What Aaron Sorkin learned from CNN for 'Newsroom'
June 22nd, 2012
05:59 PM ET

What Aaron Sorkin learned from CNN for 'Newsroom'

When we spotted the phrase "the most trusted name in news" in one of the early trailers for Aaron Sorkin's new series, "The Newsroom," we thought that sounded awfully ... familiar, shall we say.

And it turns out that might not be the only thing about Sorkin's anticipated summer series that will remind us of our home base.

"The Newsroom" is a behind-the-scenes look at a nightly cable news program, with Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy serving as the show's anchor. Alison Pill, Olivia Munn and Dev Patel all portray members of the newsroom's staff, and Emily Mortimer serves as the show's new executive producer.

While doing research for the show with CNN, Sorkin said "The biggest thing I picked up was that, as cynical as people are about the news and journalism, journalists themselves are honestly, constantly thinking about the ideal," as he told us at the premiere for the series in Los Angeles on Wednesday.

"They want to do the news well and I was really moved by that," he said. "I wanted this show to be a love letter and a valentine to what you do."

And while he did draw some inspiration from those on staff - Munn's character Sloan Sabbith is partially based on CNN anchor and correspondent Christine Romans - Sorkin emphasized that "The Newsroom" is a work of fiction.

"All of the characters on the show are fictional. I don't know Christine Romans at all," he said. "I met her for the very first time on Monday night when we had a screening in New York for newspeople. And I've always been a fan of Christine Romans' broadcasts and I try to understand what she's saying. I'm illiterate when it comes to finance and the economy."

Munn's Sloan is "who I've always imagined Christine Romans is. I'm sure I got it wrong but that's who inspired [Munn's] character."

Romans inspires Sorkin character?

Christine Romans talks about Aaron Sorkin saying a financial analyst character in "The Newsroom" is loosely based on her.

Aaron Sorkin: 'I'm a fiction writer'

Creator and Executive producer of "Newsroom" Aaron Sorkin tells CNN's Piers Morgan why he gets to write idealistically.

Romans also has a fan in Munn: "I think that's wonderful. She's [who] I consider one of the women who I think is so great to have on TV," the actress said. "She's smart, and beautiful, and intelligent, and strong, and doesn't try to shy away from any of that. Because she's appealing on the eye she doesn't try to dumb herself down. She's smart. She doesn't try to cover up more or wear a big bag over her head, which I think is important. It's a good message to put out to women who want to be able to be everything and think that they can."

"The Newsroom" bows on HBO (which shares a parent company with CNN) June 24 at 10 p.m. ET.

soundoff (39 Responses)
  1. click here

    Hoy en d�a van bajo empezar hacia sacar muchos libros, objetos, servicios como alcancen, si es en comparaci�n a ya el mercado en absoluto esta saturado sobre ellos

    July 31, 2012 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joe

    The West Wing: The Next Generation – with President Sam Seaborn

    A man can dream can't he...

    July 1, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Aaron Suckin

    Aaron Sorkin looks like a coked up sockless ivy league gang rapist sniffing lines off coed asses at some off campus frat party where people die from over drinking.

    July 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  4. YUCK

    @MDC – I think you are the one who is fully unaware that despite different genres and styles, not all are to everyone's liking. That does not make someone who disagrees with you ignorant as you are inferring. That just makes you an arrogant dingleberry with no tolerance for differing viewpoints. How Sorkin of you. Hacks attracting hacks, regardless of genre. Go Eff Yourself skumbag

    June 27, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Blah

    Dated and recycled dialogue, overwrought sentiments of patriotism...no one talks like this. Not even in the newsroom.

    June 27, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Avid TV Watcher

    I haven't seen the pilot episode yet but it seems to me that this is a reprint of the extremely successful show of Candace Bergen's called "Murphy Brown" which was set in a newsroom, as a news magazine show, where news-to-inform rather than political-pandering was the backbone of the comedy/drama. It ran for 8 successful years as a 1 hour weekly sit com/drama in the days where a "Season" wasn't 8 or 10 shows, but the full 26 – one new show a week for 1/2 a year followed by the "off season" repeats for the 2nd 1/2 of the year. TV when TV was truly great!!

