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Aaron Sorkin Bringing His Faux-SNL Project To NBC!!

Published at: Oct. 15, 2005, 7:57 p.m. CST

I am – Hercules!!

Aaron Sorkin, the comedy genius behind “West Wing” and “Sports Night” (and “A Few Good Men” and “The American President”) is finally returning to television.

And to NBC, the network that somehow made Sorkin quit “West Wing” about two and a half years ago. NBC apparently even won out in an “intense bidding war,” according to Variety, that would give the showrunner a pilot-free 13-episode commitment (which, if memory serves, is also how NBC bought “West Wing”).

We’ve known Sorkin was plotting a faux-SNL backstage show for maybe a year now, but Variety’s Josef Adalian reveals that the faux-SNL show is actually about a fictional long-running live weekly variety extravaganza produced in Los Angeles. Just so we don’t confuse it with the real thing slapped together in New York.

Sorkin’s new hourlong is titled “Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip.”

Find all of the Variety story here.









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Readers Talkback

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  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:08 p.m. CST

    First?

    by SpikeZoft

    Maybe . . .

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:11 p.m. CST

    First to actually say something about this...

    by zacdilone

    ...Sorkin is hilarious, but only when he's high. I hear he's clean, which means this show will suck.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:12 p.m. CST

    Fictional LA show

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    But, I wonder if it will still acknowledge SNL, like Sports Night, even as the fictional sports network, was always competing against real life sports networks ESPN and FOX.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Hey, it's different.

    by dr_dreadlocks

    Different is good. But this still begs the question on how certain shows get picked up while others don't. I'm still amazed (read: really amazed) that JJ Abrams show "The Catch" wasn't picked up by ABC, or whatever. Considering the clout Abrams obviously has by now, it came as a surprise. Considering what Sorkin's volleying around right now... Who the hell knows what's coming next? Joss Whedon pitching a show to Fox that they trust!? Blasphemy.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:26 p.m. CST

    Pretty much every television show is "pointless"

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    The key is whether or not it is entertaining.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Will inevitably drop "The Sunset Strip" name in the title

    by Canada's King

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Why don't they call it...

    by Banky the Hack

    Abundance of alliteration annoying all America? Ack! Assonance!

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:44 p.m. CST

    I predict...

    by SifoDyasJr.

    ...lots of scenes of people walking through hallways using "Who's on first?" style dialogue. It'll be awesome!

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:49 p.m. CST

    Thank God.....

    by TheSeeker7

    Obviously fans have been waiting for this one for a long time. We've had to suffer thru a subpar WEST WING the last couple years (though still better than most TV), and now the man finally returns to where he belongs, rich, entertaining characters delivering crackling, often quite Mamet-esque dialogue.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 8:50 p.m. CST

    He keeps ripping off Larry Sanders

    by Darquon

    Aaron Sorkin totally ripped off Larry Sanders with Sports Night. That show just cloned Sanders meets Espn. This sounds like another Larry Sanders show.

  • Or will they mention that every person who left the show went on to make the shittiest movies ever? Will there be a funny skit that becomes part of the american college ling FOUR YEARS after it was aired ("more cowbell", anyone?) Will they have skits where the "players" are imitating a celebrity, and then (shock!) the actual celebrity appears behind them, creating an "awkward" nugget of comic gold? Will they then repeat that bit over and over and over and over until the viewer becomes mad and has to go on lithium for the rest of his life? Or is it supposed to be an "idealized" version of SNL? You know, one that's funny?

  • they are good but misplaced. passion of the jew is number 12? that should have been number 3 at least! i picked, like, 4 awesome episodes to be in the top 5. ESPECIALLY WITH BUTTERS AND FREAKING MR. HANKEY! GODDAMN HIPPIES!

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 9:49 p.m. CST

    "comedy genius"? I don't think so

    by Sir Loin

    The man's had too much weed and thinks liberals are being besieged by evil Republicans. Unintentionally hilarious results.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 10:12 p.m. CST

    What's up with NASCAR on when SNL is supposed to be coming u

    by ZeroCorpse

    Who the fuck watches NASCAR on NBC? Bastards! Fucking rednecks driving in a circle for two hours.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 10:26 p.m. CST

    Got Shrooms?

    by ProzacMorris

    Just curious?

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 11:08 p.m. CST

    SNL v NASCAR

    by chrth

    Check the ratings. And not just in the South.

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 11:39 p.m. CST

    Hopefully there will be a laugh track...

    by DonliQ

    ... I need to know when I'm supposed to laugh!

  • Oct. 15, 2005, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Here's hoping it refines the magic of Sports Night

    by MemBirdman

    Ratings aside, Sports Night had the best ensemble since Cheers. I'm going to watch this just hoping it rekindles the magic that was CSC.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 3:11 a.m. CST

    Lose the title and we'll talk

    by VitaminJ

    Seriously, it's way too long.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 3:58 a.m. CST

    I hope they cast ARTIE LANGE as the fat guy who O.D.s...

    by Darth Bono Jr.

