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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2013
For a while last year, I started to worry about liking Aaron Sorkin's “The Newsroom” so much. Most of my colleagues didn't like it - not that being out of sync with the herd ever bothered me greatly. It usually turned out that I did better work outside the herd, the farther the better. And by the end of the season, some critics even started coming around on the HBO drama. What worried me was being so in tune with Sorkin's vision. I once did an interview with him in his office on the Warner Bros.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2014
In my April 1st preview of Amy Schumer's second season, I wrote about a sketch she does with Josh Charles spoofing Aaron Sorkin's TV style. "A double Baltimore hit: On April 15, Josh Charles guests stars, and he's terrific as one of Schumer's co-workers in a fast food restaurant," I wrote. "The co-stars alone would make this 30 minutes not to be missed on Tuesday nights this spring. " The piece aired last night with Charles and Schumer bringing trademark Sorkin urgency, anger, sexual frustration and angst to life in this wickedly clever clip.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | April 16, 2014
In my April 1st preview of Amy Schumer's second season, I wrote about a sketch she does with Josh Charles spoofing Aaron Sorkin's TV style. "A double Baltimore hit: On April 15, Josh Charles guests stars, and he's terrific as one of Schumer's co-workers in a fast food restaurant," I wrote. "The co-stars alone would make this 30 minutes not to be missed on Tuesday nights this spring. " The piece aired last night with Charles and Schumer bringing trademark Sorkin urgency, anger, sexual frustration and angst to life in this wickedly clever clip.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 5, 2013
For a while last year, I started to worry about liking Aaron Sorkin's “The Newsroom” so much. Most of my colleagues didn't like it - not that being out of sync with the herd ever bothered me greatly. It usually turned out that I did better work outside the herd, the farther the better. And by the end of the season, some critics even started coming around on the HBO drama. What worried me was being so in tune with Sorkin's vision. I once did an interview with him in his office on the Warner Bros.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | October 4, 2000
Aaron Sorkin, the creator of "The West Wing," has not offered any answers as to who got shot in last year's final episode. And, with NBC not sending preview cassettes to critics, we'll all have to wait until tonight to find out for sure the results of the assassination attempt on President Josiah Bartlet (Martin Sheen). That's O.K. with me. Sorkin deserves some revenge on the critics who ripped him last May for what he termed the "cliff-hangerness" of the finale. They said it was a cheap trick and a step down for Sorkin.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 16, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Aaron Sorkin's "West Wing" was the biggest winner, but one of the most prestigious awards last night at the 16th Annual Television Critics Association Awards ceremony here went to HBO's "The Corner." "The Corner," which was filmed in Baltimore and told the story of a family struggling to escape drug addiction, won the award as Best Movie or Mini-Series. It was based on a nonfiction book of the same title by David Simon and Edward Burns. Simon co-wrote and co-produced the miniseries with David Mills.
FEATURES
By ALBANY TIMES UNION | December 23, 2003
Television has recognized there's gold in their old vaults, and is converting everything shy of test patterns into DVDs. Here are some of the releases of TV shows - both legendary and not-quite-so-classic - that make great gifts: Band of Brothers (2001 miniseries, HBO; $119.99). One of the greatest World War II works ever filmed, this miniseries was overshadowed by the aftermath of 9/11. I Love Lucy: The Complete First Season (1951, CBS; $99.98). It was this show, this season, that established television's sitcom format.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2005
24: SEASON FOUR / / Fox Home Video / / $69.98 If there is a more compelling hero on American TV than Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), I have yet to meet him. Part of the credit for Bauer's appeal goes to Sutherland, a feature film star who elevates the entire medium by bringing his talents to weekly TV. But the producers and writers of 24 also have created a deeply informed discourse on heroism in the post-9/11 era through Bauer. Just as the Iliad and Odyssey gauged the dimensions of heroism in ancient Greece, so does 24 attempt to give the measure of the man or woman it will take to rescue us from the anxiety that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center.
NEWS
By Sun Television Critic | October 8, 2006
Harlem playwright Kia Corthron remembers being told by her University of Maryland, College Park theater professor that serious dramatists would "never write for television." Nonetheless, viewers of HBO's The Wire next month will be able to see an episode of the Peabody Award-winning series scripted by the Cumberland native; and it includes some of the most powerful and touching moments of the series' standout season. Good thing she resisted her instructor's advice "It's different than it used to be - the feeling about TV," says the playwright whose work has been produced in theaters from London to New York.
