Is ‘The West Wing’ on Netflix? How to Watch All 7 Seasons of the Political Drama

The TV landscape changed forever on Sept. 22, 1999, when Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing premiered on NBC. Ahead, we provide a brief overview of each season — warning: there are some spoilers — and offer up details on how to watch the series. 

What is ‘The West Wing’ about? 

In short, The West Wing is about…well, the West Wing of the White House. The hour-long drama with its fast-talking characters and walk-and-talk scenes follows White House senior staffers in their day-to-day lives working for fictional President of United States, Josiah “Jed” Bartlet, played by Martin Sheen

Over the course of the show’s run, The West Wing racked up many honors. Out of 95 Emmy Award nominations, the show won 26. The program also received 20 Golden Globe nominations taking home three wins. 

Martin Sheen as President Josiah "Jed" Bartlet on 'The West Wing'
Martin Sheen as President Josiah “Jed” Bartlet on ‘The West Wing’ | Scott Garfield/NBCU Photo Bank

Who stars in ‘The West Wing’? 

The cast of The West Wing included John Spencer (Leo McGarry), Bradley Whitford (Josh Lyman), Allison Janney (C.J. Cregg), Richard Schiff (Toby Ziegler), Dulé Hill (Charlie Young), Rob Lowe (Sam Seaborn), Janel Moloney (Donnatella “Donna” Moss) and, of course, Sheen. 

How to watch ‘The West Wing’

Netflix users are in luck. The entire series — yes, all seven seasons and 156 episodes of The West Wing — are available to stream on Netflix. The series is available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video.

How many seasons are there of ‘The West Wing’? 

Sorkin’s political drama ran for seven seasons — 156 episodes total — before going off the air in May 2006. 

Below get a brief summary of each of the show’s seven seasons: 

Season 1: The first 22 episodes of The West Wing chronicled the Bartlet administration’s early days in the White House and ended with the president facing the possibility of two major disasters; a missing pilot in the desert following a plane crash and a spaceship that couldn’t land because of faulty cargo doors. 

'The West Wing' cast
Cast of ‘The West Wing’ | Michael O’Neil/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

Season 2: Beginning and ending in a more dramatic fashion, season 2 began with an assassination attempt on President Bartlet. The season ends with him losing his longtime secretary, Mrs. Landingham (Kathryn Joosten), in a car accident. The West Wing Season 2, Episode 22: “Two Cathedrals” is regarded as one of the best in the series. 

Season 3: Delving deeper into the storyline of Bartlet’s multiple sclerosis diagnosis and him keeping it from the public, season 3 ends with the president confronting his running mate at a Broadway production. Meanwhile, the Secret Service agent assigned to protect C.J. (played by NCIS actor Mark Harmon) is shot and killed during a robbery. 

Season 4: Bartlet runs for re-election — and wins — while symptoms of multiple sclerosis occur more frequently. The season ends with Bartlet’s youngest daughter Zoey (Elisabeth Moss) being taken hostage in the midst of the vice president resigning due to a sex scandal. 

Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Donna (Janel Molony) in a scene from 'The West Wing'
Josh (Bradley Whitford) and Donna (Janel Molony) in a scene from ‘The West Wing’ | Ron Jaffe/NBCU Photo Bank

Season 5: Bartlet continues his administration in season 5 with the season’s biggest development being between Josh and Donna. Bartlet deals with a bombing overseas while Josh considers telling Donna how he feels after she’s shot. 

Season 6: Bringing more change in the Bartlet White House, Sheen’s character fires Leo, his closest friend and chief of staff. In the aftermath, Leo has a heart attack.

Season 7: As Bartlet’s time second presidential term comes to an end, he must decide what’s next for himself and the nation. The series ends with Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) taking over.