Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Term Limited

'West Wing' ending its term in May
"NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly announced yesterday that "The West Wing" will end its seven-season run in May."
*sniff* I hardly knew ye...

Looks like the presidential election between Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) will be the last hurrah, unless something like the current Kazakhstan/Russia/China storyline continues to play out through the end of the season.

Hopefully they won't let Bartlett get out of office without one big final hurrah, especially since the them of his whole last couple of years has been "finding his legacy", or what he will leave behind that will make his presidency meaningful.

*sigh* Now I'm bummed.

UPDATE: Here's some more information about the end of the season, for those of you who actually enjoy quality programming ;)

'The West Wing': Lame Duck
The election will be covered on April 2 and 9 and viewers will know by the end of the latter episode whether the presidential candidate played by Jimmy Smits or Alan Alda won the election -- a decision the producers "have only really in the last couple days made," at the end of "quite a brawl," Wells told critics at the very last session of Winter TV Press Tour 2006.


The sudden death of actor John Spencer in December has "changed a lot of the storytelling" for the final episodes, Wells said, sharing the stage with some of the writers and cast members.

The producers had shot five episodes, three of which Spencer was central to, at the time of his death. Wells said they talked about how to handle the situation over the holidays and decided the best homage they could pay Spencer was to change nothing and "let people see the last days of his work." He joked that Spencer would have been angry at him if he had changed the episodes -- "cutting his best scenes . . . so we left it."

Scrambling to deal with the reality of the actor's death, Wells said, the producers discovered there is no real provision for dealing with the death of a vice presidential candidate on the eve of an election.
Sad or not, it should be interesting. They might even be creating some unintentional and unofficial precedent here. If that ever happened in real life and people are wondering what should be done, someone undoubtedly will remember these last few episodes of The West Wing and at least offer them as possibilities.

Sometimes art imitates life, sometimes life imitates art.

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