Aaron Sorkin Announces New TV Show for HBO Set Behind-the-Scenes at a Cable News Show; Gives Update on THE POLITICIAN

     January 21, 2011


Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is poised to win the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay come Oscar time in February given the plethora of honors he’s already received for The Social Network. However, the man’s also known for his phenomenal work on the small screen.  He’s served as creator/showrunner/head writer on three television series: Sports Night, The West Wing, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The West Wing won an ungodly amount of Emmy awards, including Best Drama Series four years in a row, and now it looks like he’ll be returning to TV sooner rather than later, this time on HBO:

“I love television, and I’m going to be doing another television series as well, this time on HBO, and it’s going to take place behind-the-scenes at a nightly cable news show. It’s going to be happening soon. I’ve written the pilot episode and we’re casting it right now.”

We’ve known for some time that he’s been working on a new television show, but no one knew it was this far along. He revealed the information in an interview with BBC News.  Hit the jump to hear more from Sorkin regarding the project, including what outlets he visited to prepare, and an update on his feature film directorial debut The Politician.

the_politician_book_coverWhen asked what he’s done research-wise to prepare for his new television venture, Sorkin responded thusly:

“I’ve spent some time at CNN…with Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, Fox News, I’ve spent some time being a fly on the wall at those shows…What the hope is, is that I can bring the same kind of idealism and romanticism that made government seem sexy on The West Wing, and I can bring it to the news and journalism, which in America is held in at least as much contempt as government.”

In addition to the new television series, Sorkin is also working on adapting Andrew Young’s tell-all book The Politician, which centers around the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter controversy.  Sorkin said that he’s gearing up to start writing the film (after the Oscars, presumably) and will make his directorial debut with the project. He spoke about how the themes of The Politician are similar to those in The Social Network:

“I think that the John Edwards story has a lot in common with The Social Network in that it’s a very modern backdrop, you know we all read about it, it seems like yesterday, but these ancient themes are set against that modern backdrop. Tremendous motivations, decisions based on those motivations, and horrible consequences.”

Personally, I’m more than thrilled to see Sorkin returning to television. Add in the fact that he’ll be on HBO, where he’ll have free creative reign (not to mention longer breaks to work on films in-between seasons), and I’m absolutely giddy.  Cable news is a pretty touchy subject to be tackling at this point in time, but if any profession needs a healthy dose of Sorkin-romanticism, it’s cable news.  Next stop: casting.

Here’s the video of Sorkin’s interview with BBC: