NBC's 'West Wing' to Take More Bipartisan ApproachI'm wondering if this has anything to do with Sorkin's "quitting" last May...
Executive producer John Wells promises that Sheen will get his old job back before long.
But Wells said Goodman's guest-starring role is just one way in which "West Wing," which some have criticized as being too liberal, too Democratic, will become more politically balanced this season.
To represent the Republican point of view, Wells has recruited former Reagan chief of staff Ken Duberstein, along with John Podhoretz, a conservative columnist who wrote speeches for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush senior. Wells said Podhoretz has been one of the show's "staunchest critics" in recent years.
There have been suggestions that the show, launched in more peaceful times, lost its course after September 11 as make-believe politics were displaced by real world events. The series' star, Sheen, has also come under attack for his antiwar efforts. After voicing his dissatisfaction with President Bush and the war with Iraq last month Sheen said NBC big-wigs "let it be known they're very uncomfortable with where I'm at" on the war and said the network worried that his vocal antiwar stance would affect the show's ratings--NBC officials swore there was "no concern among top management."This story points out that Wells was put in place at the request of NBC Entertainment president Jeff Zucker - not the show's creative team or studio.
(MONDAY MORNING UPDATE:) Hope NBC enjoyed what will probably be the last Emmy for "West Wing" if their plan takes root.