Before "The Newsroom" launches this weekend, Aaron Sorkin has set things straight about the inspiration behind Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy. While the actor's portrayal of the outspoken character leaves an impression that it is based on real-life journalist Keith Olbermann, the writer claimed it's not the case.
"I'm glad I can finally clear this up," so the man who creates the new HBO series said at a Time Warner Center premiere on Monday, June 18. "I didn't base it on him." Of how the speculation started, Sorkin said, "It was during an interview with the BBC that I mentioned him, and, suddenly, it blew up. So blame the BBC!"
On another occasion, Sorkin told Vulture that "Jeff Daniels is not playing Keith Olbermann." He went on insisting, "Will bears no resemblance to Keith Olbermann... I'd really like to put that away. Any similarities you might be able to find are purely coincidental. Keith wasn't on my mind at all."
Opening up about the real inspiration, the scribe who won an Academy Award for his work on "The Social Network" stated during the Monday event, "A lot of [the show] comes from what I think characters would be like... like on 'The West Wing'."
He, however, admitted that the nerdy financial reporter played by Olivia Munn bears similarities to CNN's correspondent Christine Romans. "There is a little bit of Christine in there," he said, before adding, "But again, a lot of it is what I think the character would be like."
"The Newsroom" focuses on Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy, an anchor with good reputation who is on the brink of losing his audience after having a meltdown. Together with his new executive producer and his newsroom staff, he sets out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.
Set behind the scenes at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN), the show will premiere Sunday, June 24 at 10 P.M. ET on HBO. Rounding up the main cast are Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill, John Gallagher Jr., Dev Patel, Thomas Sadoski and Sam Waterston.