The series is set in the same universe as The West Wing.Series one features cameos from Josh, Donna and the gay Republican congressman; Joey Lucas tutored Benton on sign language before she moved into polling. It could also explain Josh's neurosis about his family dying - he changed his name after his disastrous first marriage and it took Donna to melt his heart after her death in childbirth. It gets even scarier when Alan Alda's character is shown to have Alzheimer's - thus perhaps the entirety of Season 7 is a figment of Gabriel Lawrence's imagination where he nearly becomes President. Season 10 features Mallory (Leo's daughter) as a woman having a miscarriage. Season 12 has Rona (Santos's advisor) as a nutty mom of a child with HIV.