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But none of this held the show back as it continues to hold an esteemed place in television history.
Following The West Wing, Sorkin went on to produce and write Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, based on a fictional sketch comedy show.
The West Wing is considered by many to be one of the best television dramas of all time.
It featured a dazzling ensemble cast of Bradley Whitford, Allison Janney, Rob Lowe, Stockard Channing, Alan Alda and a number of other rotating names.
In 1998, Sorkin turned to writing for television with the cult hit Sports Night, about the cast of a fictional sports news show not unlike ESPN’s Sports Center.
The show was worshipped by many critics and fans and won multiple awards, but had poor ratings, only staying on the air for two seasons on ABC.
And in 2012 he made a big return to television with the HBO series The Newsroom, this time taking on the media and TV news programs.
The show earned Sorkin his reputation for a specific style of writing—fast-paced, witty, sarcastic and at times a bit condescending.
Nothing exemplifies this style more than the “walk and talk” in which characters would walk briskly together down hallways, firing razor sharp lines at each other at near-superhuman pace.
He actually wanted to be an actor during college, when he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at Syracuse University in theatre.
Sorkin worked as a limo driver and a singing telegram performer while struggling as an actor in New York while in school.