NBC Cancels 'West Wing' After 7 SeasonsJust when it was getting interesting. Just when we could see how badly they wanted to skewer Bush.
By DAVID BAUDER , 01.23.2006, 04:04 AM
NBC's political drama "The West Wing," which briefly made bureaucrats hip and won four Emmy awards for best drama, will end this spring with the inauguration of a new fictional president.
NBC announced the series' conclusion after seven seasons on Sunday. In the end, it fell victim to television's democratic process: sinking ratings, particularly after this season's move to Sunday nights.
The series will end May 14, preceded by an hour's retrospective.
Actors and producers toasted the show's end Sunday night at a cocktail party with television critics, who championed the series from the beginning.
"We knew we had a special show and we remained as a family," said Martin Sheen, who portrayed President Josiah Bartlet. "We all knew that we weren't going to get this kind of a chance again."
Series producers have only in the past few days decided who would win the presidential campaign that has been this season's main story; it will be revealed in April. The contest pits a Democrat played by Jimmy Smits and a Republican portrayed by Alan Alda, and the show's writers have fought over who should win.
My prediction: Sam Seaborn will replace Leo McGarry (played by John Spencer, who died last month) as VP candidate and Matt Santos will be sworn in as the 43rd President of the United States.