Whether it’s Sports Night, The West Wing or The Newsroom, it’s hard to argue Aaron Sorkin isn’t one of the best writers on television (or just one of the best writers period). However, new statements from the Emmy winner seem to indicate he may have had enough of the small screen.
In a recent interview with the LA Times, Sorkin spoke on the matter of continuing in television after the conclusion of his HBO series.
I’m pretty certain I’m about to write my last three episodes of television.
The showrunner went on to add:
All these months later, I still don’t see another series in my near future, but, again, you never know. Maybe I’ll get another idea.
Considering Sorkin currently has a Steve Jobs biopic in the pipeline with Danny Boyle attached to direct, as well as a recent Oscar win under his belt thanks to The Social Network, there’s no longer a need for Sorkin to commit himself for years at a time in the television landscape. However, from a business perspective, it’s not easy to hire a guy like him.
The West Wing creator has a notorious reputation for being difficult to work with, especially when it comes to executives. When the creator was forced out of his showrunner position on the legendary NBC series, ratings were up and awards were coming in left and right. However, NBC couldn’t handle communication with Sorkin anymore and chose to cut ties, so as much as the Studio 60 creator may want to leave television, it isn’t to say he’d have an easy time bringing a new project elsewhere (except perhaps on premium cable again).
But, all that said, the writer did go on record to clarify that he’s enjoyed the time he’s spend on the small screen:
I want to be really clear about this. Really clear about this, I've loved every minute I've spent in television. And I've had much more failure, as traditionally measured, than success in television. I've done four shows, and only one of them was the 'West Wing.
Despite these statements, however, recent reports indicate NBC is heavily courting Sorkin to write an adaptation of his famed A Few Good Men for a televised stage performance. So maybe these statements just mean Sorkin is done with “series" television. Perhaps there’s a chance he could return for a limited-series event or, as we’re seeing now, a televised play. Something that would play to his strengths.
The Newsroom season 3 airs Sundays on HBO.