Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Who will win the "West Wing" Election?

From USA Today:
"In the days leading up to his live performance on The West Wing, Alan Alda told me he wasn’t nervous. After all, his live-TV experience stretched back to 1964’s That Was the Week That Was, a political satire show where he’d sometimes receive lines “30 seconds before we went on the air.”
Recently, I spoke on the phone with Alda between Wing rehearsals and book-signing stops. Here's what went down:

So … I’m assuming you already know who wins this election.

No, they’re acting like nobody knows.

Really? Now, be honest: Behind the scenes, are you campaigning for Vinick?

(Laughs) You have to do that when you play a character. You want that character to win.

Even if you don’t like him?

Oh, especially if you don’t. When I played homicidal maniacs, I tried to kill the girls as well as I could.

So what else do you hope to accomplish in this new act?

The book comes out in February in London … I’ll probably finish up West Wing in the spring. "

From the San Bernardino Sun:
" Then there's the jockeying among the series regulars to curry favor with executive producer and head writer John Wells, in whose hands their future rests. Many of the show's stars were lobbying as intently as any K Street pro Monday night in Beverly Hills at the Museum of Television & Radio gala, which honored Wells and Peter Chernin, president of News Corp. and chairman of the Fox Group.

"We're all whispering (on the set) because we don't know who's going to win, and we don't know who's going to have

a job," said Kristin Chenoweth, who joined the series last year as media consultant Annabeth Schott, originally a Bartlet staffer now working on the Santos campaign. John Spencer, Allison Janney and others playing roles in a Democratic administration would need Santos in office to stay on as regulars.

For his part, Wells said he has not yet decided who will win his faux race. "I have to write the election episode sometime before Christmas," he said.

"I haven't decided how it's going to go."

Bradley Whitford, who plays Bartlet staffer-turned-Santos campaign manager Josh Lyman, made no secret of his allegiance.

"Santos is going to win _ and I say that not as an actor but as his campaign manager," he said before the dinner began.

Whoever wins, it appears he will not finish one term, let alone two. The once-popular series, winner of four outstanding drama series Emmys, has lost a large chunk of its audience in its seventh season, in part because of its move to Sunday night against ABC's formidable lineup and in part because of NBC's overall ratings slump. Asked whether New Yorker Alda, who turns 70 in January, would be up for a long-term commitment to a series filmed in Burbank, Wells said, "We're lucky if we have another year, so I don't think that'll be an issue."

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