West Wing Continuity Guide
path: home / About the Series * Actors Overlap between Sports Night & West Wing
By Peter Vetsch
Many of the actors who have appeared on the West Wing have previously appeared in "Sports Night". Some of them went from "Sports Night" bit players to West Wing regulars, others have taken the opposite route. I'm of the opinion that it's only a matter of time before all of the main cast of "Sports Night" gets a shot as a recurring role player in the West Wing...for the most part right now it's only secondary SN characters that tend to pop up in Sorkin's second show. Here are all the actors that I've noticed in both shows (in no particular order); if anyone has others to add to the list, please let me know at jurgenk@shaw.ca.

Actor: Joshua Malina
West Wing character: Will Bailey
"Sports Night" character: Jeremy Goodwin

Actor: Janel Moloney
West Wing character: Donna Moss, Josh's assistant
"Sports Night" character: Monica the wardrobe assistant in episode 1-11, The Six Southern Gentlemen of Tennessee. She lectures Casey about how the crew of the show deserve credit for the quality and appearance of the production (and the onscreen talent).

Actor: Felicity Huffman
West Wing character: Ann Stark, the Chief of Staff of the Republican hopeful for President in episode #33, The Leadership Breakfast. She and Toby seem to have a past together; she gets Toby to agree to have a press conference on Capitol Hill instead of in the White House Press Room, with disastrous consequences for the Bartlet staff.
"Sports Night" character: Dana Whitaker, executive producer of "Sports Night"; one of the show's main characters.

Actor: Timothy Davis-Reed
West Wing character: Mark, a press room reporter who surfaced somewhere in season 2 (his picture can be found here: http://hometown.aol.com/TDavisReed/index.html).
"Sports Night" character: Chris, one of the "Three Stooges" of the show's control room (Will and Dave are the other two). He's a regular character in "Sports Night", but is not a main character and therefore doesn't usually get many lines of dialogue.

Actor: Jeff Mooring
West Wing character: Phil, a recent addition to the press room...I at least did not notice him there until season 3.
"Sports Night" character: the aforementioned Dave in "Sports Night"'s control room. That makes two of three SN control room mainstays who have relocated to the West Wing press room. Can Ron Ostrow (Will) be far behind?

Actor: Ted McGinley
West Wing character: Mark Gottfried, host of Capital Beat
"Sports Night" character: Gordon, Dana's season 1 fiancee. Gordon was the infamous third man in the strange love triangle also including Casey and Dana. At the end of season 1, in episode 1-23, What Kind of Day Has it Been?, Gordon breaks up with Dana because he thinks she's still "hung up on Casey".

Actor: Lisa Edelstein
West Wing character: Laurie, Sam's call girl friend
"Sports Night" character: Bobbi Bernstein, substitute anchor on "Sports Night" on multiple occasions, the first of which is episode 1-13, Small Town. She drives Dan crazy because she's convinced they slept together and then he never called her; Dan doesn't remember at all, and swears he's never slept with her.

Actor: John de Lancie
West Wing character: Al Kiefer, the polling expert the President meets with when he journeys to California in "24 Hours in L.A." [16]; also ex-flame of Joey Lucas
"Sports Night" character: Bert Stors, a finance executive for CSC (Continental Sports Channel, the fictional network that carries Sports Night) in episode 2-19, April is the Cruelest Month.

Actor: Allen Garfield
West Wing character: Hollywood mogul in season 2 premiere. His displeasure about faring poorly in an awards show and slipping a few spots on a "Most Powerful People in Hollywood" list gets C.J. fired from her old job.
"Sports Night" character: Chuck "The Cut Man" Kimmell in episode 2-11, fittingly titled The Cut Man Cometh. Chuck Kimmell is a last-ditch replacement ringside reporter for a big boxing match televised on CSC; his interaction with Dan and Casey on the air is the funniest scene I have ever seen on television.

