Characters in ‘The Newsroom’ Not Real People, Says Aaron Sorkin

May 30, 2012 3:57pm
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Image credit: Joanna Stern / ABC News

Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif. — While Aaron Sorkin spent a good amount of time talking about his upcoming Steve Jobs film at the All Things D conference this afternoon, there was no lack of references to “The Newsroom,” his show which premieres on HBO on June 24.

The show, which revolves around a broadcast journalist and anchor played by Jeff Daniels, is not based on a real person, Sorkin told interviewer Walt Mossberg at the conference today.

“The show takes place in a fictional newsroom; none of the characters are inspired by real people, even a little bit,” Sorkin said on stage. “It’s entirely fictional. It’s not meant to be anything on CNN, MSNBC, FOX. It’s generic cable news, and it takes place in the very recent past; all the news events are real. About two-thirds of the way through the pilot — I won’t spoil it — something happens and a date stamp comes up on a screen, and we realize it’s two years ago.”

The first season, which has 10 episodes, covers a period of 18 months, Sorkin said.

Given that Sorkin was speaking at a technology conference, he also addressed the role of digital news in the show.

“Obviously, digital media plays a huge role in the show. There’s a character that’s extremely into the Internet and the power it has — there’s a clip where he looks at the uprising an Cairo, and how the people that report the news first get it themselves, which is almost always digital. Our entire set is basically made out of electricity, and if you put a satellite dish on the roof we could probably broadcast the news.”

As for Sorkin, he is pretty tech savvy himself. “I have the three screens — probably more than three screens. I have a desktop, a couple of laptops, an iPad and an iPhone somewhere on my person here.”

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