In the war of the low-rated backstage-at-Saturday-Night-Live TV shows, there can be only one. And in 2006’s race to viewership mediocrity, Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, which spoofed her time as SNL’s head writer, was Christopher Lambert. And we’re all better for it.
Well, everyone was better for it, except for this guy: Aaron Sorkin.
At its heart, HBO's The Newsroom has been a sitcom. Sure, it might be an hour-long and take itself really, really seriously, but consider the following: most of The Newsroom takes place in a single location, and most episodes tends to focus more on witty banter and romantic entanglements instead of, you know, reporting the news. Running time and “Fix You” montages aside, the show is an old-fashioned workplace sitcom. Reshoot it with three cameras in front of a studio audience, and The Newsroom could fit right at home on Must See TV, alongside Cheers and Night Court. (Although The Newsroom’s treatment of female characters might seem antiquated even for the 1980s.)
Aaron Sorkin is no stranger [...]
Last month, NBC picked up 30 Rock for a sixth season, which must be celebrated as a miracle when one considers what Tina Fey’s “comedy show about a comedy show” was up against during its first year.
In 2006, 30 Rock wasn’t the only NBC show focusing on the off-camera lives of the people who run a live sketch comedy show. The bigger, more highly anticipated, and frankly more popular show was Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, from power-screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing creator and since-then writer of The Social Network). Of course, Studio 60 was a drama while 30 Rock a comedy, and NBC [...]