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?