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Aaron Sorkin: 2011’s comeback kid


By Kim Palacios News of a pilot order from HBO for a new series that chronicles the backstage drama at a cable news station is the latest signal that writer Aaron Sorkin is coming back into favor. The first this year were his Golden Globe win and Oscar nod for his work as the screenwriter for “The Social Network”.

Sorkin’s good news comes at the end of a three-year hiatus begun after what many see as the only failure of his career. His 2007 network television series, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” was an epic and unexpected failure given Sorkin’s track record with shows such as “The West Wing” and “Sports Night”, and the film “A Few Good Men”.

So, how will Sorkin’s new series fare compared to the failed “Studio 60”? At this point it is too early to tell. The central theme—of exposing what happens off camera at a television station—sounds suspiciously similar to that of “Studio 60”, which dramatized the private lives of the cast and writers of a show similar to Saturday Night Live. However, most credit the failure of the 2007 series not to poor writing, but bad timing (specifically, competition from shows like “30 Rock”, which took a more mainstream approach than Sorkin to profiling the sketch comedy show). Fans of Sorkin will be looking for more of the sharp-tongued, quick-witted characters who made the writer famous, as well as memorable details that expose Sorkin’s knowledge of the inner workings of curious things.

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