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'West Wing' Tackles Live Debate

(Posted November 11, 2005 by Leah Yoakum)

LOS ANGELES ( - Let the presidential debate begin ... even if it isn't for real.

At one lectern will be Republican candidate Arnold Vinick, played by Alan Alda; at the other, Democratic challenger Matt Santos, portrayed by Jimmy Smits. The Emmy-winning actors will square off live as newsman Forrest Sawyer "moderates" their characters' showdown on the NBC drama series "The West Wing" Sunday, Nov. 6. As with the live season premiere of NBC's "Will & Grace," the episode will be staged twice: first for the Eastern half of the country, then again for the Western half.

Vinick and Santos are vying to succeed President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen), and "The West Wing" itself is campaigning to recover from a ratings dip since it moved to Sunday from its former Wednesday slot. Its first-ever live broadcast is a good way to focus attention back on the show, and both Alda and Smits are up to the challenge -- for the most part.

Source: Zap2it

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