Question: When and why did Moira Kelly leave the cast of The West Wing? Thanks. — Susan L.
Televisionary: The word bandied about in the biz (try saying that three times really fast) was that Kelly left the show after its first season because her character, political strategist Madeline "Mandy" Hampton, wasn't given enough to do.Of course, more recent West Wing cast issues have made the papers as Warner Bros. comes to terms with four of its main actors giving the studio a money-related bellyache. Allison Janney (White House press secretary C.J. Cregg), Richard Schiff (communications director Toby Ziegler), Bradley Whitford (deputy chief of staff Josh Lyman) and John Spencer (chief of staff Leo McGarry) are bucking for bigger raises. According to Variety, the powers that be are offering to double their pay to $65,000 per episode and give them a $10,000 yearly increase if they'll extend their contracts two years past the six years they're already signed for. However, the actors want $90,000 an episode with an increase to $200,000 per by the seventh season and none of them are too jazzed about committing to an eighth, apparently. Those cast members recently told my reporter colleagues in our News & Gossip section that they've reached a deal with their bosses and are waiting only for a few details to be hammered out. The performers sound greedy until you consider that the stars of Friends earn about $750,000 per show, while Kelsey Grammer is said to make $1.76 million an episode after signing his latest Frasier deal with Paramount. But jeez, doesn't the joy of public service mean anything anymore?