The second season of
The workplace drama, about a prickly newscaster (Jeff Daniels) and his cable news team, marked Sorkin's return to television after nearly six years away. It was a return that didn't exactly receive a warm welcome -- with some folks rebuffing the show's ideological tone and portrayal of women.
Before a screening Wednesday in Los Angeles of the second season's first episode, Sorkin talked about his approach this time around. He recalled the words of the late Broadway producer Robert Whitehead, who he said gave him the key to reaching his potential: "You have to stop writing as if you're perpetually on a first date trying to get a second date."
But will viewers stand him up for the second "Newsroom" outing? The season will feature a wrongful-termination lawsuit as a long-running plotline. And news stories such as the 2012 election and the
After the screening, Sorkin told The Times that he's prepared to be inundated.
"Good or bad, it's going to be noisy," he said. "I know that. And I'm ready. But I'm going to enjoy this peace and quiet before Sunday."
For Daniels, who stars as anchor Will McAvoy, the screening marked the first time he watched the second-season premiere -- and it seemed to ease any concern.
"I was real anxious to see what they did with it," Daniels said. "I think it looks like we own it. It's like anything: the first season -- Aaron and everyone is really good at what they do, but it's the first time, a first draft. This is like, 'OK, we know what we're doing now.'"
It all will make for a less awkward Sunday night in the Daniels home.
"Every Sunday night, it's a big deal at our house in Michigan," he said. "We get ready and there it is. No tweeting. We just watch the show. And I think it will be fun to see us hit our groove."
An entirely different kind of fun from what he'll face come fall, when the 58-year-old actor begins production on the much anticipated, and much in flux, "Dumb & Dumber" sequel.
"Here it comes!" Daniels said. "Get ready, America! I've read it. And I'm ready to embarrass myself for you all."
Can anything top the classic toilet scene moment from the original?
"Yes, yes, yes, yes," he said. "All I'll say is we're middle-aged and still that stupid."