Thursday TV: ‘The West Wing’ Cast Returns

There’s something of a political overload tonight, the most satisfying of which will likely be “A West Wing Reunion to Benefit When We All Vote” (HBO Max, streaming), the first time in 17 years that the original cast has gotten together in their old roles. Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford, Rob Lowe, Richard Schiff, Janel Moloney, Allison Janney and Dulé Hill will all take part as they re-enact as a theatrical play a single episode from its third season, “Hartsfield’s Landing.” Sterling K. Brown will step in to play Chief of Staff Leo McGarry originally played by John Spencer, who died in 2005. It will also feature special appearances from Michelle Obama, Bill Clinton, Lin-Manuel Miranda and the Avett Brothers, all helping to encourage citizens to vote. 

Originally the second presidential debate was scheduled tonight. Instead, President Trump got Covid-19, the presidential debate commission moved to make the debate virtual, and Trump withdrew, saying he didn’t want to be cut off (since cutting people off was his main move in the atrocious first debate).

Joe Biden agreed to use his time for a Town Hall (ABC, 8 p.m.) with George Stephanopolous instead, but just yesterday Trump got his old “Apprentice” network to grant him for his own Town Hall (NBC, 8 p.m.) at the same time with Savannah Guthrie. So: two candidates talking parallel, on separate networks, helping no undecided viewer. 

More political rancor? The Senate Confirmation Hearing (CSPAN, 9 a.m.) begins its deliberations for its all but foregone Supreme Court nominee. 

A new eight-part anthology series about the covid era, “Social Distance” (Netflix, streaming), joins the comedy that began last week on the same topic, “Connecting…” (NBC, 8 and 8:30 p.m.).

October brings a new teen movie for Halloween, “A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting” (Netflix, streaming) 

The documentary “Freedia Got a Gun” (Peacock) features the considerations of New Orleans hip hop star Big Freedia to stem violence. 

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