Will HBO and Aaron Sorkin Draw Canada’s Ire With The Name Of Their New Show ‘Newsroom’?

By Alex Weprin 

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: