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'Josh Lyman' talks the Twitter after-life of 'The West Wing'

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In this week’s issue of EW, we compiled some of our favorite West Wing character Twitters — a community of accounts by unidentified users who tweet as the show’s characters, including President Josiah Bartlet, Sam Seaborn and C.J. Cregg — to explore how they keep Aaron Sorkin’s political drama, which ended in 2006, alive online.

In the process, we managed to track down the user behind the Joshua Lyman account (@joshualyman), who regularly tweets commentary on political happenings and interacts with other West Wing accounts. After exchanging several DMs, “Josh” agreed to answer some of our questions over email, as long as we kept his real identity hidden. (No worries, Josh — we know it didn’t work out so well the last time you tackled the Internet.)

“Lyman” shared his motivations behind creating the account, what he does to get into character and how the community works.
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Chuck Lorre's new sitcom casts 'West Wing' star

Chuck Lorre has found his next Mom.

Former West Wing star Allison Janney has been cast in the mega-successful comedy producer’s new CBS pilot.

She’ll star opposite the previously announced Anna Faris, who plays a newly sober single mother trying to pull her life together in Napa Valley. The Emmy-winning Janney will play Faris’ own mom (so there’s two moms we’re talking about here; the title refers to Faris’ character).

The pilot is written by Lorre and his Two and a Half Men colleagues Eddie Gorodetsky and Gemma Baker, with Lorre and Gorodetsky as executive producers. The multi-cam sitcom has the potential to continue Lorre’s sitcom winning streak, which includes TV’s top-rated comedy The Big Bang Theory, along with Men and Mike & Molly.

Janney recently returned from the Sundance Film Festival, where promoted her films Touchy Feely and The Way, Way Back, the latter of which was acquired by Fox Searchlight. If greenlit to series, Mom will mark Janney’s first regular live-action TV series role since ABC’s Mr. Sunshine and, before that, The West Wing.

Read more:
Anna Faris joins CBS sitcom from Chuck Lorre
Charlie Sheen wants to return to ’2.5 Men’: ‘I am dead, but so’s the show’

Bradley Whitford to guest star on 'Shameless'

Bradley Whitford has signed on to guest star on the third season of Shameless.

The West Wing alum will appear in two episodes of the upcoming season playing Abraham — a “powerful, well-dressed, sophisticated gay man who is a political activist.” Let’s hope he takes his cues from White House Deputy Chief of Staff Josh Lyman and not his shady Cabin in the Woods character.

In addition to starring in The West Wing and The Cabin in the Woods, Whitford has also appeared in The Good Guys, The X Files and ER.

Shameless stars William H. Macy, Emmy Rossum and Justin Chatwin. The Showtime series will return for season 3 on January 13, 2013 at 9 p.m.

Read more:
‘West Wing’ cast reunites for Michigan campaign ad (Yay, nepotism!) — VIDEO
SXSW: ‘Cabin in the Woods’ director Drew Goddard’s festival diary: BBQ with Robert Rodriguez, Bradley Whitford mom flirtation, and rain rain rain
Bradley Whitford to reunite with ‘West Wing’ co-star on USA’s ‘In Plain Sight’ — EXCLUSIVE

Kathryn Joosten, 'Desperate Housewives' and 'West Wing' star, dies at 72

Kathryn Joosten, the Emmy-winning actress best known as the irascible Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives and President Bartlet’s trusty secretary Mrs. Landingham on The West Wing, died Friday, June 1, of lung cancer. She was 72.

Joosten’s memorable roles on the two Emmy-winning dramas — she played the no-nonsense Dolores Landingham on Wing for three seasons and became a series regular on Housewives in 2004 — were particularly significant because of her late entry into Hollywood. The star, who working as a psychiatric nurse in Illinois  and living with her husband and two sons, decided to follow her lifelong dream of acting after her marriage broke up in 1980. She took classes from Chicago’s famed Steppenwolf Theatre and landed bit parts in community stage productions, and then Joosten — who moved to Los Angeles in 1995 — slowly began scoring small TV roles on shows like Family Matters, Roseanne  and NYPD Blue. It was The West Wing, though, that solidified her spot as a beloved character actress. While she didn’t have a large role, Joosten was so beloved that when Sorkin killed Mrs. Landingham off in a fatal off-screen collision with a drunk driver, a California state assemblyman delivered a tribute to her character and called her “a great  American.”

While political praise was nice, Joosten’s move to Wisteria Lane finally got her the industry accolades she deserved. Her Mrs. McCluskey got to utter some of the dramedy’s best lines (“We going for drinks or mammograms?” she once said to Nicollette Sheridan’s Edie, after giving her clevage-baring outfit a once-over), and earned Joosten the Outstanding Guest Actress Emmy in 2005 and 2008. The star — a former smoker who first battled lung cancer in  2001 — was preparing for her fifth season of Housewives when she got the news in  August 2009 that her cancer had returned. “I’ve got a little hang up here,” she told People.com. “But we’re going to handle it and move forward.”

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