Oh, Rob Lowe what are you thinking? It hasn't been that long since a certain X-rated videotape nearly eclipsed all the hard work you did in 1980s flicks like About Last Night... and Class, and now you're leaving your comeback role of the White House's deputy communications director Sam Seaborn on The West Wing. Are you nuts?
"It's going to be a big [transition]," the president himself, Martin Sheen, tells TV Guide Online. "It's a very difficult show to do because it's all acting. We talk a lot, and it's dependent on each other. I don't know how we're going to fill that void.
"But," he adds, "Aaron Sorkin [the series creator] is a genius, so, although it won't be easy, I know he'll find a way."
No duh. After all, even the Republican members of AFTRA would switch parties in a heartbeat to be under-fives, never mind regulars, on the NBC hit. Why, we can already imagine a line of would-be political animals lobbying the boss to try on Lowe's old desk for size. And frankly, we hope that Sorkin gives a chance to a few of these likely candidates.
Charlie Sheen: Since his tour of duty as deputy mayor Charlie Crawford on Spin City has come to a close, maybe the reformed bad boy should accept an even loftier position alongside dear ol' dad Sheen.
Andrew McCarthy: If Lowe could remake a name for himself, why not his baby-faced St. Elmo's Fire co-star? Despite the rattling of skeletons in Andrew's closet Weekend at Bernie's and a sequel? Shameful! the time might be right to usher in another McCarthy era.
Michael Keaton: Speaking of actors whose careers need resurrecting... A move from L.A. to D.C. would allow the former Caped Crusader to put to good use his experience as a speech writer in 1994's Speechless minus the difficulty of striking a match with Geena Davis.
Moira Kelly: Back in the first season of The West Wing, the button-nosed starlet vanished from the Oval Office without so much as a goodbye monologue. So how ironic would it be if she returned as Mandy Hampton to take over the job of putting words in the mouth of the prez.
Brad Rowe: If any thespian is prettier than Lowe, it's Brad Pitt, right? And since Pitt is too big for the small screen, The West Wing ought to appoint as Lowe's successor Pitt lookalike Rowe, a pretty younger thing who needs an established show to rescue him from flops like Spin City and Leap of Faith.
Judd Nelson: The brattiest member of the Brat Pack may have made Brooke Shields look like Lucille Ball on Suddenly Susan. But hey, you never can tell he could fare far better with intelligent scripts and savvy castmates. Eh, on second thought, see you on Celebrity Boxing, pal.
George Stephanopoulis: Having undertaken the overwhelming task of polishing Bill Clinton's image, the former chief's adviser would find cleaning up after Jed and Co. child's play. Plus, Stephanopoulis' real-life resumé gives him unparallelled street cred at least on Pennsylvania Avenue.