[UPDATE: Sorkin’s show has officially been greenlit.]
Fresh off his win at last week’s Golden Globes, dialogue & drama-happy screenwriter Aaron Sorkin’s next TV show creation looks prepped to not only be given an official go-ahead, but should also become the latest addition to cable channel HBO’s solid lineup of small-screen series.
Sorkin’s latest television product is as yet untitled, but will follow in the footsteps of his previous creations like The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip by focusing on behind the scenes drama – this time, the setting being that of a nightly cable news show.
Sorkin’s new project looks to get a pilot order from HBO is the near future, following months of talks with the Social Network scriber. Sorkin is easily the frontrunner to snag an Oscar for his adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires, a self-admitted romanticized account of the dirty deeds and maneuvering that went on behind closed doors with regards to the development of Facebook. It’s familiar territory for Sorkin and he looks to trek there again with his new TV show as well.
Deadline is comparing Sorkin’s current situation to that of Alan Ball, whose Oscar win for scribing American Beauty catapulted him to greater professional success, paving the way for him to create the cult HBO series Six Feet Under and True Blood. The difference between these two men, however, is that Ball had written for only semi-successful TV shows like Grace Under Fire and Cybill prior to his Academy Award win – whereas The West Wing is a long-running, multiple award-winner and Sorkin has already racked up numerous writing award nominations and wins for both his television and film work.
HBO is doing well by itself with Ball’s True Blood and its current critical/ratings darling, the period drama Boardwalk Empire. While Sorkin is renowned for crafting memorably crackling conversations and focusing on political/personal conflict, writing for cable television will allow him to inject more hard-edged language and provocative subject matter into the proceedings of his latest TV creation. Just don’t expect Sorkin’s cable news drama to feature quite as much R-Rated language as former HBO hits like The Sopranos and especially Deadwood.
UPDATE: HBO has officially closed a deal for the pilot episode of Sorkin’s new creation. The series will reunite him with his Social Network producer Scott Rudin and, according to Deadline, currently bears the working title More As the Story Develops.