Actor: Clark Gregg
West Wing character: FBI Official, Special Agent Mike Casper in episode #38, Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail. He's the guy Sam goes to see in the FBI about pardoning a suspected spy.
"Sports Night" character: Calvin Trager, owner of Quo Vadimus, a massive holding company that ends up purchasing CSC in the final "Sports Night" episode of all. He first shows up in episode 2-21, La Forza del Destino, then saves the day, and the show, in the series finale.

Actor: Nina Siemaszko
West Wing character: Eleanor "Ellie" Bartlet, the President's middle daughter, first seen in episode #37, Ellie.
"Sports Night" character: Holly, the nanny of Casey's son Charlie in episode 1-23, What Kind of Day Has it Been. To further enhance this parallel, both of these shows featuring Nina end with a father telling his child these words: "All you ever had to do to make me happy was come home at the end of the day". Casey says that to Charlie at the end of the episode above, and President Bartlet says it to Ellie.

Actor: David Graf
West Wing character: Colonel Chase, a member of the National Security Council. He appeared in the situation room in two episodes of The West Wing: #29, "The Portland Trip", and #34, "The Drop In".
Sports Night character: Chase (strangely enough), one of the network lawyers sent to talk with Dan after his controversial interview with Esquire magazine in episode 1-2, "The Apology".
(overlap pointed out by Lisa R.) NOTE: Mr. Graf passed away on April 7th, 2001, shortly after appearing in "The Drop In".

Actor: Alanna Ubach
West Wing character: Celia Walton, the office temp in the communications department who calls Sam a sexist in episode #57, "Night Five". She takes exception to the way Sam speaks to Ainsley and becomes the focal point of a four-way verbal sparring match between those two, herself and Charlie.
Sports Night character: Catherine Brenner, Dan's on-again, off-again publicist in episode 2-20, "Bells And A Siren". After Dan calls her up to fire her after an event gone sour, she berates him about his attitude until he changes his mind. She seems to have a knack for calling Sorkin characters to task.
(overlap also pointed out by Marybeth I. and Karen Streed)

Actor: Nadia Dajani
West Wing character: Lily Mays, the First Lady's assistant in episode #17, "The White House Pro-Am".
Sports Night character: Tina Lake, who is a substitute anchor covering for Casey in episode 2-7, "Kyle Whitaker's Got Two Sacks". Casey is in Ohio examining a possible drug scandal in the NFL, while Tina is watching Dan become totally unglued following his promise not to flirt with her.
(overlap pointed out by David Kimura)

Actor: Greg Baker
West Wing character: Interviewer, the man assisting the Surgeon General with her online chat in episode #37, "Ellie".
Sports Night character: Elliot, an associate producer working in the control room during broadcasts and usually at odds with fellow AP Kim (Kayla Blake). Elliot was a regular character in Sports Night's two seasons, and his presence on the West Wing makes it a majority of SN's control room that have guested on Sorkin's other show
(overlap pointed out by David Daniel)

Actor: Ron Ostrow
West Wing character: John, a press room reporter who makes his first appearance in Season 4, episode 4-07, "Election Night".
Sports Night character: Will, the last member of SN's control room gang to make his migration over to the WW's White House press corps. Ostrow, Timothy Davis-Reed and Jeff Mooring are the first trio I know of to move from playing minor characters with monosyllabic names on one series to playing different minor characters with monosyllabic names on another series.
(overlap also pointed out by Brian Cimmet and Patrick Kovacich)

Actor: Felton Perry
West Wing character: Mr. Perry has actually had two bit parts in two different WW episodes playing two completely different characters. In episode 114, "Take This Sabbath Day", he plays a public defender named Jerry who is one of the counsel for a death row inmate. He also plays an alcoholic politician in episode 318, "Stirred".
Sports Night character: The homeless man who Dan finds in his office in the middle of the night in episode 1-9, "The Quality of Mercy at 29K".

Actor/Director: Timothy Busfield
West Wing character: Danny Concannon, White House Washington Post reporter and CJ's quasi-beau. He played a role on "Sports Night" as well, only behind the camera. Busfield directed episodes 2-16 ("The Local Weather") and 2-21 ("La Forza del Destino") of "Sports Night".

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