HBO has renewed "The Newsroom" for a second season, but that doesn't mean that everyone involved in the making of the divisive drama will be coming back. The Daily reports that Sorkin has laid off most if not all of his writing staff:
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.
What this means for the show is unclear -- a look through the six episodes HBO has announced (four of which have now aired) reveals that Sorkin is credited as the sole writer on all of them, except the election-centered episode three, on which he shared credit with former MTV News host Gideon Yago.
Sorkin, not exactly renowned for his collaborative nature when it comes to writing, told Vanity Fair in April:
“I create these shows so that I can write them... 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.”
Of the turnover, a rep from HBO tells the New York Times' Arts Beat blog that "Every year each show reassesses the needs of its writing staffs. This process is nothing out of the ordinary."
Meanwhile, "The Newsroom" retains steady ratings while remaining the show that many in the media world love to hate, but also can't keep away from. In a recent interview with Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air, Sorkin responds to the criticism by stating; "I think that the critics and the audience who are reacting as hostilely to the show as they are, part of the reason is because they think that I'm showing off an intellect and an erudition that I don't have... I'm not pretending to have it. I know that I don't have it. I phonetically create the sound of smart people talking to each other. I'm not one of them. The characters I create would have no use for me."