    He's the man!

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 6 a.m. CST

    Hourlong drama?

    by supertoyslast

    I imagine that still means plenty of Sorkin's smart humour, but I was hoping that this would be a half-hour comedy ala Sports Night. I'm not sure how this will work as an hourlong drama, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 8:56 a.m. CST

    Great Idea

    by Itchy

    this is almost as fresh as doing a faux talk show, where the lead character can be a totally self-absorbed host. They could have the talentless hack sidekick, the crusty old producer, and a rotating band of celebrities playing themselves and poking fun at the absurdity of hollywood. He could call it the fucking Larry Sanders Show and it would be about as fresh as a 15 year old douche. The really sad thing will be when Sorkin's show starts delivering funnier sketch comedy on a weekly basis than the current shit-cast SNL.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Who cares about Sorkin when...

    by Ace Hunter

    ...Greg the Bunny is back! IFC-blah!

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 11:32 a.m. CST

    Sorkin's West Wing?

    by moviemaniac-7

    Never saw West Wing, cause I never really had the time. But I read some article about a writer who claims to have written the original American President movie (most of the writer's script was apparantly copied and pasted into Sorkin's) and a sub plot was later developed into the West Wing. Just what I read on the internet not too long ago.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 11:34 a.m. CST

    Hasn't HBO already done "The Studio 7 Strip on Sunset"?

    by Fred

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 12:12 p.m. CST

    Star Wars Episode III will own your ass!

    by jesuschrist

    It's gonna be soooooooooooo good...

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 12:41 p.m. CST

    behold the versatility

    by Delete Me

    Behind the scenes office hijinx - on a sports show! Behind the scenes office hijinx - at the White House! Behind the scenes office hijinx - on a sketch comedy show! Whatever will this mad genius of the medium come up with next?

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 2:09 p.m. CST

    For everyone mocking him

    by ShadowSorkin07

    Sorkin created the best tv show ever to air. The first four seasons of west wing were the best. For everyone saying whedon kicks ass, and that includes you herc, sorry, Sorking on a three day meth binge can still write a better script. As for tv shows this season. Last year it was 24, this season it defently is Lost, but 24 hasn't started yet, so we'll see.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 4:18 p.m. CST

    West Wing sucks

    by BrunoTheDog

    Just my opinion, but I have never seen a Sorkin show that I thought was either interesting or clever. Oh, I gave them a chance. West Wing was just a left-wing virtual-reality fantasy, and Sports Night was...well, what the hell was that show? A comedy? I never thought it was funny. So you can hump Sorkin's leg if you want, but SNL isn't funny anymore, so what makes anyone think that a show that takes place "behind the scenes" of an SNL-type show will be? Not excited in the least.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 5:37 p.m. CST

    And after this, Sorkin will helm an hour-long dramedy about a gr

    by FluffyUnbound

    Well, as long as we're scraping the bottom of the barrel for show ideas, why not?

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 5:41 p.m. CST

    And the name of the fictional website will be American Important

    by FluffyUnbound

    Because Sorkin won't consider that derivative.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 6:34 p.m. CST

    A Larry Sanders Ripoff?!?!?!

    by Mutley

    I could think of worse things to be. Especially if it is a well done, well written, clever Larry Sanders ripoff. BTW, I loved Sports Night. So, anything Sorkin attempts gets the benefit of the doubt in my book.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 9:28 p.m. CST

    Why not just bring back Larry Sanders

    by the G-man

    It's not like Shandling and Torn are overly busy, and Jeffrey Tambor can be a regular on both this and "Arrested Development"

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 10:41 p.m. CST

    The Larry Sanders Show was a rip off of Murphy Brown

    by Gheorghe Zamfir

    and Murphy Brown was a rip off of WKRP in Cincinnati, which itself was a rip off of MASH. And Newsradio fits in there somewhere. RIP OFF! Why didn't the network executives get the memo that shows about workplaces are no longer allowed (excepting Lawyer/Cop/Doctor)? Sheez.

  • Oct. 16, 2005, 10:46 p.m. CST

    Larry Sanders ended seven years ago and was on HBO, not a networ

    by Freakemovie

    It's not like that was the only show to ever pretend to go behind the scenes of showbiz, either.

  • Oct. 19, 2005, 7:34 a.m. CST

    by minderbinder

    I loved SN and especially the first two seasons of West Wing, but I'm having a hard time getting excited about this. Sorkin is a brilliant writer, but he's at his best when he's walking the line between drama and comedy. His stuff has never been non stop hilarity (and I don't think it's supposed to be).