The West Wing Episode Guide - http://www.westwingepguide.com/
Bookmark this Site


Liftoff

Original Airdate 11-10-04


Previous Episode  ||  Season 6 Episode Index  |  Main Index  |  Season 6 Information Index  ||  Next Episode
Descriptions  |  Credits  |  Information Links  |  Awards  |  Media Quotes

Descriptions

From TVGuide.com:
Jimmy Smits joins the cast as a Texas congressman with a hot future, but first, C. J. is named to replace the ailing Chief of Staff. Her first day on the job won't be easy, primarily because an emissary from the Republic of Georgia arrives---offering enriched uranium from a former Soviet reactor. And the U.S. isn't the only country it's being offered to. Meanwhile there's an outbreak of the very deadly---and very contagious---Marburg fever in Ecuador, and Toby and Donna interview applicants for C.J's new job.
From NBC:
The Bartlet Administration must devise a plan of action when an emissary from the Republic of Georgia walks into the White House and offers them weapons-grade uranium that's in a research reactor the Russians left behind when they pulled out of Georgia. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) goes looking for support of the tax cut from the DCCC and along the way meets with Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits), a bright and enigmatic congressman from Texas.
From Warner Bros.:
An emissary from the Republic of Georgia visits the White House and offers weapons-grade uranium stored in a research reactor the Russians left behind when they pulled out of Georgia. Meanwhile, Josh looks for tax cut support from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and along the way meets with Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits), a bright and enigmatic congressman from Texas.
TOP OF PAGE

Credits

Dulé Hill as Charlie (Charles) Young Personal Aide to the President
Allison Janney as C.J. (Claudia Jean) Cregg Chief of Staff
Joshua Malina as Will (William) Bailey Vice President's Chief of Staff
Janel Moloney as Donna (Donnatella) Moss Assistant to Deputy Chief of Staff
Richard Schiff as Toby (Tobias Zachary) Ziegler Communications Director
John Spencer as Leo Thomas McGarry Former Chief of Staff
Bradley Whitford as Josh (Joshua) Lyman Deputy Chief of Staff
with
Jimmy Smits as
Matthew Vincente Santos Rep. D-TX
and
Martin Sheen as
Jed (Josiah Edward) Bartlet President of the United States
     
Special Guest Stars    
Kristin Chenoweth as Annabeth Schott Press Secretary prospect
and
Lily Tomlin as
Debbie (Deborah) Fiderer President's Secretary
Guest Starring    
Anna Deavere Smith as Dr. Nancy McNally National Security Advisor
Steve Ryan as Miles Hutchinson Secretary of Defense
NiCole Robinson as Margaret Hooper (last name) /
Assistant to Chief of Staff
Melissa Fitzgerald as Carol Fitzpatrick (last name)
Assistant to the Press Secretary
David Shatraw as Ed Merridy DCCC
David Kelsey as Staff Sargent Keltie  
Eugene Alper as Roman Mindeli Emissary from Republic of Georgia
Andrew Borba as Alan Zwick Press Secretary prospect
     
Co-Starring    
Ron Ostrow as John Reporter
Timothy Davis-Reed as Mark O'Donnell (last name) / Reporter
Mindy Seeger as Chris Reporter
Beau Billingslea as Agent Caswell Secret Service
Evan Arnold as Ned Carlson Santos' Aide
Karis Campbell as Ronna (Beckman) Santos' Aide
Armando Valdes-Kennedy as Dave Santos' Aide
Gregory Wagrowski as Dan Edmunds Press Secretary prospect
Katherine Disque as Claire Stein Press Secretary prospect
Bill Birch as Len Segal DCCC
Terry Bozeman as Gerald Deloit Secretary of Energy
Wayne Thomas Yorke as Chris Lakely Press Secretary prospect
David Hadinger as Donald Donchick Press Secretary prospect
TOP OF PAGE
TOP OF PAGE

Information Links

TOP OF PAGE

Awards

Emmy Awards

Submitted for consideration after Outstanding Drama Series Nomination
TOP OF PAGE

Media Quotes

Matthew Santos (Jimmy Smits, in his first TV series role since leaving NYPD Blue in 1998), "a three-term congressman from Houston who came up by the bootstraps out of the barrio and made something of himself."

"‘West Wing' preparing for a new prez"
by Bill Keveney
August 26, 2004
USA Today

"It's the perfect time. Bartlet can't be in office forever. It's time to shake things up," says Janney, who won her fourth Emmy last month.

