Tag Archives: The West Wing tv show

Star power

Late Monday night on Twitter, Josh Malina (Sports Night, The West Wing) announced:

Today I’m pitching CBS the idea of doing a celebrity version of Dancing With The Stars!

And last night on The Late Late Show, Craig Ferguson described the new cast as “that guy from that thing…and that girl that you hate to watch.”

Both funny — because they’re so true.

If you’ve seen the lineup for the 13th season of DWTS, you’ll be hard pressed to put names with faces for many of the so-called ‘stars’ without first reading their bios.  Or are the professional dancers supposed to be the stars this season?

I think they have more name recognition.

Now, I’ll admit most people know who David Arquette is — if not from his acting work, then from his recent and very public marriage troubles with actress Courtney Cox.  And Carson Kressley, of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame, has kept himself in the spotlight with other hosting gigs and a clothing line (and just generally being entertaining as all get out).

At the other end of the spectrum, Nancy Grace is well known for being a particularly repugnant ‘news’ personality.  And Chaz Bono — while not a celebrity in my book — has certainly made headlines with her (his) gender transformation.

But the remaining contestants?  Reality stars (or brothers of reality stars).  Names you haven’t seen on television for years.  Names you’ve only seen as ‘the girlfriend of’ a celebrity.

Names you won’t know at all.

I guess A-listers aren’t fighting to get on the show like DWTS would have us believe.  Or they don’t want to work so hard.

Perhaps they should rename the show Dancers Are the Stars?

The new get

I was never much of an autograph hound.  But now?

I collect direct tweets from celebrities.

I follow quite a few on Twitter.  Most of them are actors or comedians who tweet funny or bizarre things about their lives. Sometimes I comment on what they say…and they actually reply to me.

It’s so cool.

I’ve also added directors of favorite movies and TV shows to my Twitter feed.  They’re fun to follow because they sometimes answer questions via Twitter about their current projects.

I’ve gotten personal responses from them as well.

I’m amassing quite a collection of celeb direct tweets.  From folks like comedian Michael Ian Black (Ed); actor Josh Malina (The West Wing, Sports Night); director Chris Weitz (About a Boy, New Moon); series creator Mike Royce (Everybody Loves Raymond, Men of a Certain Age); and legendary actress Lee Meriwether (Batman, Barnaby Jones).

Lee Meriwether even started following me on Twitter.

(Bet she’s blogging about that right now…)

An American Writer

A little over a decade ago, NBC’s fall television line-up included a new drama called “The West Wing.”

I can’t remember now what initially drew me to the series.  Was it Rob Lowe in the cast?  Washington D.C. as the setting?  All the characters talking about the then mysterious “POTUS”?  Or did the promos say ‘brought to you by the creator of The American President?’

Any of those would have worked on me.

But after witnessing the series premiere’s first scene alone — that now famous ‘walk and talk’ through the corridors of the White House — I was hooked.  My friends will tell you, I became a huge unpaid front man for the show, constantly trying to get more people on board to watch.

So, no one was prouder than me when “The West Wing” won a record 9 Emmy awards in its first year, including Best Drama.  I even hung a banner on my cubicle at Hallmark Cards.  (I believe it said, “I told you so.”)

By that time, I knew one of the big reasons I kept watching:  writer/creator Aaron Sorkin.  He has scribed so many movies and TV shows that I love.  A Few Good Men.  Malice.  The American President. “Sports Night.”  Even “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.”  (Hey, someone had to like it.)

Sorkin’s writing is intelligent and real, always rapid-fire and often preachy when he feels the need to soapbox (which is quite often).  I think he was the perfect choice to write “The Social Network,” the movie about the birth of Facebook, which opens today.

I haven’t seen it yet, but the trailers look amazing….and early reviews are glowing.  And based on his record, I’ll bet I give Mr. Sorkin a really big “like” for his latest effort.

Staying power

I have decided the lack of sunshine in California has confused the entertainment community.

Jay Leno won’t go home…and Rob Lowe won’t stay.

Just when he was riding high again in the popular TV drama “Brothers & Sisters,” Lowe has decided to leave the show because he feels he is being ‘underused.’  Parent network ABC let him go, but is keeping him around to possibly anchor his own show in the future.

Where have I heard that before….?

Yes, it has shades of Leno in it.  But it also has shades of Lowe.

Remember Rob Lowe as earnest White House speech writer Sam Seaborn on “The West Wing?”  Even though it was structured as an ensemble drama, Lowe’s character was initially intended to be the show’s center, and President Jed Bartlet, portrayed by Martin Sheen, very much in the background.  In fact, Sheen’s initial contract was only written for four episodes.

But I think we all know what happened there.

A show about the West Wing of the White House — with Martin Sheen as POTUS — rotates around that central figure…and not the assistant communications director.  So after four seasons, Lowe left the show to anchor his own series.

It was called “Dr. Vegas.”  It lasted 10 episodes.  Oh — and Lowe was offered the part of McDreamy on “Grey’s Anatomy,” but he turned it down because he didn’t want to do another ensemble drama. Hmmm.

So, Rob — I know it’s raining.  I know the light has dimmed.  But try to see the pattern that you’ve fallen into…

Yet again.