I'm sure you're familiar with the name of Aaron Sorkin by now. He's gained quite a bit of fame in the past years for writing such Oscar-winning and -nominated scripts for hit movies like The Social Network and Moneyball. I guess if I wanted to be all hipstery, I'd point out that I was a fan from when I first saw A Few Good Men, which he also wrote. But no, I became familiar with him through his television work.
His most recent TV series was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, and while I did thoroughly enjoy it, I lament that it never really found it's point. His best known TV series was The West Wing, where he was the creator and pretty much wrote every episode in its first four seasons. Got to admit, I never really got into The West Wing. Don't know why...but what little I saw, I loved. I still absolutly adore his first TV series, Sports Night.
Seriously, dudes, if you've never seen Sports Night, check it out. That show is just freaking brilliant. I watched it in its first run...I picked up the special 10th anniversary complete series boxed set a couple years ago, and re-watching it, I kept thinking, "I forgot how amazing this show is." I'll totally loan you my DVDs so you can watch it. And that's how awesome I think it is and that you should watch it. Because I never loan out my DVDs.
And Sorkin returns to his Sports Night/Studio 60 fascination with the behind-the-scenes workings of television with his new TV series The Newsroom. This time around, he takes behind the scenes of a cable news show. And I just discovered that the series is drawing some ire up here in Canada because Sorkin totally stole the title of one of our most critically-acclaimed and revered TV programs.
Regardless, Sorkin has assembled an all-star cast for this one. Jeff Daniels (yup, the Dumb and Dumber guy) is our lead anchor Will McAvoy. Sam Waterson (still best remembered as Jack McCoy on Law & Order) is the president of the network. British actress Emily Mortimer is news program's executive producer. And some how, amongst all that talent, Olivia Munn snuck in there.
It premieres on HBO in the USA this June, and HBO has released a trailer.
Some online are already drawing the comparisons to the opening minutes of Studio 60 in this trailer...looks like both series open with a renowned television personality having a very public meltdown about the current state of the world, sending their respective networks into damage control. But it looks like that, unlike Studio 60, which then led to the television personality being fired, The Newsroom sees the personality get to keep his job and try to make the improvements he feels are neccessary.
Truth be told, watching this trailer, I'm seeing more in common with Sports Night, if only because the shots of the cubicals and TV controls rooms and in the office of the president of the network just look awfully familiar And if this show winds up being Sports Night 2.0, I'll be more than happy with that.
It starts up on HBO on June 24...no word on who's airing it in Canada.