee Rob Lowe (“Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me”), Emmy winner Richard Schiff (“Deep Impact”), Emmy winner Allison Janney (“American Beauty”), Emmy nominee Dule Hill (“Bring in Da Noise, Bring in Da Funk!”), Emmy nominee Janel Moloney (“Sports Night”), and Emmy winner Stockard Channing (“Six Degrees of Separation”).

For its debut season (1999-2000), “The West Wing” was honored with 13 Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series, an honor the series also received in 2001 and 2002. Along with its several awards, the show also received 20 additional nominations this year. It holds the record for most Emmys won by a series in a single season (its first). Other awards include a Peabody Award for excellence in television, a Golden Globe nomination for Best Drama Series and three Television Critics Association Awards.

The series centers around New Hampshire Democrat Josiah Bartlet (Sheen), the U.S. President who exudes a country-lawyer charisma that belies his brilliance, his deep conviction and devotion to what he believes is right for the country. The First Lady Abby Bartlet (Channing) is a dedicated doctor and mother who staunchly supports her husband, but does not hesitate to put the President in his place.

Among Bartlet’s loyal staffers are Leo McGarry (Spencer), the President’s Chief of Staff and his closest ally and confidant. He possesses the sort of street smarts that enable him to keep in touch with the sentiments of the nation. Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman (Whitford) is a skilled strategist, who helped get Bartlet elected. At times he can be too opinionated for his own good, but his sarcastic assistant, Donna Moss (Moloney), is often there to take the wind out of his sails.

Press Secretary C.J. Cregg (Janney) spends most of her time deflecting the press’ questions with grace and skill, working alongside Toby Ziegler (Schiff), the rumpled and sleepless Communications Director whose cynical sense of humor gets him through many dicey political situations. In contrast to his boss, Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn (Lowe) is a strictly political animal, easily able to craft an appropriate presidential response.

Rounding out the team is the President’s plainspoken yet astute personal aide, Charlie Young (Hill).

The combined efforts of the diverse members of this unique team help run a country. The nation survives because of — and at times in spite of — what happens in The West Wing.

“The West Wing” is from John Wells Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television. Sorkin is the creator and executive producer. Schlamme and Wells are executive producers.

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