Martin Sheen’s Best Series Lands A New Home

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Martin Sheen can be seen in The West Wing marathon on HLN over Thanksgiving weekend.

By Sean Thiessen
| Published

This year’s Thanksgiving feast just got a whole lot tastier. Per Deadline, the CNN-owned network HLN will bring Martin Sheen back as President Josiah Bartlett for a 90-episode marathon of The West Wing over Thanksgiving weekend. Beginning November 24th and spanning through Sunday, the network will air the first four seasons of the seven-season show in rapid succession.

Created by acclaimed screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, The West Wing is widely considered one of the greatest television shows ever made. Each of its seven seasons was nominated for the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series, four of which it won. By the end of its run, the series was tied at 26 with Hill Street Blues for the most Emmy Award wins in history. The record was broken by Game of Thrones with an astonishing 38 in 2016. 

Led by Martin Sheen, The West Wing followed the inner workings of the White House staff. Martin Sheen is joined in the West Wing by a stellar ensemble cast, including Rob Lowe and Allison Janney. The acclaimed acting is supported by the show’s snappy scripts and impressive filmmaking.

The show is famous for its use of the “Walk and Talk”, a technique in which the camera follows a group in motion as they deliver their witty, back-and-forth dialogue. The technique is implemented to energize long, dialogue-driven scenes.

Sheen occupied the television Oval Office from 1999 until the show’s finale in 2006. He returned to the role in 2020 for a stage performance of the season 3 episode “Hartsfield’s Landing.” The special performance was a benefit for Michelle Obama’s When We All Vote, an organization dedicated to increasing voter participation.

For Martin Sheen, The West Wing‘s Josiah Bartlett is only one of his countless iconic roles. He has appeared in everything from masterpieces like Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now and Martin Scorsese’s The Departed to superhero fare like 1997’s Spawn. Sheen appeared alongside Andrew Garfield as Uncle Ben in Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot The Amazing Spider-Man. The actor has racked up hundreds of credits in TV and film since came on the scene over half a century ago.

Coming off the heels of Netflix’s comedy hit Grace and Frankie, Sheen is set to appear alongside his son, Charlie Sheen, in a new series from Entourage creator Doug Ellin. Titled Ramble On, the show will feature Charlie Sheen as a fictionalized version of himself as he and other stars of yesteryear struggle to reclaim relevance in the entertainment business. Martin Sheen will appear as himself as a participant in his son’s quest for reinvention. Ramble On is coming soon to HBO Max, but an exact date is not yet known.

The gravitas of this great actor has enlivened numerous film and television projects over the years and now may spark the next Great American Tradition. This Thanksgiving, Martin Sheen’s influence as an actor will be felt all weekend long as Americans binge The West Wing on HLN. And when that’s over, the hit series is available on HBO Max, so fans catching the marathon can still see those last three seasons. After recovering from the turkey coma, of course.