Wells Courts Sorkin for 'West Wing' Return
The West Wing, the White House drama that not too long ago seemed on the long glide toward impeachment at NBC, was considerably revived last season by the arrival of new characters played by Jimmy Smits and Alan Alda and a storyline focusing on presidential-nomination campaigns. The show may be in line for an additional boost—not by adding more new blood but by recalling the man who created the show in 1999 and guided it through its powerhouse first few seasons: Aaron Sorkin.
West Wing executive producer John Wells wants to entice Sorkin to write a few episodes of the show that he left in May 2003. At the time, there were widespread reports that Warner Bros. Television was exasperated by budget-busting production delays and then-executive producer Sorkin's penchant for delivering scripts late. A ratings slump that season didn't help matters.
The most likely scenario would be Sorkin's writing for the show before its as-yet-unscheduled conclusion. “Whenever the series is going to come to an end, I am hoping I can convince him to come back and do some writing,” Wells tells B&C's Ben Grossman. “I talk to him all the time.”
Sorkin has already engineered something of a West Wing reunion of his own. His play, A Few Good Men, which he adapted for the screen in 1992, is currently on the stage in London, with the part that Tom Cruise played onscreen filled by former West Wing-er Rob Lowe.
Out at CAB
Friday was an unhappy day at the Cabletelevision Advertising Bureau (CAB). The New York-based trade group swung the ax, letting five employees go. That may sound like only a handful, but it represents about a quarter of the staff. Those leaving include a longtime member-services staffer who had been with the group since its earliest days, for 23 years.
The move is part of President Sean Cunningham's attempt to reshape the CAB, deemphasizing its traditional mission of supporting cable networks as they chase national advertisers, to focus on helping cable systems woo local and regional advertisers. Cunningham plans to dedicate the freed-up payroll to hiring sales reps who will make more presentations to ad agencies about local cable. Reached on Friday, Cunningham called the layoffs part of the group's “evolution,” from an informational operation providing indirect support to networks and systems “to more of an advocacy and sales company.”
In our continuing effort to inform readers of what's in the reality-show pipeline, we present this casting call recently culled from realitytvlinks.com. (Note: We've lowercased the rampant CAPITALIZATION in the text.)
Major hip-hop star is lookin' for love. Are you the one? Are you a single hot lady looking for love? Ever had a desire to be on TV? Ready to find fame and love at the same time? Then you're perfect for this new series! VH1 is currently casting a reality TV show starring a major hip-hop star who is seeking the woman of his dreams. Spend time in the luxurious mansion and the lap of luxury with this multi-million dollar artist on national television! The winner will receive the ultimate prize, the heart of our bachelor as well as an exotic all expense paid vacation and more! … We are looking for competitive women of all ages and all types (21 and up).
Given that hanging a cheesecake (or beefcake, for that matter) calendar on the wall could be grounds for a hostile-work-environment lawsuit anywhere this side of Mack's Auto Repair, we've found the perfect office decoration for folks in the broadcasting business.
It's the Tower Site Calendar 2006, lovingly photographed by Scott Fybush, who has visited “literally thousands of AM, FM and TV-transmitter sites,” according to the calendar. He posts a new Tower Site of the Week every Friday at fybush.com. Enjoy.