Aaron Sorkin has been doing press all week defending his critically-panned HBO show, “The Newsroom,” but behind the scenes he's cleaning house.
Most of the writers on the cable drama about a Keith Olbermann-type television news demagogue have been fired, sources with knowledge of the show told The Daily. "They're not coming back, except for Sorkin's ex-girlfriend [Corinne Kinsbury]," one source said. [Sorkin is currently dating "Sex and the City" actress Kristin Davis.]
The show was renewed early for a second season and it's unclear how many writers will replace the departing staff.
In the mostly collaborative world of TV, Sorkin is famously known for penning most the scripts himself, and "The Newsroom" had a smaller writers' room than most TV shows with less than 10 credited writers. It's not uncommon on other TV series run by powerful showrunners to turn over staff.
"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner is known to replace scripters every season, sometimes right after they turn in an episode.
“I create these shows so that I can write them,” Sorkin told Vanity Fair in the May issue. “I’m not an empire builder. I’m not interested in just producing. All I want to do is write. I came up as a playwright — writing is something you do by yourself in a room."
“That said, I couldn’t possibly write the show without that room full of people. I go in there, and we kick around ideas. I’m writing about all kinds of things I don’t know anything about. So they do research for me,” the Oscar-winner added.
A rep for HBO told The Daily, "Every year each show reassesses the needs of its writing staffs. This process is nothing out of the ordinary." — Soo Youn