Writer Aaron Sorkin is known for creating bombastic narratives that have an undeniably humanistic approach. It was that unique perspective that helped form “The West Wing” into, perhaps, the greatest TV show about American politics that we’ve seen yet, “Sports Night” was a critically-acclaimed look behind the curtain at a sports show, and now “The Newsroom, another look behind the scenes, this time at a cable news network. Now, though, it sounds like Sorkin is ready to hang it up in regards to working in television.
In an interview with the L.A. Times (via Variety), Sorkin has gone on record about how his effort on “The Newsroom,” which is going into its final season on HBO, will likely be his last venture in the medium of television.
“I know the whole ‘Never say never’ stuff, but I’m pretty certain I’m about to write my last three episodes of television.All these months later, I still don’t see another series in my near future, but, again, you never know. Maybe I’ll get another idea.”
While it seems like Sorkin isn’t definitively closing the book on writing for TV, his words are somewhat surprising, and may indicate a long period where TV viewers won’t be getting new material from the writer. Between 2003 and 2011, Sorkin focused on a return to the theatre, in addition to developing cinematic projects like Charlie Wilson’s War, Moneyball, and The Social Network.
Whether or not the last episode of “The Newsroom” is Sorkin’s last television writing credit obviously remains to be seen. We do know that he’ll be writing a Steve Jobs biopic for director Danny Boyle that seems to be going through a tumultuous casting process. Either way, Sorkin has left an unmistakable imprint on television, and it will be interesting to see if he can truly leave it behind. In regards to his own legacy and time in working for TV, Sorkin replied in characteristic — and frank — style.
“…I want to be really clear about this. Really clear about this: I’ve loved every minute I’ve spent in television. And I’ve had much more failure, as traditionally measured, than success in television. I’ve done four shows, and only one of them was ‘The West Wing.’
The final season of “The Newsroom” premieres on HBO tonight.
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