Saturday, January 29, 2011

HBO Takes Sorkin's Latest Idea to Pilot...

Soon after his snagging an Oscar nomination for the script for The Social Network, HBO has announced it will take Aaron Sorkin's latest television idea to the pilot stage, heralding the scribe's return to TV after the spectacular failure of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

The pilot focuses on the behind the scenes at a cable news network. This had long been rumoured to be his next project, especially after he revealed he had been hanging around the set of Keith Olbermann's MSNBC series (from which Olbermann was recently, and publicly, forced to depart).

Sorkin, who had a cult success with the short-lived Sports Night before creating and running the massive hit The West Wing, has not had a television series on the air since Studio 60... and expensive and hugely anticipated series that barely lasted a season before being cancelled. Opinion of that show still sharply divides fans.

I think this news is good news, and news that more closely fits in with Sorkin's style than Studio 60... ever did. While I thought the show was well-cast and well-shot, it was clear that Sorkin had no flair for writing the sketches that were supposed to appear on the show, leaving one with the impression that the show within the show wasn't actually any good. Also, Sorkin likes to tackle real-world issues, and it rang a little false to have them tackled by comedy stars and Hollywood execs.

But a news show? With both the cynicism and the idealism and the possibilities for the patented Sorkin dialogue? Coupled with no-holds-barred HBO? Sounds like a great match to me.


Brenton said...

Studio 60 was brilliant enough. You're right, the skits themselves were pretty dreadful (Science, Schmience?) but the characters were excellent, the dialogue was excellent, and the acting was excellent. Amanda Peet was very impressive.

Nerdlinger said...

I agree with all that you've said. I just think that if took the same cast, characters and whatnot, and put it in the setting of a news channel, it would have worked brilliantly. At a comedy show, a lot of the stories just didn't quite gel.