It’s official: HBO has picked up Aaron Sorkin’s hourlong cable news network pilot to series. The now untitled drama (formerly More As This Story Develops), which has been a virtual lock for a series order, centers on a cable news anchor (Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr, Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski), and their boss (Sam Waterston). Together they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements. The size of the order for the series is yet to be determined, but it should be around 10 episodes.
Sorkin wrote the pilot after lengthy research during which he spent time at Keith Olbermann’s and Chris Matthews’ MSNBC shows as well as behind the scenes at Fox News Channel and CNN programs. Sorkin executive produced the pilot, which was directed by Greg Mottola, with Scott Rudin and Alan Poul. This is Sorkin’s fourth series after Sports Night, the Emmy-winning The West Wing and Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip, and the first one on cable. Sorkin, who won an Academy Award in March for penning The Social Network, is now the second writer-creator to do an HBO series right after winning an Oscar. Alan Ball followed his Academy Award for American Beauty with HBO’s Six Feet Under.