Saturday August 4, 2012

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Aaron Sorkin is confronting critics of his HBO drama head on.

The Oscar-winning writer-producer defended "The Newsroom" during a Wednesday gathering of the Television Critics Association and denied reports that he fired his entire writing staff. Sorkin said there were staff changes, but all the writers were not dismissed.

"They’re coming to work early. They’re being polite to me," he joked. "I want the old gang back."

Sorkin spent most of his 30 minutes in front of TV critics responding to those who lambasted the series starring Jeff Daniels as a cable news anchor for being inauthentic in its portrayal of women and the cable news industry. He said because the first season was written and filmed before it debuted in June, it was impossible to address any concerns.

"I completely get why you do what you do," Jeff Daniels told critics inside the International Ballroom at the Beverly Hills Hilton. "God bless you. You don’t do it for me, and you never have. It took me a long time as an actor to stop reading you."

Sorkin announced he was hiring consultants with real-world newsroom experience for the second season.

"I think it can only add to the show,"
he said.

The series, which also stars Emily Mortimer, Alison Pill and Sam Waterston, is currently airing its first season. The premiere attracted a healthy 2.1 million viewers.


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HBO gave the green light to a second season of "The Newsroom" after just two episodes aired. Sorkin said the new season will debut next June, and the show’s ripped-from-the-headlines plots will be about "nine to 18 months behind" real-world happenings.

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- Larry David is coming back to HBO -- but not in a new season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

The cable channel told the Television Critics Association that the 65-year-old will write, executively produce and star in an HBO film directed by Greg Mottola. The network didn’t announce a title.

Network executives say it’s not a "Curb Your Enthusiasm" film, and David won’t be playing himself in the movie.

HBO programming president Michael Lombardo says the "Seinfeld" co-creator hasn’t "closed the door" on a possible ninth season of "Curb Your Enthusiasm."

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NEW YORK -- "Good Morning America" anchor Robin Roberts is taking a little time off, saying she’s feeling the effects of her blood and bone marrow disease.

ABC said Roberts would be taking a few weeks of previously scheduled time off, but it came earlier than her planned medical leave for a bone marrow transplant. Roberts told reporters last week that her medical leave would probably start at the end of August or early September.

Roberts announced last month that she has MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease once known as preleukemia.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Carrie Underwood and Brad Paisley are hosting the Country Music Association Awards for a fifth time.

Underwood started the online buzz about their return with a tweet Wednesday, saying she was hanging out with Paisley. She joked that she caught him in her makeup chair and added the hash tag #suchadiva.

CMA confirmed the news on Twitter and Facebook shortly after with a picture of the two stars during a photo shoot.

The CMA Awards will air live Nov. 1, on ABC from Nashville.