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The BP oil spill, Rep. Gabby Giffords’ shooting and Osama Bin Laden’s death are all fair game in Aaron Sorkin’s upcoming HBO series, The Newsroom.

“I didn’t want to do fictional news,” Sorkin told the New York Times about the news stories his characters will deal with at The Newsroom‘s fictitious cable news network.

His upcoming series, following the behind-the-scenes drama at a news show, won’t be like The West Wing, where the president and Congress were fictional. Instead, Sorkin, wanting “all the news to be real,” spent time at MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann during the BP oil spill in 2010 for inspiration.

“I was  in the control room staring at an Internet stream of the Spill Cam. That’s when I got the idea to constantly set the show in the very recent past. And that opened up a lot of doors. It’s great when the audience knows more than the characters do. For instance, Episode 7 is the night we got Bin Laden. The audience is obviously way ahead of us through this whole thing, waiting for our characters to catch up.”

The West Wing creator is betting on drawing audiences to the series not just for the news aspect, but the personal stories as well.

“It is a workplace show,” he said. “It doesn’t take place in a law firm and it doesn’t take place in an emergency room. It takes place in this newsroom. But they’re the same kind of personal stories going on that you would find in any of those shows. Hopefully what people will find compelling in terms of the news itself is that we’re revisiting some of these things. Some of them will be stuff we still remember, like the BP oil spill or Gabby Giffords getting shot. Some of them will be things that we don’t remember anymore or never really heard about when it happened. We get a chance to see how the people who give us the news found out the news themselves. And hopefully people are going to find that is as exciting as a car chase.”

Read what Sorkin has to say about the news industry and more at

Will you be tuning in to The Newsroom when it premieres June 24 on HBO?

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