The West Wing Could Be Getting a Reboot

Warner Bros. Entertainment
Warner Bros. Entertainment

It has been nearly 20 years since The West Wing made its television debut—and more than a decade since its finale aired. Yet fans of the award-winning political drama haven’t quite gotten over the fictional D.C. Aaron Sorkin created, and still have a lot of questions. Is Jed Barlet alive and kicking? Are Josh Lyman and Donna Moss living happily ever after? Can C.J. Cregg still bust out “The Jackal” on demand? Does anyone care what happened to Mandy Hampton? The West Wing Weekly, Hrishikesh Hirway and Joshua Malina’s popular podcast, has kept fans filled in on the show’s behind-the-scenes antics. But now actor Richard Schiff has hinted that a reboot of the series could be in the works, according to Deadline.

When asked about the possibility of reviving the Peabody Award-winning series by the Popcorn Talk Network’s I Could Never Be, Schiff—who won an Emmy for his role on the series as Toby Ziegler—admitted that he and Sorkin have talked about the possibility.

“Aaron has said he wanted it to happen,” Schiff said, explaining that if a reboot did happen, it “might go with a new administration, in which case, you know, some of us might show up as consultants … it makes no sense, maybe one or two of us to be in the White House.”

But Schiff has some of his own ideas about what the series could be:

“I don’t think it should be in the White House. I think that’s overcooked. My image of a show in the White House now is something like House of Cards, which is more apropos for the current administration—and Veep. You know, you combine Veep and House of Cards and you got, you got this administration. It’s a great idea … Where does politics really happen? And that’s the question. And especially in this era where there’s such an excitement in the grassroots level and on the local level ... and it really all happens in the state level.”

(For the record, Schiff said that he shared his idea with Sorkin and “he loved it.”)

At the moment, Sorkin might have his hands full: His new adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird just broke the record for the highest-grossing single week of an American play on Broadway. But that doesn’t mean the Oscar-winning auteur hasn’t teased his own ideas for what a new version of The West Wing might look like.

In 2017, Sorkin told The Hollywood Reporter that in his mind, The West Wing: Redux would see "Sterling K. Brown as the president, and there's some kind of jam, an emergency, a very delicate situation involving the threat of war or something, and [President] Bartlet, long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon.”

All of which begs the obvious question: What’s next?

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
NBC

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One


Round Two


Round Three


The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.

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