Question: How is the West Wing planning to deal with the tragic loss of John Spencer?

Answer: Tragic indeed. I had the good fortune to interview John a few times and I always remember him being extremely down-to-earth and very non-actor-y. As far as WW goes, the writers are convening after the holidays to tackle the dicey issue of Leo's fate. Meanwhile, the Hollywood Reporter apparently erred when it reported that WW's quandary was further complicated by the fact that Leo appeared in that flash-forward sequence set three years into the future in the season premiere. TVGuide.com's Matt Mitovich tells me that one of his cronies went back and rewatched the episode and insists that Leo did not appear in the sequence. In related news, it must be nice having your friends do your grunt work.