The West Wing

Season 7 Episode 7

The Debate (East Coast)

Aired Wednesday 9:00 PM Nov 06, 2005 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • This is not the first time Alan Alda has ad-libbed as a TV character. When he played Hawkeye Pierce on M*A*S*H, an episode called "The Interview" showed the characters being interviewed by a war correspondent. The questions were scripted, but most of the replies were spontaneous.

  • Quotes

  • Notes

    • The episode won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Multi-Camera Sound Mixing for a Series or Special.

    • This is the only episode of the entire series in which none of the show's original cast members appear. In fact, with the exception of Bruno Gianelli (Ron Silver), none of the characters from this episode appeared on the show prior to Season 6.

    • The heckler who calls Vinick a liar is executive producer Christopher Misiano.

    • The poll on the website asks "Who do you think won the debate?" and shows results Santos 71% and Vinick 29%.

    • Kristin Chenoweth, Allison Janney, Mary McCormack, John Spencer, Bradley Whitford, and Martin Sheen do not appear in this episode.

    • This is the first ever live episode of The West Wing.

  • Allusions

    • The moderator refers to a Republican governor in Illinois who declared a moratorium on the death penalty. He was referring to former governor George Ryan, who stopped executions in the state after several death row inmates were found to have been wrongfully convicted.