Aaron Sorkin has had mixed fortunes on the goggle box. He’s had highs (The West Wing), lows (Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip, cancelled after one season) and mixed results (Sports Night: brilliant, but cancelled after two seasons). More recently, he’s been better known for his film script work, landing an Oscar for The Social Network. But he’s back on the small screen via HBO this summer with The Newsroom. The trailer for the first series has arrived, and can be seen below. Just try not to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop the thing.
Set on and behind the scenes of a cable news show, The Newsroom features a lot of Sorkin standards: a rant (which seems very similar to the Judd Hirsch bombshell that launches Studio 60), lots of musings on the state of the world and oodles of smart-mouthed characters. These, however, are all good things, especially when he’s firing on all thrusters.
There’s a more than capable cast in place to deliver the writer’s usual zippy pith, including Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterson, Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel and Natalie Morales. And yes, you also spotted Olivia Munn and, perhaps most impressively of all, freakin' Jane Fonda making her TV debut. The pilot even features a surprise behind the camera – in place of Sorkin’s usual collaborator Thomas Schlamme, Gregg Mottola is the man calling the shots, and from the looks of this, doing a good job.
Studio 60 faltered because Sorkin never quite got a grip on how to present the mechanics of a Saturday Night Live-style show and, despite a solid cast, wasn’t able to figure out the character machinations. We’re hoping for better things from The Newsroom. It debuts on HBO across the pond on June 24, and hopefully not long after that over here on Sky Atlantic.