'West Wing' Reboot Might Be Closer Than We Thought

In the cross section of today's TV reboot boom and scandalous political climate, at least one original cast member from The West Wing seems to think it's a good time to give the show another try.

The award-winning political drama originally ran on NBC from 1999 to 2006, following the fictional presidency of Josiah "Jed" Bartlet, an economist turned politician seeking to steer the country towards peace, prosperity and equality.

Bradley Whitford, most recently acclaimed for his performances in 2017's Get Out and The Post, played Bartlet's Deputy Chief of Staff, Josh Lyman, a role for which he won an Emmy Award. Whitford spoke at an event in Arlington, Massachusetts on Wednesday, stating definitively that it seems like the right time to him for a West Wing reboot, according to The Boston Globe.

“People have been saying, ‘Oh you should bring it back,’ ” Whitford said in an on-stage interview with his journalist brother, David. “I always say you want to go before your banana turns brown, and that’s great life advice.”

For Whitford, the stars have aligned, making a reboot of the hit show seem relevant and feasible.

“It was an idiotic idea a few years ago. Aaron sort of entertained the notion in an interview, with [“This Is Us” star] Sterling Brown as president. He’s an incredible actor,” said Whitford. “There’s been a wave of successful reboots, which, economically, makes sense because the world is so fractured and these things have a built-in audience.”

However, Whitford said that if the reboot took place, everyone involved with have a tough time on their hands trying to navigate today's national conversations.

“I don’t know how you’d do it now,” he confessed, referencing the Trump administration's eschewing of many political norms. “I mean, what do we pretend? There’s a pretty big elephant in the room at the moment.”

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Whitford spoke on his recent break-out film roles at the event as well, praising director Jordan Peele as "brilliant" and marvelling at the chance to work with Steven Spielberg and Meryl Streep. The ticket sales from the event went towards a new library for Arlington's Gibbs Sixth Grade School.

The discussion of reboots has been spurred by the recent unforeseen success of Roseanne, which returned after over 20 years off the air to dominate the sitcom world. Despite its controversial political undertones, Roseanne has seen enormous ratings in the three weeks since its premiere. Were West Wing to return at the same time, it would stand in stark contrast as an unapologetically cerebral drama.