How Michelle Obama and the ‘West Wing’ cast are urging Americans to vote

A still from "The West Wing."
A scene from Aaron Sorkin’s “The West Wing.”
(Warner Bros.)

Fictional President Jed Bartlet and real former First Lady Michelle Obama are teaming up to help Americans shape the future of the West Wing.

This week, the cast of the hit political drama “The West Wing” is staging a reunion for When We All Vote, a nonpartisan organization founded by Obama to increase civic engagement in elections — especially the big one coming up Nov. 3.

Created by Aaron Sorkin, the landmark series following the complicated lives of the president and his staff premiered in 1999 and ran for seven seasons before wrapping in 2006.

Here’s everything to know about the reunion.

At the electric reading of William Goldman’s screenplay for “All the President’s Men” at Los Angeles City Hall on Saturday night, Watergate once again had the freshness of current events.

Jan. 29, 2018


What time is the special, and where can I watch it?

“A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote” will be available to stream starting Thursday on HBO Max, a property of WarnerMedia, which has made a donation to Obama’s nonprofit as part of their collaboration.

“We are excited to revisit this legendary series and offer our passionate fans something that is substantial, meaningful and unforgettable, while also promoting an important message for our time,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, in a statement.

Who’s participating?

Original cast members Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen will all reprise their roles for the program, with Thomas Schlamme returning to direct. Sorkin has penned some new material for the reunion.

Plus, guest appearances will be made by Obama, former President Bill Clinton, “Hamilton” mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda, “The Handmaid’s Tale” actress Elisabeth Moss, screen icon Samuel L. Jackson and “This Is Us” star Sterling K. Brown, who will fill in for the late John Spencer as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry.

What to expect?

The special will reimagine the “Hartsfield’s Landing” episode from Season 3 as a stage play at the Orpheum Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

Earlier this month, a trailer for the event showed its thespians mingling on an elaborate Oval Office set while swapping fan-favorite lines and adhering to COVID-19 safety protocols from behind face shields and at long distances.

Check out the complete trailer below.