"Can 'West Wing' build a bridge to the 21st century?"
by Bill Keveney
October 19, 2004
USA Today

"Leo McGarry [John Spencer], at the end of Episode 2, suffers a major heart attack and is unable to continue as chief of staff," Wells says, adding that Episodes 3 and 4 are devoted to CJ replacing him.

"We've been a little unrealistic on the show. The average White House staffer stays about 18 months. Burnout is so high," Wells says.

" In 'West Wing' time, it's more"
by Virginia Rohan
October 20, 2004
Bergen Record

The savvy [John] Wells tied both Alda and Smits to two-year deals, which are more code words for "covering your bets."

"Succession by ratings"
by Verne Gay
October 20, 2004
Newsday

On Nov. 17 [Nov.10] the actress-singer will make her "West Wing" debut in the role of media consultant Annabeth Schott. "Fresh off the political talk show circuit," reads production notes, "Annabeth Schott brings savvy image advice and plucky attitude to her new job as a White House media consultant. Having once discovered Republican foe Taylor Reid, she's tasked with unearthing the next rising star for the Bartlet administration: a new Press Secretary to fill the shoes of C.J. Cregg.

"Wicked's Chenoweth to Begin "West Wing" Role in November"
by Andrew Gans
November 3, 2004
Playbill Online

Political realism aside, the promotion of Janney's character could add more story-line zest.

C.J. Cregg is more than just a former press secretary thrust into a position of power. She's a woman who undoubtedly will bump up against more obstacles in that key position than would a man.

"From strictly a script perspective, the promotion of C.J. should provide some intriguing White House situations," Janney said.

"I can't tell you exactly what will happen because, frankly, I don't know. That's part of the charm of this show for the actors."

"Roles shift on 'West Wing'"
by Dusty Saunders
November 9, 2004
Rocky Mountain News

Even the NBC promo for tomorrow night's installment of "West Wing," coincidentally introducing Smits as a new Republican character on that show, is problematic - at least according to Smits, who says both the ABC "Blue" and NBC "Wing" promos overinflated his roles in those episodes.

"I have issues with both networks and the way they handled it," Smits told the Daily News yesterday. "Apparently, the promotional departments don't interface with the show's producer."

...

Similarly, his gradual introduction into the "West Wing" ensemble and story line, Smits said, was overstated by the network's ads.

"Giving up the ghost"
by Marisa Guthrie
November 9, 2004
New York Daily News

"[Executive producer John Wells] wanted to investigate the dynamics of a person who enters a life of public service, the whys and what happens along the way when you aspire to help and aspire to do better," said Smits. "That was something that really fascinated me."

...

But the terrain Sen. Santos will be on, said Smits, is still a mystery to him. "I don't know where this character is going to go," said Smits, whose Santos will face a Republican played by Alan Alda.

"Some of the criticism of the show is that it leans a little too much to the left," he said. "Now we'll have both points of view. But we're not in any rush. The story arc is going to be done in John Wells' time and I'm fine with that."

"Smits heads 'West'"
by Marisa Guthrie
November 10, 2004
New York Daily News

Chenoweth left "Wicked" in June, but not before John Wells, executive producer of "The West Wing," caught her performance, leading to an invitation to join the NBC political drama as perky but shrewd media adviser Annabeth Schott, a change-of-pace role Chenoweth calls "a blessing."

"'The West Wing' has changed my life," she says. "They love that I can be a little funny, while I love that they are writing Annabeth to be very, very smart. The character already has evolved to the point where the other characters really rely on her. With my height and the way I look, it's easy for people to cast me as silly characters no one pays attention to, but not here."

She declines to comment on rumors that Annabeth eventually will become the full-time White House press secretary, succeeding Allison Janney's phenomenally popular C.J. Cregg. "They're grooming me for something big, but they're making me keep my mouth shut," Chenoweth says, adding that her biggest challenge is educating herself about current political events.

"This job certainly has awakened me to the here and the now, to what's happening, but I am constantly asking people to explain things about the script because I'm not by nature a political person," she confesses. "Allison said, 'Oh, you should have seen me my first year; I had no idea what I was doing or saying.' As long as I understand what Annabeth is talking about, I have no trouble doing the walk-and-talks," those rapid-fire and dialogue-heavy scenes for which the show is noted.

