Everything We Know About a Possible Revival of ‘The West Wing’

The West Wing

The West Wing | NBC

What’s next? If we’re lucky enough, maybe more episodes of The West Wing.

When television networks began reviving every show under the sun, from Twin Peaks to The X-FilesThe West Wing immediately came to mind as being in need of additional episodes.

After all, so much has changed in the world of politics since Aaron Sorkin’s extraordinarily optimistic series went off the air over 10 years ago, and now seems like the perfect time to re-enter that world. So how likely is this, exactly? Could we see more The West Wing at some point? Let’s take a look at what we know right now.

Aaron Sorkin said years ago he would do it

Aaron Sorkin | Theo Wargo/Getty Images

It was in the summer of 2016 that Aaron Sorkin started saying that he would seriously consider bringing back The West Wing, assuming he can come up with a good enough idea. He said as much during an interview with Today in June 2016.

“If there was a way to bring it back without harming its legacy, I would,” he said.

 The following month, Sorkin made similar comments in a Reddit Ask Me Anything, writing, “If I had an idea or a way to do The West Wing today, I would think seriously about doing it. I would want to do it myself because I’m so personally attached to it. Of course, I wouldn’t want to do anything to tarnish anyone’s memory of the show.”

The whole cast seems interested

The West Wing

The West Wing | James Sorensen/NBC/Newsmakers

Revivals can be difficult if the whole cast of the original series doesn’t want to return, but it seems that just about everyone from The West Wing would come back.

After all, at various points, Rob Lowe, Allison Janney, Bradley WhitfordRichard SchiffDulé Hill, and Joshua Malina have all suggested they’d do it, although there would be the matter of finding time in all of their busy schedules.

Besides, the cast seems to reunite for some event, whether it’s a charity fundraiser or political ad, quite often, so they’re clearly still passionate about the show, and it seems likely that even the actors who haven’t gone on the record as saying they’d come back would do so if the revival talks got off the ground.

NBC said it wanted to revive the show

The NBC logo is seen on the entrance to NBC Studios on E 49th Street on December 1, 2009 in New York City.

NBC logo | Michael Nagle/Getty Images

So if Sorkin came up with a good enough idea, who would bring the show back? Would NBC be interested?

Well, in the summer of 2017, NBC Entertainment Chairman Bob Greenblatt said that The West Wing was on his reboot wish list.

“I keep saying to [Sorkin], ‘Do you want to do The West Wing again, wouldn’t it be great to do it?’” Greenblatt explained. “He says, ‘You know I love that show and some day I’d love to revisit it, but it’s not going to happen right now.’”

Sorkin has made some progress in coming up with an idea

Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

At this point, then, we have a network that’s interested in bringing back the show, and the whole cast is down to return. So the only roadblock appears to be Sorkin himself, who has been saying that he’d only want to revive the show if he had a really good idea.

In late 2017, Sorkin said that he had an idea for a revival and even had an actor in mind to play the president.

“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 [played by Martin Sheen], long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon,” he said.

However, he said that he gets stuck when he tries to figure out how to bring characters like C.J. Cregg and Josh Lyman into the mix; presumably, he would want the whole cast back. So he still hasn’t fully figured out how the revival would work, but he seems to be getting closer.

The most recent update

The West Wing | NBC

The most recent revival update came in April when Sorkin was interviewed on the West Wing Weekly podcast. He confirmed that he has discussed the revival with Bob Greenblatt, also suggesting that he isn’t that much closer to figuring out the idea but would still do it if he does.

“Incredibly, the show has a legacy,” he said. “The last thing I would want to do is harm that, so if I can come up with an idea that doesn’t feel like A Very Brady Christmas, if I can come up with an idea that works, then yeah.”