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Aaron Sorkin’s Take on the Rise of TV Binge-Watching

aaron-sorkin_rAaron Sorkin made headlines this week for asking “The Newsroom” fans to “start over” ahead of the final season; he also gave his take on whether “binge-watching” is changing the way traditional TV writers work.

“I love House of Cards just like everybody else, I binge-watch it just like everybody else, but House of Cards is obviously the anti-West Wing,” Sorkin said during a Tribeca Film Festival panel. “I am a binge-watcher myself. If House of Cards or any other show can get me not wanting to stop, good on them. I don’t think writers or show runners are changing their style at all.”

Sorkin’s take definitely applies to his work, as his HBO show depicting the TV news industry plays like a traditional TV show airing over the course of a full season, with a week between episodes. As a result, plot and character development develop at a slower pace, as opposed to a show like “House of Cards,” where, spoiler alert, a leading character can rise from a U.S. Congressman, to Vice President, to president all over the course of 26 episodes–or for dedicated viewers, over one enjoyable binge-watching weekend.

But with binge-released shows like “House of Cards,” and “Orange Is the New Black,” still only a couple years old, it’s a little early to see if writers for traditional TV shows are changing their style to meet the demand for quicker entertainment.

Another TV star also appeared at the film festival, stepping back into his legendary TV role.


Bryan Cranston, who, of course, played the chemistry teacher turned serial-killing drug lord on AMC’s “Breaking Bad,” joined the “We Love Psychos” panel, and apparently was getting back into character.

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