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)









[12/21/14 - 09:11 AM]
Saturday's Broadcast Ratings: CBS Tops Evening with "Thursday Night Football" Special
The Eye's primetime NFL coverage wins the night in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[12/21/14 - 08:56 AM]
"Saturday Night Live," With Host Amy Adams, Was the #1 Big 4 Non-Sports Telecast of the Night in Both Households and 18-49
NBC spins the numbers for Saturday, December 20.

[12/20/14 - 09:00 AM]
NBC Ranks #1 Friday Night Among the Big 4 in Adults 18-49, Total Viewers, Adults 25-54 and All Other Key Measures
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, December 19.

[12/20/14 - 08:47 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: NBC Tops Viewers, Demos with "Dateline"
The Peacock leads the night with its perennial newsmagazine.

[12/19/14 - 05:41 PM]
NBC Shuffles Its Friday Lineup; "Constantine" to Open Night
Beginning January 16, look for "Constantine" at 8:00/7:00c followed by "Grimm" at 9:00/8:00c and "Dateline NBC" at 10:00/9:00c.

[12/19/14 - 03:15 PM]
David Schwimmer Cast as Attorney Robert Kardashian in "American Crime Story: The People v. O.J. Simpson"
He'll join the previously announced Cuba Gooding Jr. as O.J. Simpson and Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark.

[12/19/14 - 12:47 PM]
"Whale Wars" Returns to Animal Planet January 2 with a World Premiere Three-Hour Event
Under legal siege, Captain Paul Watson is forced to hand the mission over to youthful veteran Peter Hammarstedt following a ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

[12/19/14 - 11:58 AM]
Velocity and Discovery Channel Announce the On Air Team for Barrett-Jackson Live
Coverage begins Tuesday, January 13 from 6-8 PM ET on Discovery Channel and continues through Sunday, January 18 from 2-7 PM ET on Velocity.

[12/19/14 - 10:12 AM]
"Night Will Fall," Revealing the Untold Story of a 1945 Film Detailing Concentration-Camp Atrocities, Debuts Jan. 26, Exclusively on HBO
The film juxtaposes horrific raw footage and scenes from the 1945 documentary with insights from the survivors, the soldiers who liberated them and the filmmakers who recorded these appalling images.

[12/19/14 - 10:02 AM]
USA Network Announces Series Pick-Up for New Drama "Mr. Robot"
The series stars Rami Malek, Christian Slater, Portia Doubleday, Carly Chaikin and Martin Wallstrom.

[12/19/14 - 10:02 AM]
Starz Releases New Video and Image from "Outlander"
The release is part of Starz's 25 Days of #OutlanderOfferings that has been giving fans something extra special for the holidays to get them through the #Droughtlander.

[12/19/14 - 10:00 AM]
AMC Casts International Film Star Daniel Wu as Lead of "Badlands" (WT)
The series tells the story of a ruthless, well-trained warrior named Sunny (Wu) and a young boy who embark on a journey across a dangerous land to find enlightenment.

[12/19/14 - 09:20 AM]
"@midnight" Moves to 11:30 p.m. for Two Weeks Only; Comedy Central Premieres "Ari Shaffir: Paid Regular" and "This Is Not Happening" in January
The premiere episode of "This Is Not Happening" will be available on Amazon Instant Video on January 12 and in the Comedy Central App on January 13.

[12/19/14 - 08:41 AM]
"The People Magazine Awards" Generates NBC's Biggest Audience in Its Slot, Excluding "Peter Pan Live!" and NFL, Since October 23
NBC spins the numbers for Thursday, December 18.

[12/19/14 - 08:39 AM]
Emmy(R)-Winning Series "Banshee" Returns for Third Season Jan. 9, Exclusively on Cinemax
New guest stars this season include Denis O'Hare, Chaske Spencer, Tom Pelphrey and Meaghan Rath.