Currently The West Wing is in the midst of a presidential campaign between Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits, playing both as reasonably reasonable presidential folks. So, assuming the series survives that long (which is an open question, the once-powerful show having dropped a lot of viewers over the years), who is the new president, the new focus?
I think I’ve figured out what they’re going to do. They’re going to let the viewers decide. Put it up to an online vote; Rock Star: White House, as it were. This would build attention, and get viewers feeling committed by being involved. (Of course, theres the risk that the folks who voted for the losing candidate would feel more disconnected from the show…)
And in some ways, this entire replace-the-president situation is ideal for a TV show. With the way that cast salaries automatically go up as a show gets older, making it harder and harder to make the series affordable to continue, having a legit excuse to dump the entire long-running cast (or keep one token favorite for continuity). Perhaps they’ll even pull a Boston Legal, continuing it as a new series, creating a new rerun package in the process.
But I could be wrong…