Aaron Sorkin Reportedly Fires Most of THE NEWSROOM Writers for Season 2

     July 19, 2012


Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series The Newsroom is an interesting show.  I’m a self-professed “Sorkin nut,” so I came into the pilot episode with a great sense of excitement.  We’re now four episodes in, and it’s apparent to just about everyone that the series has some major problems.  There’s genuinely a lot to love about The Newsroom, but it’s not exactly gelling as well as Sorkin’s past TV efforts (The West Wing, Sports Night).  It now appears that the Academy Award-winning screenwriter himself is acknowledging that there are some issues with the show, as he has “let go” of most of his writing staff for season two.  Hit the jump for more.

Aaron Sorkin The NewsroomPer The Daily, Sorkin has fired most of The Newsroom’s staff writers: “They’re not coming back, except for Sorkin’s ex-girlfriend [Corinne Kinsbury].”  Before everyone jumps to conclusions, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.  First off, Sorkin writes every single episode of the show.  He managed this inhuman feat throughout his incredible four-season stint at showrunner on The West Wing, writing all but two or three episodes himself. It’s a task that he’s made abundantly clear he has no intention of giving up any time soon, per an interview with Vanity Fair earlier this year:

“I create these shows so that I can write them. I’m not an empire builder. I’m not interested in just producing. All I want to do is write. I came up as a playwright — writing is something you do by yourself in a room.”

He went on to add that he couldn’t possibly write this show without a room full of staff writers.  If I understand correctly, his process consists of kicking around ideas with the staff, then going off to write the actual episodes himself.  All this to say, don’t expect massive changes when The Newsroom returns for season two.  It’s definitely encouraging that Sorkin is doing something in response to the critical backlash towards The Newsroom, but I wouldn’t hold my breath for a complete 180 next year.

As I said, The Newsroom definitely has problems—the female characters could benefit from being portrayed as, you know, women and not simply damsels in distress or boy-obsessed.  However, I’m a sucker for Sorkin’s romanticism and wit, and his talent still shines through in every episode of the show (thus far).  Moreover, Alison Pill is the unsung hero of the series and I’m really, really hoping that Sorkin really lets her shine later this season.  That girl is one hell of an actress.

It’ll be interesting to see how much of a difference—if any—this writers room shakeup makes come season two.  It’s not uncommon for writing staffs to go through major changes from season to season (HBO said as much in their official response), and Mad Men creator/showrunner Matthew Weiner has gained a bit of a reputation for regularly firing writers off of the Emmy juggernaut series.  For now, I’ll continue watching The Newsroom with a healthy amount of enjoyment and a dash of hopefulness that we see more of that West Wing greatness we all know Sorkin is capable of.


  • Tommy Girl

    as the dark knight rises so to does the white lady

    • Donovan McLean

      A sentence would look like:

      “As the Dark Knight rises, so too does the White Lady.”

      At least make an effort. You’re not texting your best friend. You’re posting your comments in a place where anyone with a computer can read them.

      • Wockerdaw

        The comment section is a casual place. It is a place where people can write freely. I read an article, I post a comment. I don’t need to go over my comment and look for grammatical mistakes, because it’s a casual environment.

        So, I’m not going to judge Tommy Girl on her (his?) grammar, I’m going to judge you for failing to bring anything to the discussion, and instead opting to try and embarrass someone. I don’t get it.

        But you know, I’m kind of a hypocrite, it’s not like I’m adding anything to the discussion anyway, I just think you’re kind of a prick…

  • Griz

    Kicks around ideas and then goes and writes the whole thing himself . .. . . . Big deal. Do that in six days and you might give Trey Parker a run for his money on south park. ;-)

  • whatswith

    As much as I am trying to fall in love with this tv show, it is just not happening. There is something deeply off about the characters and how they are portrayed. I am sorry but you need to be a serious sorkin Nutter to not be bothered by such flaws

  • Donovan McLean

    A sentence would look like:

    “As the Dark Knight rises, so too does the White Lady.”
    At least make an effort. You’re not texting your best friend. You’re posting your comments in a place where anyone with a computer can read them.

