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Six Things Aaron Sorkin's New Show Needs to Include

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 4th 2011 5:20PM
Aaron Sorkin Aaron Sorkin, hot off of his major success for 'The Social Network,' has another TV show in the works, this time at HBO.

This one will be a behind-the-scenes look at the goings on at a cable news channel. We can assume that it's going to be well-written, but will it be successful and long-running like 'The West Wing'? Short-lived and beloved like 'Sports Night'? Or one season and out like the good but uneven 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip'?

To make sure it's successful, here are six things we'd like to see in Sorkin's new show.

The Walk-and-Talk
Every Sorkin show has to have the "walk-and-talk." A Sorkin show without it would be like 'I Love Lucy' without Lucy trying to get into Ricky's act. It's the trademark of all of Sorkin's shows, especially 'Sports Night' and 'The West Wing.'

It's so familiar that it's ripe for parody, like this clever sketch from 'Mad TV.' What makes this even funnier is that 'West Wing' fans will recognize actual dialogue and plot points from the real show.

Cast Members From Other Sorkin Projects
Sorkin often uses the same people in his movies and TV shows. Janel Moloney was in an episode of 'Sports Night' before becoming Donna Moss on 'The West Wing'; Martin Sheen was in both 'The West Wing' and 'The American President'; Ron Ostrow was in 'Sports Night' and 'The West Wing'; and Felicity Huffman guest starred on 'The West Wing' and 'Studio 60' after her starring role in 'Sports Night,' just to name a few. It's comforting to see these same people in different Sorkin worlds.

Oh, and Joshua Malina! He's been in everything his old pal Sorkin has done (except 'Studio 60,' but only because it lasted just one season). Malina has to be involved somehow.

He can't spend all of his time on Twitter.

The View From the Other Side
It's no secret what Sorkin's political beliefs are, though people who think that 'The West Wing' always showed Republicans in a bad light probably only watched a few episodes. (Ainsley Hayes was one of the most confident, smart people on the show.) Since this new show is going to be set in the world of a 24-hour-news channel, you know it's going to include a ton of political points and politicians. Besides time spent at MSNBC doing research for the show, Sorkin reportedly spent time at Fox News as well, so let's hope that both sides are represented well and things are, uh, fair and balanced ...?

Thomas Schlamme
He's the genius director who has helmed episodes of every Sorkin show and the one who really pushed the No. 1 entry on this list. He directed several episodes of 'Sports Night,' numerous 'West Wing's, and four episodes of 'Studio 60' (not to mention being an executive producer on all three). It would be weird if he wasn't involved in at least the pilot.

Schlamme knows how to put a scene together. Here's a good one from the 'West Wing' episode 'Two Cathedrals.'

A New Title
'More As The Story Develops'? There's no way that's going to be the final title, though it would make an excellent title for an episode ...

Speaking of Titles ...
There has to be an episode of this new show titled 'What Kind of Day Has It Been?' That has been the title of a 'Sports Night' episode, a 'West Wing' episode, and even a 'Studio 60' episode. Next to the walk and talks and snappy banter, it may just be Sorkin's biggest trademark. It needs a (TM) too.

What do you want to see in Sorkin's new show?

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Lisa Edelstein also guest starred on The West Wing and Sports Night. I'd LOVE to see her as a regular in this new project. Hopefully, House will end soon enough to make it happen.

March 13 2011 at 5:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Chris Rabuck

Your list of actors that he likes using isn't near complete. I want to see Bradley Whitford.

March 08 2011 at 11:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paula Dodge

More Sorkinisms: Each series has a recovering alcoholic/drug addict, a disapproving father, a father with a long term secret other family (Studio 60 didn't have this due to it's short run, I'm sure) to name a few... I've mixed emotions about the series being on HBO - like the story line in Studio 60 trying to get 'Nations' on NBS and it's creator wanting it to go to cable - 'all good things should flow into the boulevard' (or something like that). On the other hand I know that being on network tv is what killed Studio 60. I guess I'm just annoyed that I'm either going to have to get HBO or wait for the DVDs to be released...

February 06 2011 at 3:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I miss the west wing. Even the replays on Bravo in the mornings would get recorded and watched immediately until they unfortunately stopped a few months ago.

February 05 2011 at 8:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Guy Hasson

Here's the full explanation of what Sorkin did wrong in 'Studio 60' after he did them right in 'The West Wing': http://hatchling.blogspot.com/2007/06/elis-coming-why-studio-60-fell.html

February 05 2011 at 2:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lane Wright

To be specific, "What Kind of Day Has It Been" (both with and without the question mark) has been the title of the final episode of the first season of every Aaron Sorkin show. And I see no reason why this new show should be any different.

February 04 2011 at 7:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joe B.

Malina would make a good Dan Abrams-type.

February 04 2011 at 7:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You neglected to mention that Ron Ostrow was also a series regular on "Sports Night." He played Will, one of the engineers for Sports Night. He was usually next to Chris and Dave up in the front row of the control room.

February 04 2011 at 6:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I really hope this is a good show. I'm running out of decent shows to watch. lol

February 04 2011 at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

No comments? On this of all posts? Odd.

In my humble opinion, The West Wing is the greatest television ever produced, at least in the US. I hope he will do the same thing he did on TWW which is to pick a side and then show how both sides often get it wrong. A completely unbiased media is the ideal, unfortunately we don't live in an ideal world. Everyone seems to have their own biased slant.

That said TWW was an example of an absurdly smart leader who mostly took direct responsibility for mistakes he made, maybe the news station in this new series will have a similar character. Sorkin can show us what thoughtful civil discourse is supposed to look like, what an unbiased media outlet is supposed to look like, etc. Either way I can't wait!

February 04 2011 at 5:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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