Sorkin: When you do TV at all, the audience has much more passive relationship with what they’re watching than when they go to movies or plays. Those are things you invest in with money and time. Watching TV is a different relationship. We’re used to watching TV while doing other things. Always been a challenge for me. “The stuff that I write doesn’t work very well as background music.” HBO works because the audience is conditioned to pay attention — they’re paying for it. But now throw in different platforms, like HBO Go. I’m of two minds: I love HBO Go — great way to watch the show. Incredible numbers now on that thing — only half the audience watches an HBO show when it premieres on Sunday night. But: When you have the iPad in your hand, you’re not getting the sound that I want you to hear, or the picture I want you to see — it’s not the ideal way to watch. “But I’ll take it” because I want you to watch.
Sorkin: The new show takes place in a fictional newsroom. I want to stress that – it’s not meant to be MSNBC, or Fox, or CNN. But it is cable news, covering real events that happened in the past. You’ll see that in the pilot episode, that it starts about two years ago.
There’s a dramatic discussion of the news, and politics. But the show will depend on how engaged you are with the characters.
Digital plays a big role in the show – there’s a character that’s very idealistic about the way social networks work. And you’ll get to see the way the people on the show get their news — which is digital — no one ever gets their news from a guy whispering in an alleyway.
Since the first trailer for The Newsroom was released back in April, a recurring theme among all of the promos released for the drama series have shown some level of frustration and anger on the part of Jeff Daniels’ character Will, a news anchor at a cable news channel. The latest promo zooms in on that, beginning with the scene that has Will addressing a group of college students and going off on a rant about how not-the-best America is. It just gets more intense from there…
While Aaron Sorkin spent a good amount of time talking about his upcoming Steve Jobs film at the All Things D conference this afternoon, there was no lack of references to “The Newsroom,” his show which premieres on HBO on June 24.
The show, which revolves around a broadcast journalist and anchor played by Jeff Daniels, is not based on a real person, Sorkin told interviewer Walt Mossberg at the conference today.
“The show takes place in a fictional newsroom; none of the characters are inspired by real people, even a little bit,” Sorkin said on stage. “It’s entirely fictional. It’s not meant to be anything on CNN, MSNBC, FOX. It’s generic cable news, and it takes place in the very recent past; all the news events are real. About two-thirds of the way through the pilot — I won’t spoil it — something happens and a date stamp comes up on a screen, and we realize it’s two years ago.”
The first season, which has 10 episodes, covers a period of 18 months, Sorkin said.
Given that Sorkin was speaking at a technology conference, he also addressed the role of digital news in the show.
“Obviously, digital media plays a huge role in the show. There’s a character that’s extremely into the Internet and the power it has — there’s a clip where he looks at the uprising an Cairo, and how the people that report the news first get it themselves, which is almost always digital. Our entire set is basically made out of electricity, and if you put a satellite dish on the roof we could probably broadcast the news.”
As for Sorkin, he is pretty tech savvy himself. “I have the three screens — probably more than three screens. I have a desktop, a couple of laptops, an iPad and an iPhone somewhere on my person here.”
Before taking on the lead for “The Newsroom,”HBO’s intense drama exploring the behind-the-scenes frenzy of a cable news network, Jeff Daniels received some counsel from the man formerly known as Tony Soprano.
“James said, ‘Get sleep,’” Daniels said, recalling a conversation with James Gandolfini, Daniels’ costar in the smash Broadway production of “God of Carnage.” The star of”The Sopranos” was trying to warn Daniels, whose wide-ranging career had been mostly anchored in movies and theater, about the grueling demands of a high-profile TV series.
The advice didn’t immediately take. “It’s like one of those things when women talk to others about giving birth, and they say it’s going to hurt,” Daniels said. “There’s only so much you can say to someone who has never gone through it — the other person goes, ‘Yeah, Yeah.’” He chuckled: “Damn, was he right. What can I say? It was a long labor.”
