Sep 9, 2011

AT LAST: Aaron Sorkin Officially Returns To TV!

I would argue (vehemently) that Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing is one of the best shows in the history of television.  It's both insanely smart and incredibly funny, with one of the greatest collection of developed core characters I've ever seen.  It's a show that I will watch at literally any moment, although I have a hard time watching just a single episode.  Their pantheon stretch from the first season finale to the fourth season finale is pretty much my gold standard for great television, but even in its later, weaker seasons, it's still better than the majority of what's filling the airwaves on any given day.

I am thusly doing a (not so) small dance of joy at the news that HBO has picked up Sorkin's newest pilot to series.  The untitled show (formerly More As This Story Develops) centers around the behind-the-scenes happenings at a cable news show where a talking head (Jeff Daniels) and his staff attempt to put on a high quality show while grappling with the foibles of their own personal lives.  That pitch should sound familiar to fans of Sorkin's previous shows; it's essentially the political mind of West Wing shoved into the TV personality body of Sports Night/Studio 60.

Greg Mottola (Adventureland, Superbad) shot the pilot, which has got a helluva cast including Emily Mortimer as Daniel's producer, as well as Allison Pill, John Gallagher Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel and Thomas Sadoski as the various staff in the news room and Sam Waterston as everyone's boss.  I don't know the name of Waterston's character, but I've already decided to refer to him only as White Isaac Jaffe.

While Sorkin is famous for recycling his own material, he also did his homework this time around, spending time on the sets of Countdown With Keith Olbermann and Hardball With Chris Matthews, as well as various other CNN and Fox News shows.  No word yet on how many episodes we'll get in the first season but the speculation is around 10, which feels on par for HBO these days.

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