Yesterday TVNewser revealed that “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin’s new HBO program would be called “Newsroom” or “The Newsroom.” A number of bloggers, including Variety‘s Jon Weisman and Jim Romenesko noted that the name might sound familiar to some TV fans, as it was the title of a popular Canadian TV series that aired in the 1990’s and early 2000’s. The Canadian series, from Ken Finkleman, was a dark comedy in the same vein as “The Larry Sanders Show,” but set in a fictional newsroom filled with self-absorbed, petty newsmen and women.
So, will HBO find itself in some legal hot water because of the name? Don’t bet on it.
A quick search of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office website confirms that HBO has filed for a trademark on “The Newsroom” (see screengrab below) and with the Canadian series no longer airing, it is unlikely to be contested.
Bonus: How does Sorkin’s original pilot script open? Check out the first page of the script below, which features “News Night” anchor Will McCallister reading over some hate mail: