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Aaron Sorkin Fires SNL’s Lorne Michaels

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West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin’s new hour-long drama—which NBC bought for fall 2006—is set backstage at Saturday Night Li . . . sorry, at Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip (Sorkin’s show’s title), a long-running live sketch-comedy show on a network with suspiciously NBC-like execs. It’s been reported that in the pilot script, Studio 7’s Lorne Michaels–esque producer delivers a Network-style anti-TV tirade live on the air. But Sorkin goes even further in tweaking SNL and dramatizing his own life onscreen: Faux-Lorne’s meltdown comes after his bosses make him swap an incendiary sketch, “Crazy Christians,” for yet another sketch starring “Peripheral Vision Man,” a lame SNL-ian recurring bit. (Says one character, “We’re gonna keep doing that one till somebody laughs, huh?”) He’s fired and replaced by two young writing phenoms—one of whom has a cocaine problem and a “sexy redheaded” op-ed-columnist date who is “gonna win a Pulitzer” (Sorkin, arrested for on cocaine charges in 2001, once dated Maureen Dowd). NBC and SNL reps didn’t return calls.

Next: Kissing Up to Morgenthau


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