November 15, 2000 - Newswire Release

Author: Dennis Brown

Significant segments of tonight’s (Nov. 15) episode of the NBC television drama “The West Wing” feature the University of Notre Dame and, in particular, the academic pedigree of the fictional President Josiah Bartlet.In previous shows, the Emmy Award-winning series has made subtle references to the president’s alma mater through the use of Notre Dame shirts, coffee mugs and other items.The president, played by veteran actor Martin Sheen, addresses the subject directly this week in a scene on Air Force One when he explains why he attended Notre Dame instead of Harvard, Yale or Williams College, all of which offered him scholarships.In a related storyline, another prominent character on the show also is revealed to be a Notre Dame graduate, which in turn answers why the president’s press secretary, played by Allison Janney, wears a Fighting Irish hat throughout the episode and prepares to lead the press corps in a rendition of the “Notre Dame Victory March.” “The West Wing” airs at 9 p.m. EST (locally on Channel 16 and ATCable Channel 8).p.

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