On new HBO series “The Newsroom,” Jeff Daniels plays Will McAvoy, a moody, seasoned newsman who becomes a political animal with a loose tongue that creates controversy. Those comparisions quickly made viewers and critics alike wonder if the character was actually based on former MSNBC and Current TV host Keith Olbermann.
Now, series creator Aaron Sorkin jumps into the discussion and answers the question with a resounding “no.” The producer spoke with Vulture, and clearly states that there was no influence whatsoever.
“No character on the show is based, even a little bit, on anyone from real life. Okay? Anyone. Jeff Daniels is not playing Keith Olbermann. Will bears no resemblance to Keith Olbermann … I’d really like to put that away,” he said in the interview. “Any similarities you might be able to find are purely coincidental. Keith wasn’t on my mind at all.”
Sorkin did, however, spend a significant amount of time with Olbermann while he covering the BP Oil Spill in 2010. For his part, Olbermann told The New York Times that he believes the series was at least somewhat influenced by Sorkin’s time with the controversial host.