‘West Wing’ Character Inspires Discovery Documentary Series

Mar 28, 2012  •  Post A Comment

Discovery Channel has unveiled plans for a new documentary series that was inspired by a character on “The West Wing,” The Washington Post reports.

"The Gatekeepers," set to premiere next year, was inspired by John Spencer’s character, Leo McGarry, on the Emmy-winning NBC drama, the story reports.

The docu-series will span nine presidential administrations and the role of the chiefs of staff, a job deemed more important than the vice president. Included in the show will be interviews with Obama’s former chief, Rahm Emanuel, as well as other chiefs including Donald Rumsfeld, James A. Baker III, John Sununu and "Mack" McLarty.

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush have also been filmed for the series.

Filmmakers Gedeon and Jules Naudet, who are creating the series, told The Post about the connection to Aaron Sorkin’s drama series, saying, “We had been fans of ‘The West Wing’ and love that character. A lot of people know about the president and vice president, but the chief of staff — that’s a very strange, secret brotherhood no one knows about.”

The article also notes, "The Naudets, in turn, brought in exec producer and longtime news exec Chris Whipple (“60 Minutes,” ABC News), who conducted many of the interviews. And Pulitzer Prize-winning White House photographer David Hume Kennerly was brought in as producer.

One Comment

  1. The show was actually produced by former ABC News producer Chris Whipple, creator of their popular “What Would You Do?” prime time feature and series. He brought the Naudets into the project and they’ve collaborated on all aspects.

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