Life imitated art at PaleyFest, when real-life reporters interviewed the fictional journalists of "The Newsroom," HBO's cable news drama created by Aaron Sorkin. The creator of the series also gave some insight into what real-life headlines viewers can expect to see on the show next season.
"The show picks up a week after the first season left off," Sorkin, who was also the principal writer of "The West Wing" and the film "The Social Network," revealed to OTRC.com before the event. "So, we're in the middle of the primary and it will go right up to the election, and everything that came in between, [like]Trayvon Martin and the Affordable Care Act. And we'll be able to remember where we were when those things happened."
"I'm watching the news hoping something is just going to fall from out of the sky and it will be an episode," he stated about his creative process.
"It mirrors real life," said CNN television host Piers Morgan, who moderated the panel discussion of the cast and creators. "I've had to do this job for real. So that gives an interesting dynamic to the interviews, and to the interaction from the audience."
"[Because of 'The Newsroom,'] I think they have a better understanding of some of the complexities of cable news and the news business and how's it's moved in a modern era," he added, referring to the show's audience.
Actor Jeff Daniels stood beside Morgan on the red carpet. Wearing a dark suit, paisley tie and poker face, he resembled his "Newsroom" character Will McAvoy, a hard-hitting anchor on the fictional Atlantic Cable News channel.
"It shouldn't be fluff. It shouldn't be entertainment. It should be stuff that matters and that's important," said Daniels, who could have been speaking about either news or "The Newsroom." "It's smart people saying smart things. Keep up... We don't wait for you. We move."
Daniels lauded Sorkin's fast-paced, "walk and talk" style of writing, which presents a behind-the-scenes perspective of how a cable channel tackles a breaking news event, such as the killing of Osama bin Laden and the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Sorkin, who was also present, divulged to OTRC.com events that will be portrayed in season 2 of "The Newsroom," which is scheduled to premiere in June.
Olivia Munn, who portrays Senior Financial Reporter Sloan Sabbith on "The Newsroom," talked to OTRC.com about her background as a journalism major at the University of Oklahoma. She credited the experience as instrumental to her success as an actress.
"I majored in journalism and I wanted to do local news, never knowing that... I'd end up being a fake reporter on 'The Daily Show,' and then pretending to be a real reporter on 'The Newsroom,'" said Munn.
"My mom is very happy that my college degree is being used in some way," she added.
Although "The Newsroom" may be inspired by the news world, Piers Morgan confided that reporters may be inspired by the show as well.
"Here's the big secret. We all want to be him. We all want to be Will McAvoy," said Morgan. "He's how we all really want to be: crusading, campaigning [and] popular with the women."