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.
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