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | July 17, 2000
LOS ANGELES - Aaron Sorkin's White House drama "West Wing," the most critically acclaimed series on network television, goes back into production here today for its second season, and Sorkin promises that its first order of business will be addressing last year's controversial finale. In answer to a series of questions from critics about closing the season with an unresolved assassination attempt on President Bartlett (Martin Sheen) after a town hall meeting, Sorkin said, "I know that many of you were troubled by it, thinking that the cliff-hangerness of it all was, perhaps, a step down from what you expected.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Zach Sparks | November 7, 2012
Last fall, FX's "American Horror Story" burst onto the scene as one of television's best drama miniseries and was nominated for 17 Emmy Awards . This season, co-creators Ryan Murphy and Brad Falchuk flipped the script by changing characters, plotlines and the show's setting from the “Murder House” to the dank and chilling Briarcliff Manor mental asylum. Over the next few weeks b will post Q&As with cast members of "American Horror Story. " So far, we've talked with Chloe Sevigny and Evan Peters . This time we caught up with Sarah Paulson.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimpore Sun | July 2, 2012
HBO Monday announced that it is picking up Aaron Sorkin's"The Newsroom" for a second season, along with "True Blood" for a sixth. I love the way "The Newsroom"  calls out the press for losing its sense of purpose. Some members of the press didn't like being called out that way. (See my other blog posts about "The Newsroom" to the left of this post.) A couple of pieces of very good news from HBO.  
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 24, 2012
As I have said earlier, I believe the pilot for Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom"  is one of the decade's best productions. I love this series for the way it calls out the press for having lost its sense of purpose. But the press doesn't like be called out that way, and you can see that in some of the reviews attacking Sunday's pilot for being sanctimonious and self-righteous. I love the righteousness of this series -- self or not. Here's video from CNN's  "Reliable Sources" Sunday of a discussion I had with some of my colleagues who don't like "The Newsroom" very much at all. I respect their views.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 23, 2012
UPDATE: I am going to be on CNN's "Reliable Sources" at 11 a.m. (ET) Sunday discussing "The Newsroom" with Maureen Ryan, from the Huffington Post, and Adam Buckman, of Xfinity TV. The Aaron Sorkin series premieres Sunday night at 10 on HBO. This is one of the 20 best pilots of the last 20 years. Don't miss it. I have been thinking about the pilot for Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama, "The Newsroom," for more than a week now. I screened it last week for a radio piece on WYPR-FM (88.1)
FEATURES
By William Georgiades | November 9, 2007
Philip Seymour Hoffman looks more like the rumpled New York theater director that he is than the Oscar-winning star he's been playing for the last year and a half. He's dressed in dark, nondescript clothes, his red hair is wild, his face is unshaven, and those eyes that modulate so precisely from role to role are clear. You wouldn't know he was famous at all, were it not for the fact that he's in a midtown hotel room decorated with posters from his new film, or that an assistant sits down a few feet away after fetching him a pack of Camel Lights.
NEWS
By Sun Television Critic | October 8, 2006
Harlem playwright Kia Corthron remembers being told by her University of Maryland, College Park theater professor that serious dramatists would "never write for television." Nonetheless, viewers of HBO's The Wire next month will be able to see an episode of the Peabody Award-winning series scripted by the Cumberland native; and it includes some of the most powerful and touching moments of the series' standout season. Good thing she resisted her instructor's advice "It's different than it used to be - the feeling about TV," says the playwright whose work has been produced in theaters from London to New York.
FEATURES
By William Georgiades | November 9, 2007
Philip Seymour Hoffman looks more like the rumpled New York theater director that he is than the Oscar-winning star he's been playing for the last year and a half. He's dressed in dark, nondescript clothes, his red hair is wild, his face is unshaven, and those eyes that modulate so precisely from role to role are clear. You wouldn't know he was famous at all, were it not for the fact that he's in a midtown hotel room decorated with posters from his new film, or that an assistant sits down a few feet away after fetching him a pack of Camel Lights.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Ollove and Michael Ollove,Sun Staff | November 5, 2000
Imagine being able to walk into the voting booth Tuesday and cast your presidential ballot for a man who is brilliant, charming, funny, compassionate, principled, exceedingly well-read and morally upright. Well, you can't. But, you can watch him on television Wednesday night. Every Wednesday night. His name is Josiah Bartlet, Jed for short. He's a Democrat, a former governor of New Hampshire and a Nobel laureate. Maybe you've seen his name on bumper stickers this fall. He already has more than 16 million followers.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 4, 2005
24: SEASON FOUR / / Fox Home Video / / $69.98 If there is a more compelling hero on American TV than Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland), I have yet to meet him. Part of the credit for Bauer's appeal goes to Sutherland, a feature film star who elevates the entire medium by bringing his talents to weekly TV. But the producers and writers of 24 also have created a deeply informed discourse on heroism in the post-9/11 era through Bauer. Just as the Iliad and Odyssey gauged the dimensions of heroism in ancient Greece, so does 24 attempt to give the measure of the man or woman it will take to rescue us from the anxiety that followed the attacks on the World Trade Center.
FEATURES
By ALBANY TIMES UNION | December 23, 2003
Television has recognized there's gold in their old vaults, and is converting everything shy of test patterns into DVDs. Here are some of the releases of TV shows - both legendary and not-quite-so-classic - that make great gifts: Band of Brothers (2001 miniseries, HBO; $119.99). One of the greatest World War II works ever filmed, this miniseries was overshadowed by the aftermath of 9/11. I Love Lucy: The Complete First Season (1951, CBS; $99.98). It was this show, this season, that established television's sitcom format.
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