TV and film writer Aaron Sorkin appeared at the All Things D conference, where he talked about writing the Steve Jobs biopic, and of course “The Newsroom,” his upcoming cable news-centric show on HBO.
Sorkin revealed some new details about the show, including the influence (or lack thereof) from real cable news channels.
“The show takes place in a fictional newsroom, none of the characters are inspired by real people, not even a little bit,” Sorkin said. “It’s entirely fictional. It isn’t meant to be anything on CNN, MSNBC or Fox, it’s generic cable news.”
He also talked about Dev Patel‘s character “Neal.” Patel plays a young staffer on ACN’s “News Night” who is the digital-savvy one on the team. He is an Internet idealist, and runs the show’s blog. “I have a blog?!?” anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) asks him in one scene.
“We get to see how the people who report the news first get the news themselves, and it is almost always entirely digital,” Sorkin says.
Sorkin also notes that the show will take place in the recent past, kicking off in the pilot episode with “a news event from about two years ago that we are all familiar with.”
In the pilot script obtained by TVNewser, the event was the Deepwater Horizon explosion and the subsequent oil spill, which is in line with Sorkin’s comment. Future episodes will focus on other real-world news events, such as the Arab Spring, and as we reported the death of Osama bin Laden. The show will span a timeframe of around 18 months, so it will end around September 2011, in the middle of the primary race, and in line with the 10th anniversary of 9/11.