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    25 January, 2005

    West Wing's battle for Bartlet's succession

    In the States, they are ahead of us in screening the next series of The West Wing , and the New York Times today says that the battle to succeed President Bartlet is on in earnest, as Alan Alda fights Jimmy Smits for Martin Sheen's job.

    I'm a West Wing addict, and I know at least one Labour MEP and one Labour MP who feel the same. (if you're an addict you have all the DVDs).Tony Blair and Iain Duncan Smith also claim to be fans. I've used the series in political communications lectures and in a conference paper. (Anyone wanting a copy of this should email me at leighton.andrewsATwales.gov.uk, replacing AT with @). As others have argued, it is one of the few shows that doesn't portray politicians as simply cynical.

    The links with the Clinton administration of course were said to be very close, with Rob Lowe's character allegedly modelled on Clinton's Communications guy George Stephanopoulos, though Lowe has denied this. The fansite Bartlet4America, which recently has been campaigning for the series to close because it was past its best, has an excellent feature on the Clinton links.

    Martin Sheen is still there for the next series. But can the show survive after that? NBC has to take a decision on its future soon.

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    Promoted by Leighton Andrews AM, National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff CF99 1NA.

    Author's editorial policy: This blog does not publish anonymous comments, unless they are really witty and I like them. If you have something to say, then have the courage of your convictions and use your name or an identifiable alias. Even then I reserve the right not to publish comments that are malicious, defamatory, stupid, pointlessly cynical or boring. Any of the statements or comments made above should be regarded as personal and not necessarily those of the National Assembly for Wales, any constituent part or connected body.