West Wing Continuity Guide
path: Home / Third Season Episodes * #318 Documentary Special
NBC Photo (l-r) Dulé Hill as aide Charlie Young, Rob Lowe as Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, Allison Janney as Press Secretary C.J. Cregg, Martin Sheen as President Josiah Bartlet, Richard Schiff as Communications Director Toby Ziegler, Stockard Channing as First Lady Abigail Bartlet, John Spencer as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry, Janel Maloney as assistant Donna Moss, Bradley Whitford as Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman --- © NBC Photo: David Rose
Director: Bill Coultouris
Takes Place:
To Be Broadcast: April 24, 2002

From NBC:
REAL-LIFE WEST WING PLAYERS FEATURED IN SPECIAL DOCUMENTARY EPISODE -- The producers of "The West Wing" present a documentary special celebrating the real players inside the White House. The one-hour special will include, among others, interviews with former White House staffers David Gergen, Dee Dee Myers, Henry Kissinger, Leon Panetta and former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. The show will also feature highlights of three seasons of the Emmy Award-winning "The West Wing."


BURBANK, Calif. -- April 9, 2002 -- NBC's ³The West Wing² (Wednesdays, 9-10 p.m. ET) pays tribute to the series' real-life counterparts with a special documentary episode featuring a mix of dramatic scenes of the series characters balanced by the White House reflections of those who have worked there.

The episode, directed by Oscar winner Bill Coultouris (³Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt²), will be broadcast on Wednesday, April 24 (9-10 p.m. ET).

The producers of "The West Wing" present the documentary that celebrates the real players inside the White House and features interviews with former White House staffers such as adviser DavidGergen, press secretary Dee Dee Myers, secretary of state Henry Kissinger, chief of staff Leon Panetta and former Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, among others. The show will also feature highlights of three seasons of the Emmy Award-winning ³The West Wing.²

From Warner Brothers
"The West Wing" blends drama with reality in this groundbreaking documentary episode that includes interviews with former Presidents and White House figures. Paying tribute to the real-life counterparts of the show's fictional Bartlet administration, the installment features U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford, White House staffers David Gergen, Dee Dee Myers and Leon Panetta and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Highlights from the three seasons of "The West Wing" are interspersed throughout.

From TVGuide
A documentary in which former real-life West Wingers (including Presidents Clinton, Carter and Ford) recall White House experiences also includes clips from series episodes. Oscar-winning producer Bill Couterie (³Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt²) is the director. Also interviewed: Henry Kissinger; former Presidential adviser David Gergen; former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta; and former White House press secretary Dee Dee Myers, a writer for ³The West Wing.²

From CNN (AP)
April 23, 2002 - LOS ANGELES, Califonia (AP) -- How real is "The West Wing"? And how much closer to real-world politics will it dare to venture?

The first question may be answered, in part, by an episode Wednesday that mixes scenes from three seasons of the NBC White House drama with recollections of past and present occupants.

"Hey, we're kind of getting this thing right" was the reaction of executive producer Thomas Schlamme after former presidents, cabinet members and others were interviewed for the special.

It's their drive and dedication that the series has captured, Schlamme said.

Among those heard from: former Presidents Ford, Carter and Clinton and the political adviser to President George W. Bush, Karl Rove.

"We are absolute fiction," Schlamme said. "So what we care about getting right is the emotion of what it's like to be part of the West Wing. ... It's not a history lesson or civics lesson or accuracy of government."

But what makes "The West Wing" intriguing is that it has it both ways: Democratic President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen) and his staff are imaginary but the political issues and crises they face are drawn from fact.

There's terrorism, on which series creator Aaron Sorkin based an episode in quick response to September 11. There was a partisan clash over accusations of lies and a cover-up by the Bartlet White House, reminiscent of the rocky Clinton years.

The environment and other hot-button topics have been woven into "The West Wing," with Bartlet's advisers jousting -- not always successfully -- in often provocative debates with Republican adversaries.

Setting up an election battle
But as Bartlet gears up for a re-election battle, "The West Wing" may be venturing into the most controversial corner yet of its parallel universe....

The liberal politician torn by conscience is a recurring figure in Sorkin's work. In his other White House fiction, the 1995 film "The American President," the chief executive (Michael Douglas) initially refuses to defend his philosophy against an opponent's sleazy attack. . . . (see more)

From The NY Post
April 12, 2002 --

It turns out a special "West Wing" episode airing later this month is including a member of the Bush Administration after all. Karl Rove, one of President George W. Bush's senior advisors, is interviewed for the special about how the real White House functions versus the fictional White House of the hit TV series.

"Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and a number of former White House officials were announced this week as participating in the show. . . .

"'West Wing'" producer Llewellyn Wells told The Post yesterday. . . . 'the White House very gracefully and willingly sent us Karl Rove, who will be in the special. . . ."

For anyone interested in guest stars of this episode, let us recommend the West Wing Episode Guide.
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