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HBO’s The Newsroom is premiering its third and final season tonight, and for fans of prolific writer Aaron Sorkin, the episode may be a little bittersweet. The West Wing and Sports Night writer is now saying that when The Newsroom ends, he will be done with television for good.
Speaking out about the end of The Newsroom, Sorkin says that his career has featured way more downs than ups on the small screen, and apparently, chasing a West Wing-like moment of glory just isn’t worth it anymore. Here’s what he told the LA Times…
"I know the whole 'Never say never' stuff, but I'm pretty certain I'm about to write my last three episodes of television... 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."
In many ways, he is right about his successes and failures with television. While The West Wing was wildly popular when it aired, lasting for seven seasons on NBC, the man’s other shows haven’t done quite so well. Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip lasted a single season and Sports Night lasted only two. The Newsroom is about to begin its third and final season, though unfortunately the show has been hammered from some directions for both its storylines and the way its characters talk.
Given all that, it’s easy to see why Aaron Sorkin might be interested in doing some other things. He obviously has plenty of opportunities, and there’s a remarkable amount of control one can have over a movie that just isn’t possible in television. The more episodes a show has, the harder it is for a single person to write all of them, and with increased collaboration comes the potential for inconsistencies in tone and quality.
Of course, as anyone who has ever spent any real time following the entertainment industry knows, actors, writers and directors change their minds all the time. Even when they formally agree to take on projects, there’s always a chance they’ll back out because of money, time, impulse or damn near anything else. So, if the stars align in the right pattern and the right idea is in play, it’s very possible we could see more of Aaron Sorkin’s trademark walk and talks on HBO/ Showtime/ Netflix/ NBC/ ESPN or anywhere else on TV.
The Newsroom Season 3 premieres on HBO on Sunday, November 9. HBO is signed on for just six episodes of the final season, so if you want to take a chance on Sorkin's "last" TV endeavor, now is a good time to tune in.