'West Wing' Reunion Special Lands at HBO Max

The West Wing
Courtesy Warner Bros. TV

The show's cast and creator Aaron Sorkin will stage an episode of the series as a benefit for get out the vote efforts.

The Friends reunion at HBO Max may still be on hold, but another staple of the Must-See TV era is headed to the streamer in the fall.

The cast of The West Wing will reunite for a theatrical stage presentation of an episode that will stream in the fall on HBO Max (a date hasn't been set). The special is a benefit for When We All Vote, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization  that aims to increase voter participation. The reunion's full title, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, makes the mission plain.

Original cast members Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Martin Sheen will join series creator Aaron Sorkin and director and executive producer Thomas Schlamme for the special. The special will also feature guest appearances and a message from the former first lady.

The special will feature the cast performing the season three episode "Hartsfield's Landing" on stage, along with new material written by Sorkin for the reunion. First aired in February 2002, the episode features President Bartlet (Sheen) engaging Sam (Lowe) and Toby (Schiff) in chess games that mirror his brinksmanship with the Chinese government; Josh (Whitford) sweating the results of primary voting in a tiny New Hampshire town; and C.J. (Janney) and Charlie (Hill) facing off in a prank war.

"Tommy and I are incredibly excited to be getting The West Wing cast back together for this staged reading and to support When We All Vote in their efforts to get all of us involved in this election," said Sorkin.

The reunion special will film over several days in early October at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, strictly following COVID-19 production guidelines. Schlamme will direct, while the production returns Sorkin to his theatrical roots. HBO Max parent WarnerMedia will make a donation to When We All Vote in honor of the special.

"With A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote, 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. "Combined with WarnerMedia's donation to When We All Vote, this special not only entertains, but also help ensure the organization can carry forth its mission to increase voter participation in every election."

The special is produced by Casey Patterson Entertainment in association with Warner Horizon Unscripted Television. Sorkin, Schlamme and Casey Patterson (Some Good News, Lip Sync Battle) executive produce; Rob Paine is co-EP.