"Chenoweth Takes 'Wing'"
by John Crook
January 8, 2005
zap2it.com

To hear Smits tell it, that’s about how series executive producer John Wells (ER, Third Watch) got him to join the show in the first place. Aware that Smits was appearing in a New York stage production of Much Ado About Nothing last summer, Wells flew in from Hollywood to talk over some ideas. His primary notion: Isn’t it about time for a Latino presidential candidate in West Wing land? "It was a week after the Democratic National Convention and everybody was jazzed about Barack Obama," says Smits, recalling Obama’s stirring speech on his origins as the son of a black Kenyan father and white American mother. "You saw the potential of what we people of color can be in this country - not just in sports, not just in music, but somebody who can be a force down the line in national politics."

...

"I think it is uncanny timing that people from the West Wing were wise enough to include one of our own ... and not just one of our own, but someone who has a quiet dignity," says [Esai] Morales

"Jimmy Smits The Gentleman Giant"
by Eric Deggans
March 2005
Hispanic Magazine

Smits' November debut was the most-watched episode of the season.

"'The West Wing' wants you"
by Bill Keveney
April 5, 2005
USA Today

"In terms of just getting nominated [for Outstanding Drama Series Emmy], we send out three episodes that show the diversity of the cast and strong storytelling, but we don't send shows that are too similar even if they're very good," executive producer John Wells explains.

"Episodic art"
by Wolf Schneider
May 31, 2005
Hollywood Reporter

"It's great for someone like me, with my height (4'11"), with my looks, with my voice, to play somebody smart," she said. "People don't take me seriously. Then, when they find out I have a brain, it's a shock. And it's the same thing on 'West Wing,' as far as the character goes. She's one of the smartest people in the room, and it's been really fun to play that."

"Martin Mull, Amy Halloran, Lana Parrilla, Kristin Chenoweth"
by Rich Heldenfels
July 25, 2005
Akron Beacon Journal

I'm working on a very, very opinionated show, but I feel like everybody loves me and accepts me. Everyone respects what I believe. We all have different religious and political beliefs. John Spencer [who plays Leo McGarry] has a good heart, and Martin Sheen [who plays President Bartlett] certainly does. Nicole Robinson, the actress who plays Margaret on the show, has become a pretty close friend of mine. She's a Christian, so she's a person I cling to. Allison Janney's a good Catholic girl, and so is Janel Moloney. We have some interesting conversations, but they are good ones. - Kristin Chenoweth

"How to Make It in Showbiz-Without Losing Your Faith"
by Debra Akins
September/October 2005
Today's Christian

Season six basically happened because everybody was getting bored. All of a sudden John Wells was like, "hey! What if Leo had a heart attack and CJ was Chief of Staff! What if this! What if that!" Everybody got energized again, but then "the big complication became 'y'know, we're going to have create a republican...'"

Posted by cyren_2132 @ http://community.livejournal.com/west_wing_fans/
November 11, 2005
Notes from Alex Graves talk at the University of Kansas

When she decided to broaden her horizons by doing dramatic parts, she managed a meeting with the producers of "The West Wing." Even Chenoweth thought landing a part on that show was a long shot.

"I never thought I could possibly do anything like this," she says.

Here she is now, though, as plucky media consultant Annabeth Schott. Chenoweth says she's cutting her teeth in dramatic material and bringing some levity to the often seriousness of "The West Wing" (8 p.m., ET/PT, Sundays, NBC).

"This person is actually in charge and also very smart. It's a thrill for me to not play the dumb blonde, to actually be maybe the smartest person in the room sometimes," she says with a laugh.

"It's a real honor for me. Nobody really would have ever thought that I would do a show like this, but I'm so lucky."

"Chenoweth used 'West Wing' to expand her range"
by Terry Morrow
March 15, 2006
Scripps Howard News Service

"It was not as fun much for me. I'm flattered that they wanted to do that, but it was hard for me," she said. "I like to be a team player and that shifted all the relationships. Suddenly, I had to be very serious, delegating, assigning. I had my moments of enjoyment as chief of staff, but I always liked when C.J. was press secretary best." - Allison Janney

"Janney takes flight from 'Wing'"
by Jay Handelman
April 6, 2006
Sarasota Herald-Tribune

TOP OF PAGE
For more information about this episode:
Continuity Guide to "The West Wing"
Previous Episode  |  U.S. Flag Main Index 6 Cast Season 6 Episode Index U.S. Flag Season 6 Information Index  |  Next Episode