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)





[06/25/16 - 08:55 AM]
Friday's Broadcast Ratings: ABC Wins Low Key Demo Race
ABC, NBC and CBS all finish within a few ticks among adults 18-49.

[06/25/16 - 08:27 AM]
Women's Gymnastics Championship Grows 80% Vs. Year-Ago Saturday Telecast
NBC spins the numbers for Friday, June 24.

[06/24/16 - 02:59 PM]
Netflix Announces Premiere Date for "Haters Back Off"
All eight episodes of will premiere globally on October 14 at 12:01am PST exclusively on Netflix.

[06/24/16 - 02:08 PM]
TLC Brings Back "A Baby Story" in a Whole New Way
TLC reinvented "A Baby Story" by bringing a live birth to Facebook in an unprecedented event early this morning with "A Baby Story Live."

[06/24/16 - 12:03 PM]
Travel Channel's "Expedition Unknown" Posts Highest-Rated Episode of Second Season
Travel Channel spins the numbers for Wednesday, June 22.

[06/24/16 - 11:23 AM]
Video: HBO's "High Maintenance" Tease & Photo - Debuts this Fall
The half-hour comedy series follows a Brooklyn pot dealer who delivers to clients with neuroses as diverse as the city.

[06/24/16 - 11:08 AM]
James Earl Joins "Scream Queens" in the Series Regular Role of "Candy Striper"
Set in a hospital, where some of the most fascinating and bizarre medical cases are under observation, Earl is one of the new male leads opposite recently announced Emmy Award nominee John Stamos and Taylor Lautner.

[06/24/16 - 10:51 AM]
Hulu's Fall 2016 Slate
The streaming service confirms dates for "The Mindy Project" (October 4), "Chance" (October 19), "Shut Eye" (December 7) and more!

[06/24/16 - 09:30 AM]
"Good Witch" Season Finale Delivers Hallmark Channel's Highest-Rated and Most-Watched Episode of the Season
The Hallmark Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, June 19.

[06/24/16 - 09:01 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "Big Brother" Sparks CBS Victory
The Eye claims the top spot in both total viewers and adults 18-49.

[06/24/16 - 08:32 AM]
Third Season of Emmy-Nominated Amazon Original Series "Annedroids" is Now Available on Prime Video
The series spotlights, through trial and error, how science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) can inspire children to do great things.

[06/24/16 - 08:23 AM]
Queen Latifah and Flavor Unit Tap Actor Anthony Anderson to Reveal "The Best Place To Be" in New Travel Channel Series
The series follows Hollywood's hottest A-List celebrities as they share the best places to eat, drink, shop and sightsee at their most favorite international destinations.

[06/24/16 - 07:30 AM]
VH1's Hit Series "Basketball Wives LA" Returns Sunday July 17th at 9:00 PM ET/PT
Returning cast members include Shaunie O'Neal, Tami Roman, Jackie Christie, Malaysia Pargo, Brandi Maxiell and Angel Brinks.

[06/24/16 - 07:19 AM]
NBA Superstar LeBron James and Business Partner Maverick Carter Draft a Winning Lineup for New CNBC Series "Cleveland Hustles"
The series teams four successful Cleveland business leaders with local entrepreneurs looking for an investment to launch their own brick-and-mortar stores.

[06/23/16 - 05:44 PM]
CBS to Encore "American Gothic" Series Premiere This Sunday
Said rebroadcast will replace the previously announced repeat of "Elementary" at 10:00/9:00c.