Oliver turned me on to this news:
September 6, 2005 -- In a first for NBC's "The West Wing" (Sundays, 8-9 p.m. ET), the Emmy Award-winning series will broadcast a live episode featuring a debate between presidential candidates Congressman Matt Santos (Jimmy Smits) and Senator Arnold Vinick (Alan Alda) on Sunday, Nov. 6 (8-9 p.m. ET).
Live TV is risky and I hope they pull it off. The show has left political reality but it’s still good. Arnie Vinnick is a Republican I could vote for so he could never actually get nominated. It should be fun.
Last week's episode was good. From Television without pity:
In his office, Toby takes Josh's call. Josh is asking that they do something to quiet down the leak story, but Toby breaks it to him that the White House is ending its investigation of the leak. Josh recognizes that this will throw the focus onto security issues for a while, giving Vinick a chance to dominate the discussion and contrast himself with the Democrats. Josh starts yelling at Toby, who just hangs up on him.
Then the Bombshell:
Josh tells Santos that the AP has a photograph of something that happened in his hotel bed in Cleveland: "Is there anything you'd like to tell me?" Unspoken but implied are the words "before I tear your eyes you, you cheating hussy." Santos: "His name is Bruce. He's a flight attendant on Aer Lingus." I think I know that guy. Santos leans back against the wall of the elevator, and sighs. "At first, it was long walks..." And that's when Josh loses it. Santos maintains the joke for a second, looking horribly offended that Josh would laugh at him just as he's sharing this difficult story. Josh apologizes for doubting Santos, pointing out that it's his job to ask these questions. And then Santos says, "Wait a minute. Cleveland?"
1 hour ago