Aaron Sorkin: Jeff Daniels Is Not Playing Keith Olbermann In ‘The Newsroom’
Aaron Sorkin's new HBO cable news drama "The Newsroom" centers on Jeff Daniels' character Will McAvoy, a well-liked TV newsman who undergoes a journalistic transformation and emerges as a bombastic political pundit driven to speak his mind.
The character has drawn inevitable comparisons to former MSNBC and Current TV host Keith Olbermann, but in an interview with Vulture, Sorkin insists that the character is not based on the outspoken, left-leaning broadcaster.
"But—let’s be really clear about this—no character on the show is based, even a little bit, on anyone from real life. Okay? Anyone. Jeff Daniels is not playing Keith Olbermann. 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."
This may come as a surprise to Olbermann, who allowed Sorkin to spend several weeks "embedded with" his "Countdown" show during the BP Oil Spill in 2010. Last week, Olbermann told told The New York Times that he believes "The Newsroom" was at least somewhat influenced by his experience on cable news. "This is the second show he's done about my life ...At least this one, I knew I saw it coming."
Sorkin's first show, "Sports Night," focused on a sports highlights show that bore a striking resemblance to Olbermann and Dan Patrick's tenure at ESPN's "Sportscenter" in the mid-'90s.
"The Newsroom" premieres Sun., June 24 at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.