Introducing ‘Atlantis Cable News,’ The Cable News Channel On Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’

By Alex Weprin 

Say hello to “Atlantis Cable News,” or “ACN” for short.

ACN is the fictional cable news channel at the heart of Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO drama “The Newsroom,” slated to debut this Summer.

A source close to the show tells TVNewser that HBO is leaning towards launching the series on Sunday, June 24th, most likely after vampire drama “True Blood.”

Atlantis Cable News exists in Sorkin’s universe as part of a media conglomerate, Atlantis World Media, led by CEO Leona Lansing, played by Jane Fonda.

The program may exist in Sorkin’s universe, but that universe shares many similarities with our own. When “The Newsroom” debuts, episodes will focus around actual recent news events. The original pilot script for the program (you can read the first page here) was about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and one episode currently in development is about the death of Osama bin Laden, our source says.

Sorkin’s original script had the main character Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) host his program “News Night” at a network called “UBS,” an overt reference to the classic film “Network” which was set at a channel with the same name. Sorkin and HBO have decided to move away from that homage for when the program finally launches.

We are told that one of the reasons for the change from UBS to ACN is the ability to “own,” the name, and create accompanying materials like merchandise and websites.

ACN may be fictional, but it will have a very real presence on the Web, according to someone close to the production. HBO has already secured and, and is expected to build out pages on both websites. Right now a visit to reveals a blank page, except for the words “I don’t think you should be looking at this page,” but that will change later this year.

Our source sent us the mockup below, which was used internally to give a basic idea of what the site should look like. The final version will likely look very different. The mockup is based on, in some cases just switching out “CNN” for “ACN.” CNN and HBO are both owned by Time Warner.