    I also loved West Wing, the TV follow-up to Aaron's film "The American President" which used the same sets and mostly the same cast as well. West Wing was definitely a timely gem, let's hope this one is much more in keeping to the ideals of "Murphy Brown" than "Sports Night"... SN...that really was a horrifyingly bad piece of dung and we have far too much of that type of show these days already. You know... goofy-funny, dumb-funny, Adam Sandler funny...in other words... not funny.

    June 26, 2012 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  7. Olderchick

    Loved it! The characters are not phony or stiff & yes some people are witty enough & intelligent enough to talk like that. What this show does is show how news programs should be. Not bought & paid for by owners ideas, but the reporting of real news. If only the news people at ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC, & CNN had the courage & intelligence to give the real news & if only FOX would actually give the real news & not distort it, we would all be better off & this would be a better country. Sorkin has done it again!

    June 26, 2012 at 10:02 am | Report abuse |
  8. midgick

    For the most part I loved West Wing. It was generally right on for it's time and after watching the pilot for Newsroom, I can see the possibilities.
    Today's news is controlled by 5 or 6 corporations and the idea of objective & non partisan real news like we used to get in the 50's ,60's and early 70's is something that the majority of Americans do not get or have today or understand.
    Today you get Limbaugh or Maddow or such and the people are not objective, they are simply pandering to their audience. Gone are the Severides, the Cronkites, the people who didn't inject their politics, just the news, only the
    This is one small or large reason why our Country is so screwed up, no one gives us the facts and lets us make up our own minds. This is not a Liberal nor Conservative opinion, just one man's thoughts on the state of our Country's decline and part of the reason.

    June 26, 2012 at 12:29 am | Report abuse |
  9. lolwut

    Yes, well, there's nothing media types love more than congratulating themselves on their own importance and "bravery."

    June 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. keithmoore1

    Yeah, the dialog is a bit too witty at times, but so what? I still enjoyed the pilot.

    June 25, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • jane

      i JONES for something witty to help cure the other craptacular messes on tv: all reality tv and lame sitcoms

      June 27, 2012 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tim

    uh....before we praise Sorkin for this thing lets remember, although most of you probably don't that Sorkin had a show before West Wing called "Sportsnight" that this is a CARBON COPY of. It mirrors it down to every major character. The only difference is that this is a News Show and that was a Sports Show. Don't get me wrong, I love it, but this is a really lazy effort.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Yuck

    no one in real life speaks the way these aaron sorkin's characters do. I worked in news. people are not that armed with instant comebacks at every turn. Always thought he was ludicrous, and this is more proof. Awful show.

    June 25, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • tpdsdomer

      Yuck: Sorkin's witty banter dialogue is his trademark and I couldn't be a bigger fan of it! Sorkin has admitted countless times that he writes fictional stories, so why is it that you and so many others can't accept them as such? BTW: If you despise Sorkin's work so much, why watch it?

      June 25, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Uncle Musty

      If you read the article Sorkin states it's FICTION.

      June 25, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MDC

      You apparently aren't aware of this, but there is a thing called style and genre. Noir is a genre that has a particular filmic language both in visual style and dialogue. Sorkin is employing his style. You'll understand more when you start to inquire instead of reject.

      June 25, 2012 at 10:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • YUCK

      @tpsddomer- why do I watch? because I do not believe in judging a book by it;s cover. If you refuse to watch soething, how can you rightfully be critical of it? It's called being able to defend your opinion from an informed place rather than being an online troll who did not bother to watch. Is that okay with you? It's like when I watch Rachel Maddow or Ann Coulter...if you are not listening, how the F do you know what you are against? (using the royal You there)

      June 27, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jackson

    Oback Barama

    all the hate-filled people are on the marquee blog, trolling each other. What you mistake for hate on Fox is really truth and logic, only your silly liberal minds can't comprehend it. We will all be better off when Barry and Michelle pack their bags and move back to Chicago. You know I'm right and that's what pi$$es you off the most.


    Oh really? Tell me the last time FOX did an indepth story about a Republican who violated an ethics charge, and presented it in a way that did not defend them.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:26 am | Report abuse |
  14. chellebrunke

    Blech! Can we change Maggie's name to Cliche? The oratories were cliche, the story line is cliche, etc.

    It's going to be a long, annoying climb to get this out of the tar pits.

    June 25, 2012 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  15. MillieBea

    Finally HBO has a new series that is worth watching. Thank you.

    June 25, 2012 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
    • PaulieWalnuts

      I don't know. I thought it was pretty boring pilot. Found myself even nodding off. Not sure Daniels is right for the role. And his character is too angry. Disappointed here. -PW

      June 25, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • say whaaa!

      True Bloos is great. Boardwalk Empire is great. Game of Thrones is great. Curb Your Enthusiasm is great. Just because you have bad taste and dont like other shows on HBO doesnt mean they aren't great shows.

      June 25, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  16. karen

    I said "stop watching television" And I never said I had a "government" education. Some people actually sacrifice the simple pleasures in life in order to gain knowledge on a grander level. Read a book today!

    June 25, 2012 at 8:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Karen Can Suck It Hard til she gurgles like a chimp.

      is that why you employ your time leaving pompous and holier than thou stabs at what other people choose to do with their times. Wow, you;re so much better than us all.You read books! I bet you think you are the only one in the world who does. STFU.

      June 25, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Jc

    What a bunch of butt kissing fools. CNN is as honest and filled with journalistic integrity as Glenn Beck. Just because they are liberal doesn't seperate them from Fux News. In fact, they are identical. A partisan entrenched drama organization with very little to say. Look at how they covered the Trayvon case. That wasn't news, it was speculative drama with very little honesty or ethics. Every article and every story has the Nancy Grace model. Pick a side, ignore actual evidence that doesn't support your agenda, and pass it off as news. It's a sad and ignorant. What's even sadder is that there are actual people that watch CNN and Fux News and take them seriously.

    June 24, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
  18. karen

    Yeah, because fox news is soooo intellectual...try getting an education instead of watching television. Then maybe you'll be able to decipher fact from fiction and join the thinkers on the left.

    June 24, 2012 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  19. cc

    Y'all are crazy. I know women who are the whole package, it is possible.

    June 24, 2012 at 12:26 am | Report abuse |
  20. Merg Terglement

    Errlerrverraa Meeerrrrrrrn.

    June 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  21. newzjunky

    CNN is a joke. Just FOX News for people who arent filled with hate. CNN wants their on air talent to just be pretty and laugh a lot. Especially disappointed in Soledad shes better than that Unfortunately ALL news in the US has become a laugh contest. You want a really good newscast you gotta watch BBC.

    June 23, 2012 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Oback Barama

      all the hate-filled people are on the marquee blog, trolling each other. What you mistake for hate on Fox is really truth and logic, only your silly liberal minds can't comprehend it. We will all be better off when Barry and Michelle pack their bags and move back to Chicago. You know I'm right and that's what pi$$es you off the most.

      June 23, 2012 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • dan

      Fox and BBC? Perhaps that is a sign of bipolar function. Fox one day. BBC the next. Very different. Fox is not news, it is all right-wing-wacko opinion.

      June 26, 2012 at 7:24 am | Report abuse |
  22. Toronto Dog Walker

    It is possible for women to be attractive and smart...CNN has a bunch.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  23. old3putt

    Sorkin's West Wing writing was, and is, the best writing television has ever seen. He's a bit of an ass****, but if the scripts are even close to WW, thus will be a megahit.

    June 23, 2012 at 6:47 am | Report abuse |
  24. honestly

    Perhaps you would prefer your news from ugly women, you know . . . someone more relatable.

    June 22, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Report abuse |
  25. gazalife

    Hmm, yes, it takes such courage for women to be beautiful. Especially on CNN, where, these days, it seems only to matter if the women are beautiful, and not so much that they are intelligent, brave, or well informed. As long as they look like Barbie dolls, who cares if they are actually qualified for the job, right? How sad, what CNN has become.

    June 22, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Report abuse |

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