“The Newsroom” has A-list credentials — the drama is created and executive produced by Aaron Sorkin, and is his first TV project since scoring a screenwriting Oscar last year for “The Social Network.” It is also the first major TV series for Daniels, who has brought a quiet charm and low-key boyish looks to an eccentric gallery of characters including the idealistic screen-bound adventurer in Woody Allen’s “The Purple Rose of Cairo,” the married professor who cheats on his cancer-stricken wife in “Terms of Endearment” and a mischievous moron in “Dumb and Dumber.” After costarring with huge names such as Jack Nicholson, Shirley MacLaine, Clint Eastwood, Debra Winger and Meryl Streep, Daniels is center stage in the series.
A few weeks after wrapping the first season, which premieres June 24, he has already tagged the experience at “The Newsroom” as rewarding — and exhausting. “There’s a freedom in knowing you can do it,” Daniels said of the nonstop heavy-duty schedule and endless memorizing of lines. “But it ain’t for the meek.”
Like “The West Wing,” Sorkin’s drama that was set in the White House, “The Newsroom” bounces between high drama and quirky banter. Daniels said he was particularly intrigued by grappling with Sorkin’s intricate, twisty dialogue that was a trademark of “The West Wing,” “Sports Night” and other Sorkin-written series.
I’ve updated the Newsroom Fan Gallery with the first poster for the show.
The L.A. Film Festival is dabbling in television this year, showcasing two programs: AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and HBO’s “The Newsroom.”
The festival will screen the premiere episode of Oscar winner Aaron Sorkin’s new series, “The Newsroom,” on June 22, along with a panel discussion with Sorkin, executive producer Alan Poul and director Greg Mottola. The three will discuss what it took to develop the show — a behind-the-scenes look at the intricacies of the fast-paced 24-hour cable news world — and assemble the cast, which includes Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer and Sam Waterson.
Sorkin, who won an Academy Award for his script for “The Social Network” and was behind the long-running TV show “The West Wing,” is writer and executive producer of “The Newsroom.”
To celebrate the last 16 episodes of “Breaking Bad,” the festival will host a discussion June 16 with series creator Vince Gilligan, and stars Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul and Anna Gunn.
Following the career path of 1994 A&M Consolidated grad Thomas Sadoski has been a favorite pastime since I started penning Arts Watch more than three years ago. His meteoric rise from the amateur stages of Bryan-College Station to Broadway and beyond has been fascinating and now he seems on the verge of becoming a true multi-screen celebrity, with name recognition that will surely reach far beyond the footlights.
Over the past couple of years, Sadoski has been running in fairly famous company and starting June 24, HBO viewers will learn what New York theatre audiences have known for some time: This kid can flat act.
That’s when The Newsroom premieres with the first of 10 episodes that will run Sunday nights through Aug. 26. Sadoski joins series star Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterson and Jane Fonda, along with other actors whose faces will be more familiar than their names — Jesse Eisenberg (Social Network), Emily Mortimer (Hugo), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Olivia Munn (Date Night), John Gallagher and Alison Pill (Midnight in Paris).
Sadoski plays Don, a former executive producer of the fictional cable news show News Night. The series, created and written by Alan Sorkin, is a peek behind the curtain of the world of cable news and mainstream media and follows a similar style of Sorkin’s previous hit series The West Wing.
Just last Tuesday, Sadoski returned to Broadway’s Booth Theatre to pick up his role as Trip Wyeth in the Tony Award-nominated play Other Desert Cities. His work on The Newsroom in Los Angeles has put him on hiatus from Broadway for most of the year. When he left the role to his understudy on Jan. 8, he didn’t know if the play would still be running five months later. But it seems alive and well with four Tony nominations — including for best play and best actress Stockard Channing. Sadoski rejoined Channing, and veteran stars Stacy Keach and Judith Light.
Sadoski, the son of Carol and Mark Sadoski of College Station, was a 2009 Tony Award best actor nominee for his first Broadway starring role in Reason to Be Pretty, a performance that sent his career soaring. He spent most of 2010 abroad in Kevin Spacey’s Bridge Project production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest and As You Like It.
In addition to The Newsroom and Other Desert Cities, Sadoski was featured last month in the starring role of the short film BFF which was screened at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.
I’ve added caps from the three trailers so far to the Newsroom Fan Gallery.
I’ve added 2 new photos to the Newsroom Fan Gallery – the first promotional photos for the show.
I’ve updated the Newsroom Fan Gallery with some photos from earlier this month!