Aaron Sorkin

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Aaron Benjamin Sorkin (born on June 9, 1961 in New York City) is an American screenwriter and producer, working in both film and television.


Sorkin graduated from Syracuse University with a bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater. After a brief stint at acting, he quickly established a reputation as a young, promising playwright on the New York theatre scene; his 1989 Broadway play A Few Good Men was made into a critically acclaimed feature film in 1992, kick-starting his Hollywood career.

Sorkin is probably best known for his highbrow TV drama, The West Wing starring Martin Sheen as the President of the United States, a series originally conceived from leftover dialogue written for Sorkin's 1995 feature The American President. The West Wing was honored with 13 Emmy Awards for its debut season, making the show a record holder for most Emmys won by a series in a single season. The Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series has been awarded to each of the first four West Wing seasons. Sorkin left the show in 2003 at the end of the fourth season (the subsequent fifth season failed to get an Emmy Award). Before The West Wing Sorkin also created and wrote many of the episodes of the critically acclaimed but short lived TV comedy-drama Sports Night, which ran from 1998-2000 on ABC.

As a writer, Aaron Sorkin has received an Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series (The West Wing). In addition, he has received numerous nominations and awards at the Golden Globes, Television Critics Association Awards, Producers Guild of America Golden Laurel Awards and the Writers Guild of America Awards.

Sorkin is unusual in that, unlike most television producers, he writes nearly every episode of his shows. The upside to this is that it gives his shows a certain continuity and consistency of style and quality lacking in shows written by many writers. On the other hand, his scripts are often late, forcing the cast and crew to work overtime and running up the show's budget.

Sorkin was arrested on April 15, 2001 after guards at a security checkpoint at the Burbank Airport found hallucinogenic mushrooms, marijuana and cocaine in his carry-on bag. He was later ordered to a drug-diversion program. While the public scrutiny of his drug addiction raised some bad publicity for The West Wing at the time, it also lent credibility to the on-screen portrayal of addiction and substance abuse by one of the show's lead characters.

During The West Wing's fourth season, some major shake ups occurred. Some fans believed the show had lost its way, an opinion that was not helped when series star Rob Lowe, who was initially slated to be the central character but was given less and less screen time as the show went on, chose to leave the series. Soon after, Executive Producers Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme left the show, a move the motivation of which has never been made public.

At the start of the fifth season, John Wells, the remaining Executive Producer, assumed full control of the show. The resulting change of pace and storyline style, similar to that of Wells's ER, was embraced by some viewers and shunned by others.

As of June 2004, Sorkin has recently completed a screenplay based on the story of Philo Farnsworth (entitled The Farnsworth Invention), to be directed by Schlamme, and was reported to be signed on to adapt George Crile's Charlie Wilson's War for Tom Hanks's production company, with Tom Hanks in the title role [1]. In 2005, it was announced that The Farnsworth Invention was going to be rewritten as a play to be performed at The Abbey in Dublin.The film production appears to be on hold. A version of his play A Few Good Men opened in the West End of London in the fall of 2005, starring Rob Lowe, whom Sorkin also worked with on The West Wing. In October 2005, it was announced that NBC had picked up his new writing project Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, on which he will be working with his frequent partner, director Thomas Schlamme.




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