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)





[09/29/16 - 01:10 PM]
ABC Gives Full-Season Orders to "Designated Survivor" and "Speechless"
Nine additional episodes of both series, from Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios, and The Mark Gordon Company and ABC Studios respectively, have been ordered.

[09/29/16 - 12:01 PM]
Jared Harris Boards AMC's Scripted Anthology "The Terror"
Additional casting includes Ciaran Hinds as Sir John Franklin; Paul Ready as Henry Goodsir; and Adam Nagaitis as Cornelius Hickey.

[09/29/16 - 11:47 AM]
Video: Superhero Fight Club 2.0 Sneak Peek
Check out the heroes of The CW's DC Comics-based TV series.

[09/29/16 - 10:49 AM]
Global Superpowers Stand Off in American Heroes Channel's All-New Series "Cold War Armaggedon"
Premiering Wednesday, October 12, the new eight-part series transports viewers back forty years as the horrors of World War II ended, and a new kind of war began.

[09/29/16 - 08:47 AM]
Wednesday's Broadcast Ratings: FOX Tops Charts with "Empire"
ABC's "Designated Survivor" however is the only series to post year-to-year gains for its network.

[09/29/16 - 08:30 AM]
Freeform Acquires All Five Seasons of "The Mindy Project" - Series Begins Airing on Monday, October 3
Episodes will also be available on the Freeform App on October 3 and will refresh weekly.

[09/29/16 - 08:00 AM]
Season Three of E!'s Scandalous Scripted Drama Series "The Royals" Premieres Sunday, December 4 at 10PM ET/PT
New faces joining the cast this season include series regular Max Brown, reoccurring guest star Jules Knight and guest star Damian Hurley.

[09/29/16 - 07:35 AM]
Logo Breaks Records with Highest Rated Thursday in Network History
Logo further spins the numbers for Thursday, September 22.

[09/29/16 - 07:01 AM]
Sandra Oh Set to Guest Star in a Multi-Episode Arc on the Third Season of ABC's "American Crime"
Set in Alamance County, North Carolina, Oh will play Abby Tanaka, a social worker who runs a local shelter dedicated to housing victims of domestic abuse in the face of community indifference.

[09/29/16 - 06:31 AM]
ABC Announces October Slate for the ABC App, Including First Seasons of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette," and Two New ABCd Comedies
The network is also introducing two new ABCd original short-form comedies, "Broken" and "Serious Music."

[09/28/16 - 02:03 PM]
VH1 and Freeform Acquire All Five Seasons of "The Mindy Project" from NBCUniversal's Universal Television
The show will begin airing on both networks in October and episodes will also be available on the VH1 and Freeform apps.

[09/28/16 - 02:02 PM]
Universal Cable Productions Signs Development Deal with Alfred Hitchcock Estate
"Welcome to Hitchcock" is a new original anthology series will focus on a single season-long mystery or crime in the spirit of the classic Hitchcock style and legacy.

[09/28/16 - 02:00 PM]
"You're the Worst" Picked Up for Fourth Season on FXX
"Expertly written, brilliantly acted, 'You're the Worst' continues to be hilarious and excellent," said Eric Schrier.

[09/28/16 - 01:03 PM]
Bravo Media Serves Up a Double Dose of Sass as "The Real Housewives of Atlanta" and "Married to Medicine" Return on Sunday, November 6
Cynthia Bailey, Kandi Burruss, Kenya Moore, Phaedra Parks, Porsha Williams and Shereè Whitfield are all due back on the former series.

[09/28/16 - 12:36 PM]
"The Durrells in Corfu," Premieres 10/16 on "Masterpiece" on PBS
Keeley Hawes stars as an intrepid widow who decamps from dreary 1930's England to a sun-dappled Greek island with her four recalcitrant children.