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Friday, 30 August, 2002, 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
West Wing's Lowe considers staying
Rob Lowe
Lowe plans to leave The West Wing in March
Actor Rob Lowe has said that he would consider staying on the political drama The West Wing if a deal could be worked out to keep him in the hit show.

Lowe, who plays White House Deputy Communications Director Sam Seaborn, is planning to leave the programme when his contract expires in March.

But he told a local TV station in Los Angeles that he would like to leave open the possibility of staying in the cast.

"Nothing would make me happier at the moment; no one has told me that anything has changed. We'll see," Lowe said.

Although the actor has refused to discuss the reasons for his departure, reports have suggested that a dispute with producers over his salary is to blame.

When I do go I'll have been there longer than a lot of people in the real White House

Rob Lowe

Lowe, who is thought to earn around $75,000 (49,000) an episode, reportedly opted to leave the show after producers refused to consider his bid for a pay rise, despite offering higher salaries to other cast members.

The actor's appearance on local TV came a day after West Wing co-star Martin Sheen appeared on TV begging Lowe to reconsider his decision.

"He's terrific in the show," Sheen told entertainment programme Access Hollywood. "We're hoping he will have a change of heart and that it's not a foregone conclusion."

"It could happen. He could come to his senses and stay with us for a little while."

Lowe, however, has said he is sticking to his decision.
West Wing
The show won nine awards at last year's Emmys

"I'm so disappointed that it's turned out this way and that I have to go," he said.

"My contract takes me to March, and I'm going to live up to it, and when I do go I'll have been there longer than a lot of people in the real White House."

The show won a record nine trophies at last year's Emmy TV awards, although Lowe was the only major cast member who did not receive a nomination.

The new season of the show begins in the US in September.

See also:

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