    • Donovan McLean

      I like posting things twice.

      I like posting things twice.

    • Besides

      Proper grammar appears highly underrated.
      Capitalization… What is that?
      To, too or two?
      There or their?
      \end whining

  • Sara

    well, I love this show. Just need to improve Maggie and Mac. I like Sloan, but she doesn’t appear to much.
    I love Jim and Don

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  • The Cat

    I love this show too. The first and third episodes were especially great. I don’t see why people criticize the portrayal of women on this show when there are both intelligent (most all) and powerful (Mackenzie, the network head) female characters. Maggie is boy obsessed, Jim is lovestruck. Characters can be intelligent and successful while also being slaves to their sexual and emotional desires. Its what makes them realistic.

  • Besides

    Proper grammar appears highly underrated.
    Capitalization… What is that?
    To, too or two?
    There or their?
    \\end whining

    • ScaredForMovies

      Get use to it my friend. We have entered the text/twit generation and by all indication it’s only going to get worse. I thought it was bad when people talked on their cell phones while driving. Now they’re texting.

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  • Maryjanesuncle

    HBO..to much politics. More Like Deadwood and Game of Thrones…

  • archrival

    I wanted to like this show…but I guess Sorkin only caters to the uber leftists and quite frankly it only seems like an attempt to re-write history because they know they have failed in their agenda…so they want to live in a fairytale of how it might have been if only they had done this or that or the other…when will they realize….Americans will NEVER go for all out control by their government, which is what the uber left seem to want to accomplish.

    • Freedem

      That is why the lead character is an old fashioned Republican who is wondering who hijacked his party, and the whole studio struggles to portray reality rather than fluff. That may be a fantasy that a corporate news organization would be focused on reality and actual facts people need to know, but anyone who has any curiosity and access to the Internet knows these things. It is the rest of folk he hopes to reach.

      What you call the Uber Left were normal conservatives before the crazies got bought up to subvert the Republican Party. Actual Liberals just want the psychopaths in all positions of power held accountable for the damage they do. Power cannot be created or destroyed; it is only a matter of how accountable the person who has it is to the people that have to live with the decisions. That is the meaning of Freedom, that each person is empowered to have the best life possible without assault and blocking by others, no matter what source their power. That is the whole point of the Left… uber or otherwise.

      It is Republicans who want to block millions from voting, control women’s lives and bodies even in nonsexual situations, reduce general knowledge and critical thinking, making real education available only to the few, create such desperation that people give up freedom, for security and food, run the Government for the protection of the rich, no matter how criminally that wealth was acquired, and reducing protection of their victims, even if it destroys the planet,

  • wacko3205

    Okay…first off…to whomsoever wants to piss & moan about my sentence structure and grammatical errors…have at it.

    That being said, I 100% love this show.

    From the first episode to the last I’ve been hooked and I think that the acting has just been over the top fantastic. I can’t understand WTF the writers got the boot because the diversity of the episodes has fluctuated from good to great to fantastic & the bulk of the emotional load carried by Will has just been astounding.

    I dig it.

    I don’t know what it is exactly or why I am so soooooooooooo very hooked & enthralled over…because the wife hates the shit out of it…but she’s loved every second of True Blood S5 & I mean…come the EF on…no pun intended True Blood Season 5 has been as uncomfortably ridiculous as if I were a vamper forced to suck blood from a busted hemorrhoidally inflamed bunney-hole.

    This show has class & teeth & should be given a second view before one condemns it. The peaks are high & the valleys low…this one has all the goods to turn into one of HBO’s top bills.

    I’m here for the duration & applaud the recently fired writer’s staff.

    I mean…can’t they all just get along?

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