EXCLUSIVE: Aaron Sorkin’s long-gestating drama set behind the scenes of a nightly cable news show is becoming a reality. HBO has closed a deal for a pilot order to the project, which reunites The Social Network writer with the movie’s producer Scott Rudin. Both are executive producing the pilot, which will be filmed later this year. UPDATE: Word is the project’s working title is More As the Story Develops.
In his research for the show, Sorkin spent time at Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews’ MSNBC shows as well as at Fox News Channel and CNN programs, but the TV personalities he shadowed are not expected to be part of the HBO show. That includes Olbermann, who, despite Internet speculation, is not involved in the project.
Sorkin has been raking in accolades for his Social Network script and is considered a front-runner for the adapted screenplay Oscar. Meanwhile, Rudin, an Oscar winner for No Country For Old Men, is a double contender in the best picture category with The Social Network and True Grit, the latest film from the No Country duo of Ethan and Joel Coen. On Tuesday, The Social Network netted a total of 8 Academy Award nominations, including best picture, best adapted screenplay, best director (David Fincher) and best lead actor (Jesse Eisenberg).
This marks a big return to TV for Rudin, whose only previous TV effort was the 1996 ABC comedy series Clueless based on the hit movie which he produced. It also marks Sorkin’s first foray into cable. Sorkin’s three previous series all aired on broadcast networks: Sports Night on ABC and The West Wing, a 4-time best drama series Emmy winner, and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC.