Fall TV Preview

The West Wing Special Sets HBO Max Premiere Date, Adds Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Martin Sheen in 'The West Wing' 2020

Two weeks before America decides whether to elect former Vice President Joe Biden or incumbent POTUS Donald Trump, former TV prez Jed Bartlet will return to the Oval Office, by way of HBO Max.

The streaming service announced Tuesday (aka National Voter Registration Day) that its highly anticipated West Wing reunion special will premiere on Thursday, Oct. 15. In lieu of a trailer, the above black-and-white photo has been released, which features Martin Sheen back as Bartlet, behind the Resolute desk.

As previously reported, A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote will bring together original cast members Rob Lowe, Dulé Hill, Allison Janney, Janel Moloney, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford and Sheen, as well as series creator Aaron Sorkin and executive producer/director Thomas Schlamme, for a staged theatrical presentation of Season 3’s 15th installment, “Hartsfield’s Landing,” which first aired Feb. 27, 2002. Need a refresher? Here’s the official synopsis:

Bartlet (Martin Sheen) engages both Sam (Rob Lowe) and Toby (Richard Schiff) in intricate chess matches that mirror the wily game of brinksmanship that Bartlet is playing with the Chinese, who are conducting war games in the Taiwan Strait. The Chinese threaten real war if Taiwan begins test firing its new U.S.-made Patriot defense missiles. Meanwhile, Josh (Bradley Whitford) is nervous about the 42 votes in a remote New Hampshire town’s election, which are counted immediately and always predict the winner of that state’s primary. Mischievous C.J. (Allison Janney) tries to upset Charlie (Dulé Hill) by hiding his copy of the President’s top-secret daily schedule — prompting a spate of playful tricks.

In addition, HBO Max has revealed that each act break will feature commentary from former First Lady (and When We All Vote co-chair) Michelle Obama, President Bill Clinton and Hamilton‘s Lin-Manuel Miranda. The special will also welcome Emmy Award-winning musician and composer W. G. Snuffy Walden, who will open the show with an acoustic rendition of the series’ iconic theme song, as well as folk rock band The Avett Brothers, who will close out the special.

Are you looking forward to HBO Max’s West Wing special? (Its original seven-season run is available to stream on Netflix.)