It’s Official: Sterling K. Brown Joins The West Wing Cast for HBO Max Special

Credit: HBO Max/People

After weeks of speculation from Wingnuts and myself, we have official confirmation that Sterling K. Brown has joined the HBO Max The West Wing reunion as Chief of Staff Leo McGarry. The confirmation was originally broke by who also dropped some sweet new photos along with the news.

John Spencer portrayed McGarry for six whole seasons before sadly dying of a heart attack midway through the filming of season seven in 2005. Spencer won an Emmy for his portrayal of McGarry in 2002 for his work in “Bartlet For America,” season three’s Christmas episode, and “We Killed Yamamoto.” Brown, a two-time Emmy award winner, has won the for his work in the NBC ensemble drama This is Us.

Brown took to Twitter when the news broke to proclaim his excitement.

A West Wing Special to Benefit When We All Vote is set to premiere October 15 on HBO Max two weeks before the election. The special is a staging of the season three episode “Hartsfield’s Landing” which sees the President handling a precarious situation in China while engaging in two chess matches with staff members Sam Seaborn (Rob Lowe) and Toby Ziegler (Richard Schiff).

Elsewhere in the White House, Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) is worried about the early election results in Hartsfield’s Landing. The small town of barely 100 people has predicted the outcome of the elections for years. Still elsewhere in the White House, Charlie (Dule Hill) and CJ (Allison Janney) engage in a series of pranks with each other after CJ steals Charlie’s personal copy of the President’s schedule. Of course, who else breaks up the friendly retaliation than McGarry, which leads to a hilarious confrontation between the three of them in CJ’s office.

The entire original cast including Martin Sheen, Janney, Hill, Emily Procter, Marlee Matlin, Lowe, Schiff, Whitford, and Moloney are returning for the staging which will be a typical three-act play and will feature act break messages from Michelle Obama, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Bill Clinton. The iconic theme song will be performed acoustically by composer W.G. Snuffy Walden and the Avett Brothers will close out the special with a performance. Matlin and Procter weren’t in the original episode so it is assumed that writer and creator Aaron Sorkin added them into the staging via exclusive added scenes.

Obama is the chairwoman of the When We All Vote organization, a non-partisan organization aimed at getting eligible people registered to vote and encouraging them to vote in their elections.

In addition to the news of Brown playing McGarry, both People and The AV Club have released exclusive photos of the staging which you can peep below. They show the beloved cast in action once again, proving that they’re still as on the ball now as they were then, maybe even more so.

Shelby Arnold
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