Five Possible Settings For Aaron Sorkin's Secret New TV Show About a TV Show

Now that Aaron Sorkin's finished dramatizing the dorm-room intrigue that brought the gift of virtual sheep-tossing into our lives with the Facebook movie, he's ready to return to his first love: TV shows set behind the scenes of fictional TV shows. The mind responsible for the criminally underrated Sports Night and the bizarrely humor-free sketch-comedy series Studio 60 has told TV Guide that he's hard at work on what he describes as "the third in the trilogy" of his show-behind-the-show shows, but refused to say exactly what kind of show he'd be show-behind-the-showing. As is our custom, Movieline now examines the five most likely settings for Sorkin's top-secret new project.

1. Behind The Scenes Of A Daily Show-Style Show

Aaron Sorkin Repertory Players Involved: Bradley Whitford, Josh Malina, Josh Charles, Allison Janney, Nate Corddry

Is it even possible that Sorkin could be plotting a concept so deliciously on-the-nose? Should the unabashedly liberal showrunner decide to wade waste-deep into Jon Stewart's world, he could fictionalize how a satirical, left-leaning news program deals with covering a Democratic administration (so far) devoid of the intellectually incurious figureheads, shadowy, lock-jawed puppet-masters, and unrepentant war criminals who made for eight years' worth of such inspired, frustrated comedy. And if this is the project he's working on and doesn't talk longtime collaborator Bradley Whitford into playing the host role, we're going to put Sorkin on an ice floe with Sarah Palin and set them afloat in the Bering Strait, where he'll spend the rest of his days having maddeningly one-sided policy debates with the delightful former governor.

But if this is too obvious an idea, there's also an equally obvious flip-side:

2. Behind The Scenes Of A Borderline Insane Fox News Pundit Show

Aaron Sorkin Repertory Players Involved: Bradley Whitford, Sarah Paulson, Steven Weber, Richard Schiff, Janel Maloney

Indeed, Stephen Colbert's planted a comically oversized American flag bearing his own smiling image into the Bill O'Reilly/Glenn Beck territory, but Sorkin could give the fertile material one-hour dramedy treatment, blasting away with glee at easily baited fish thrashing around in a Fox News-branded barrel. Too easy? Perhaps. But we'd probably tune in to watch as Whitford (yeah, he's gonna need Whitford again) prepares for one of his character's signature tear-soaked rants by having producer Sarah Paulson work his nipples with a cheese grater just before the show goes live.

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  • Jonathan Cohen says:

    I don't think he's actually worked with Smits before. Sorkin was long gone by the time that character appeared on West Wing.

  • bend says:

    I would bet a jillion dollars that it will star Peter Krause and be the behind the scenes of news show. The fox idea is great but Sorkin has never and will never write conservatives as the main characters. It will either be like a network evening news, Meet the Press, or Olbermann/Maddow. I would bet on it being the network evening news. The pitch is: Broadcast News meets Sports Night!

  • Charli says:

    no on all of them. it will be a behind the scenes about the making of a reality show about a couple with 10 kids. with a shrew of a wife and a playboy wanna be husband that, even though he's 30, is still living in his good old college frat house days.

  • Michael Talman says:

    I agree with Charli...personally, I think Sorkin's missing a bet by not doing a show about a Salon-style web-based news magazine...the possibilities are endless. Josh Malina as the insecure but brilliant tech guy, Richard Schiff as the harried executive editor, Allison Janney as the ball-bashing feminist who runs the women's section with an iron fist, Sarah Paulson as the flaky movie critic, etc. Make your own list...
    The advantage is that you could set up a tight core of regulars, but bring in guest stars to write story lines around everything from politics to food trends and everything in between. One advantage is that the 24-hour constant deadlines would make for an incredibly fast-paced and frenzied show.
    Now THAT I'd like to see.

  • robotbutler says:

    I too say none of the above. He's gonna expose a "Hills" type show as the scripted, multiple take directed sham inhabited by dead eyed zombies that it is.

  • segsig says:

    First off I don't think Mr. Sorkin is really doing a tv show so soon. He has quite a few movies lined up (ie..Moneyball, The Challenge). Also, he has said he would want to do a behind the scenes of an Olberman countdown type show. Thirdly, many of the actors mentioned wouldn't be available if it were done now.

  • The Winchester says:

    No matter what he makes, I'm sure it will be overhyped as "brilliant" and canceled before it's time.

  • Jamie says:

    I would actually pay money to see John Laroquette as a Keith Olbermann type with Bradley Whitford as his hapless producer with Allison Janney and Kristin Chenoweth as a regular panelist. Please, oh, please, let this please happen.

  • Jayson says:

    Actually since AS has said "M*A*S*H" was a major influence on his writing when he was growing up, I think a medical show would be interesting. I would be interested in seeing a show about medics, Doctors and Nurses, the military. Hell, anything AS writes will be gold.

  • vf551xvt says:

    Thanks for the good read. Where would we be without TV...

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