"Also on Sunday, NBC entertainment chief Kevin Reilly amended our expectations for the coming season of “The West Wing.” Seems that the race to succeed Marty Barty as president won’t be resolved right away, meaning that viewers may have to go deep into the fall, and perhaps into the winter, to learn who wins the election.
Which, of course, would never happen in real life.
“It’s kind of funny,” Reilly said. “I think Alan (Alda), who initially said, ‘Oh, I’m only going to do X number of episodes,’ said, ‘Well, I could do more if you want me to.’ He’s having a great time.” Alda just picked up an Emmy nomination for his part on the show, too."
Remarks by Kevin Reilly, head of NBC's entertainment divison:
"In other NBC news, Reilly indicated that The West Wing has "some really good surprises in store," that the fictional presidential election will not play out this fall (but will be determined before May) and that Alan Alda "has said he's agreeable to do more episodes."
In what is probably a marketing ploy, Reilly's statement about Alda could be an inference that the long-presumed victory of Jimmy Smits' character may not be a given."
And from the Philadelphia Inquirer:
"Don't start building the Jed Bartlet Presidential Library just yet. "I don't think we're going to see an election in the fall," Reilly said of NBC's "The West Wing," who indicated that the writers may still not have decided whether Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda will be the series' next president and may be extending Martin Sheen's term as Bartlet a bit longer."
From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:
"In fact, Reilly didn't give us many direct answers to our questions. The only "scoop" we found out about "The West Wing," for instance, is that it has a 22-episode commitment, and that it will run straight through except for a few interruptions. No news about when the Bartlet administration might make its exit or anything along those lines."From Media Life:
"Reilly said the network is focusing most of its preseason promotions on its three most promising shows, “E-Ring,” “Surface” and “My Name is Earl,” following the successful route ABC took with “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost” last year."