NBC has reportedly been trying to launch a reboot of The West Wing for years, with creator Aaron Sorkin even saying back in 2017 that he had a “standing offer” from the network. The show’s seventh, final season aired way back in 2006, so what would the show look like if made today? A hint comes from Richard Schiff, the Emmy-winning actor who portrayed Toby Ziegler (they did Toby dirty). He talked about the potential reboot on Popcorn Talk‘s I Could Never Be hosted by Michael Clouse.
“Aaron [Sorkin] has said he wanted it to happen,” Schiff explained. “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. I’ve pitched it to Aaron. He loved it.” Schiff went on to talk about what he pitched to Sorkin, which unfortunately did not involve hunting for Bigfoot.
“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, and it really all happens in the state level.”
Sorkin probably didn’t reply to him with “Ya think?” but we’re going to imagine that anyway.
Two years ago, Sorkin talked about some of his own ideas for a reboot, which included, “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] Bartlett, long since retired, is consulted in the way that Bill Clinton used to consult with Nixon.” Woah. Sterling K. Brown as the president? We’d vote for him three times if we could.
Here’s the full 45-minute interview with Schiff which was streamed live on Monday night. Along with the talk about The West Wing, he also talks about his other roles and the long path to landing his first acting role at age 33.
And here’s a preview of some of the dialogue we can look forward to if the reboot ever happens. It’s really quite something.