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TBI investigates The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO series

Aaron Sorkin, writer of this year’s David Fincher-directed smash The Social Network and creator of NBC’s hit political drama The West Wing, has announced that he is working on a new TV series for HBO.

That Sorkin has teamed up with the premium cable network is an exciting prospect; arguably one of the finest dialogue writers alive, Sorkin will be offered the creative (and financial) freedom to develop a behind the scenes look at the cable TV news business.

“I love television; I’m going to be doing another television series, this time on HBO. It’s going to take place behind the scenes of a nightly cable news show. It’s going to be happening soon. I’ve written the pilot episode and we’re going to be casting it now,” he told BBC News.

“The hope is that I can bring the same kind of idealism and romanticism that made government sexy on The West Wing and bring it to the news and journalism, which in America is held in as much contempt as government,” he added.

Is this a surprise? No. Sorkin was always heading towards the lure of premium pay television (despite his last three series Sports Night, The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip all airing on ABC or NBC).

There is a scene in Sorkin’s last TV series – Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (itself a TV series about a TV series)  – where Amanda Peet’s network boss Jordan McDeere is attempting to buy a pilot about the United Nation from young screenwriter Trevor Loughlin.

“I think HBO is where people expect to find more literate programming,” he says.

Obviously, Sorkin was prophetic, given that NBC cancelled it after only season and he is now in business with the Time Warner-owned network.