Broadcast from 1999 to 2006, NBC political drama The West Wingaired at a very specific time in American politics, one that has something to do with our current political state, but that has decidedly past.
Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter, West Wingexecutive producer and director Tommy Schlamme commented on the necessity of, if not a reboot of the beloved NBC political drama, then another show that has the kind of optimism and faith in the institution of the American political system as The West Wingdid. Schlamme said:
Those Washington-esque, political shows are pretty different now. House of Cards, which I admire, is pretty different than the valentine to public service that was underneath The West Wing. The pain for me in our world today is the lack of belief in an institution I so strongly believe in — the American government.
Does it have its faults? Yeah, sure. But we’ve so demonized anyone who says they’re in politics. That’s what I think, as much as anything, that Trump exploited. I wish somebody did emerge, a young Aaron Sorkin, with a way to tell stories, out of this mud, that celebrate public service. Whoever reads this, write that show.
What do you think? Could America use a West Wingreboot or, if not, a show that is optimistic about our political system? Perhaps relevantly, ABC just ordered a pilot for a comedy from Hamilton‘sDaveed Digg about a rapper who runs for mayoral office, wins, and ends up being great at the job.
As for a potential The West Wingreboot, the interest is definitely there. The show has enjoyed a bit of a pop culture resurgence in recent years. The ensemble drama got an ATX TV Festival reunion at last summer’s conference, and The West Wing Weekly, co-hosted by West Wingalum/frequent Aaron Sorkin player John Malina, podcast is currently working its way through every episode of the show.
What does Schlamme think of the current Trump White House?
Honestly, I don’t have any idea what this guy’s White House is going to be like. None. If Mike Pence was president, I’d know that White House. It would be a contemporary version of Richard Nixon’s. The closest [for Trump] that I can think of is maybe The Fountainhead.
The Fountainheadmeets The West Wing. Has someone already pitched that?