or


[05/02/03 - 12:00 AM]
Sorkin, Schlamme Exit 'West Wing'
By Brian Ford Sullivan (TFC)

CHICAGO (thefutoncritic.com) -- Just one day after their own fictional Vice President resigned, "The West Wing's" Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme have announced they will leave the NBC series after the close of this season. No reason was given however creative and financial issues are said to have played a role in both men's exit.

In a joint statement to the media, Sorkin said, "We are extremely grateful for the opportunity that was given to us by NBC and Warner Bros. over the last four years. This has been the experience of any writer's dreams. I had the best job in show business for four years and I'll never forget that. I'm indebted to a cast, crew and staff whose world-class talents were exceeded only by their tireless dedication to the show and endless generosity of spirit. If I worked with them all another hundred times, it wouldn't be enough." Schlamme added, "There has not been a day in the last four years when I've pulled up to stage 23 that I didn't feel blessed by my good fortune to have been part of this great journey. I have been constantly inspired by the enormous talent pool of men and women with whom I have shared this experience and am looking forward with confidence to their next chapter of this extraordinary show."

Both created and executive produced the series with Sorkin serving as principal writer and Schlamme as principal director for its entire run to date. Sorkin has one year left on his contract with Warner Bros. Television where he will continue to develop projects for the "West Wing" distributor.

NBC president Jeff Zucker and Warner Bros. chief Jeff Roth also issued a joint statement, saying "Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme have done an extraordinary job in their four years at the helm of "The West Wing." Aaron�s brilliant writing and Tommy�s gifted direction and leadership have been the cornerstones of "The West Wing�s" remarkable critical and ratings success. Moving forward we have asked Executive Producer John Wells to assume a more active role next season and he has graciously agreed. We thank and applaud Aaron, Tommy and John for creating one of the finest shows to ever air on television."

At Warner Bros. and NBC's request, fellow executive producer John Wells will take on an expanded role at the series next season to fill the void left by both men's exit. Warner Bros. and NBC agreed to renew the series for two more seasons at a hefty $5.5 million per episode license fee back in January.

Wells, who is also behind the Peacock's "Third Watch" and "ER," said in a statement, saying "Aaron Sorkin and Tommy Schlamme are irreplaceable. Aaron�s an exceptionally gifted writer and we�re indebted to him for creating this wonderful world. Tommy�s creative vision and his leadership have been central to the show�s success. Sadly, we always knew this day would come and have been assembling a talented group of writers, directors and producers to assist in this transition. They will be sorely missed."

It is widely believed that the pair's exit can be traced to financial concerns by the studio as cost overruns and tardy scripts by Sorkin often caused the series to go way over budget. Also likely playing a factor was the increased scrutiny by NBC and Warner Bros. over the show's content once ratings began to spiral downward this season. Compared with last season the drama has plummeted 27% in the key adults 18-49 demographic (4.5 vs. 6.2 average ratings) not to mention 22% in total viewers (13.5 million vs. 17.3 million). Prior to that, Sorkin had free reign on the series.

Under Sorkin and Schlamme's reign, the series won the Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series for each of its previous three seasons.





  [may 2003]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
    


· ER (NBC)
· THIRD WATCH (NBC)
· WEST WING, THE (NBC)





[08/31/16 - 11:34 AM]
Video: Watch an All-New First Look at Season Two of "Scream Queens"
Season Two graduates from the college campus and into a hospital with a haunted past, as a new and terrifyingly funny mystery begins.

[08/31/16 - 11:03 AM]
Bravo Media's "Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles" Is Back on the Market with a Supersized Premiere Thursday, October 6 at 9PM ET/PT
Powerhouse agents Josh Altman, Josh Flagg and Brits James Harris and David Parnes return for season nine along with familiar face, Madison Hildebrand.

[08/31/16 - 11:01 AM]
Alex Kalymnios on Board to Direct Starz' "The White Princess"
In casting news, Amy Manson boards the production in the role of Lady Catherine Gordon, cousin to King James IV of Scotland.

[08/31/16 - 10:24 AM]
Video: #LoweRoast Preview Clip - Jeff Ross Channels Prince, Shreds Ann Coulter
Armed with an electric guitar and a Prince outfit, Roastmaster General Jeff Ross shreds Ann Coulter.

[08/31/16 - 10:11 AM]
Get Ready for Halloween with Crafty Chefs and Spine-Chilling Sabotages in "Cutthroat Kitchen: Tournament of Terror"
From a spider web-themed spider roll challenge to a liver and fava beans battle, the competitors must scare up their best dishes while braving witches, mummies, ghosts and zombies.

[08/31/16 - 10:04 AM]
FYI Greenlights New Culinary Competition Series "Man vs Master" - Chef Richard Blais to Host
In "Man vs Master," unknown chefs working in the trenches of the food industry will compete for the opportunity of a lifetime - a coveted apprenticeship with a world-renowned celebrity chef - but in order to win, they will have to beat the master in a face-off first.

[08/31/16 - 09:25 AM]
Tuesday's Broadcast Ratings: "Got Talent," "Better Late" Rise in Latest Victory
The Peacock wins the night among total viewers and adults 18-49.

[08/31/16 - 09:19 AM]
"CBS All Access" Rolls Out Commercial-Free Option for Subscribers
In addition to the existing subscription offering of $5.99/month, subscribers now have the option to watch CBS All Access's on-demand content commercial-free for $9.99/month.

[08/31/16 - 08:32 AM]
Netflix Announces New Talk Show with Bill Nye
Set to launch Spring 2017, each episode will tackle a topic from a scientific point of view, dispelling myths, and refuting anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry.

[08/31/16 - 07:28 AM]
New Smithsonian Channel(TM) Limited Series Features Africa's Most Iconic Predators and Their Tales of Survival
"Africa's Wild Havens" premieres tonight, Wednesday, August 31 at 8:00/7:00c.

[08/31/16 - 06:34 AM]
Cartoon Network Expands the World of "Mighty Magiswords" with Linear Series Debut Thursday, Sept. 29, 6:30 P.M. (ET/PT)
Building on the original 15-second series that launched last year on the CN Anything app, the new TV series continues the adventures of Prohyas and Vambre, a sibling team of "warriors for hire."

[08/31/16 - 06:32 AM]
Video: Netflix Releases First Part of Social Video Series for "Marvel's Luke Cage"
These digital videos look to blend fiction with history by taking audiences behind the curtain on the themes that give the show it's street-level authenticity and cultural relevance.

[08/31/16 - 05:33 AM]
Netflix Announces "Stranger Things 2"
Nine new episodes are confirmed for the second season.

[08/31/16 - 03:03 AM]
ABC Signs Expansive New Agreement to Broadcast the Oscars(R), Hollywood's Biggest Entertainment Ceremony, Through 2028
The new agreement for the domestic network of the Academy Awards(R) adds eight years to the existing contract, which was scheduled to expire in 2020.

[08/30/16 - 07:06 PM]
ABC's "The Bachelor" Returns in January 2017 for Its 21st Season
The Alphabet also reveals the next man to give out the roses and, hopefully, this time find his happy ending.