Anyone remember ‘The Newsroom’?

“Ken Finkleman should sue @AaronSorkin for stealing Newsroom name then make a new George Findlay series.”

Craig Saila, director of digital products at the Toronto-based Globe and Mail, tweeted that on Monday after reading that Aaron Sorkin plans to call his new HBO series “Newsroom.” I learned through a quick search that Ken Finkleman created “The Newsroom” in the mid-1990s, and starred in it as ratings-obsessed news director George Findlay. (Plot summary from IMDb.) Saila wrote me in a Twitter direct message: “1st season very much in the vein of Sports NIght, but much darker – similar inside jokes about Cdn. media as Sorkin’s will have.”

Variety’s Jon Weisman also thought of “The Newsroom” when he heard about Sorkin’s reported title choice.

[The title] makes me wonder if those folks have forgotten about Ken Finkleman’s great Canadian program “The Newsroom,” shown in the U.S. on PBS, or if they just don’t care about recycling the moniker. Perhaps it’s an homage. I’d hate to think Sorkin has never heard of it.

Finkleman starred in and exec produced the series, which ran in periodic installments beginning in the late 1990s and became a cult favorite in these parts for its sharp humor and storytelling.

Sample line, after word spreads that the show’s news anchor has received a death threat: “I’m not going to nickel and dime my anchor over his life. But the fact is (bulletproof) vests are expensive, and I don’t know if I can justify it.”

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  1. Mark said:

    I think it says it all right there: “Ken Finkleman’s great Canadian program”

    Canadian? Sorry, but most Americans don’t even really know where Canada is, or are they well-versed in quality television that or may not originate in that country.

    I had just been in Montreal one time and had a conversation with someone in an Ohio donut, telling them about my travels. They asked me, “Isn’t that near the arctic circle?”

  2. Keith T said:

    I think James Wolcott said some nice things about Newsroom 1.0 in Vanity Fair.