The West Wing: How many series of The West Wing were there?
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The West Wing was an original NBC series delving into the personal lives of a group of fictional presidential advisers. The series first aired in 1999 and it followed the fictional Democrat Jed Bartlet (played by Martin Sheen), who was desperately holding on to his title as president. Express.co.uk has everything you need to know about how many series aired.
How many series of The West Wing were there?
The political drama was broadcast on NBC between September 1999 and May 2006, and as the title suggests, it was set in the West Wing of the White House.
The series gives insight into the lives of those working in the Oval Office, who are closest to the president.
The series was made up of seven seasons, and the first four seasons were led by three executive producers – Aaron Sorkin, Thomas Schlamme and John Wells.
Sorkin, who created the series, left after season four and Wells took over the role as head writer.
The final season also had Christopher Misiano, Lawrence O’Donnell and Peter Noah as writers.
The series was ranked as one of the top 100 best-written TV series by the Writers Guild of America, and fans labelled it one of the best TV series of all time.
The cast reunited in October 2020 for a special stage performance of the season three episode, titled Hartsfield’s Landing, which was aimed at encouraging the American public to vote.
Former First Lady Michelle Obama praised the original cast for their efforts ahead of the 2020 presidential race.
The series has just made a comeback on All 4, so fans in the UK are in for a treat, with each of the seasons consisting of 22 episodes.
The seasons were released yearly, in either September or October, and the episodes originally aired weekly on NBC.
Luckily for fans, all seven seasons are available to watch back-to-back on the streaming platform All4.
The first season from 1999 followed Bartlet during his second year as President and he is still getting used to his position of authority.
The second season, released in 2000, started after a shooting at Rosslyn in North Virginia, and the President was caught up in a political scandal.
Seasons three and four, which aired in 2001 and 2002, followws the campaign trail and the President faced some tough competition.
The fifth season showed how the President was dealing with multiple obstacles including foreign terrorism and social security.
In the sixth season, from 2004, President Bartlet was expected to be replaced, and his battle with his multiple sclerosis impacted his chances of winning the fight.
In the final season, which was released in 2005, there was a leak of confidential information which the President had to face up to.
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The series was inspired by the film The American President from 1995, in which Sheen was cast as the White House Chief of Staff.
Sheen, who is now 80, spoke back in 2013 about the series and whether the series had encouraged many people to get more involved in American politics.
He said: “I can’t say for sure that we had any influence at all on young people’s choices or political involvement. From my own part, I’m a registered Democrat and I vote for any number of candidates, including Mr Obama.
“I don’t think change really starts at the top, I think real leadership is those people who started at grassroots movement, who went through a great deal of sacrifice and suffering, and paid a heavy price, and they were able to transcend their suffering into leadership.”
Fans were thrilled to hear the original cast were coming together for the special episode in October, and they have been binging their way through the seven seasons on All 4.
Fans took to social media to express their excitement, with one saying on Twitter: “Just re watching the West Wing after a lot of years , series 1 episode 5 is a cracker [sic].”
Another fan said: “Just watched the HBO West Wing special. It was great and every American should watch it. Man I miss that series!!”
Many fans had re-watched the series during the tense Presidential Campaign, which saw a nail-bitingly close run between Democrat Joe Biden and Republican Donald Trump.
The series is of course based on a fictional Democratic government, but viewers have not refrained from comparing some events from the recent election to storylines in the series.
The West Wing is airing on All4 now
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