Exclusive: Law & Order Vet Sam Waterston Joins Aaron Sorkin's HBO Pilot

In what would mark his first major TV role since Law & Order signed off in 2010, Sam Waterston has joined the cast of the tentatively-titled More As This Story Develops, Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama pilot set behind the scenes at a cable news network.

The much-buzzed-about project — exec produced by Sorkin and Scott Rudin — stars Jeff Daniels as Will McCallister, the host of a popular cable news show. Waterston will play McCallister’s boss.

The impressive ensemble also includes Olivia Munn, Alison Pill, and if a deal can ever be made, Emily Mortimer.

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  1. sarah says:

    YES. Awesome news.

  2. O'Brien says:

    This absolutely delights me. I can’t wait to hear Waterston deliver Sorkin’s bing-bang-boom dialogue. Could be a match made in heaven!

  3. Gwen says:

    This is good news. I’ll watch anything written by Aaron Sorkin. And I have missed Sam Waterston ever since he left “Law & Order.”

  4. Junior G. says:

    Great news. Aaron Sorkin is a genius and I can’t wait to see how this show will play out. Sam Waterson makes complete sense as the head of a cable network.

  5. Jon says:

    Hey Emily:
    There are plenty of other hungry, willing and talented actresses in Hollywood ready to jump at the chance to take your spot on this show. S*#t or get off the pot.

  6. Craig says:

    I love how Sorkin recycles names–Will (Bailey from the West Wing) and McCallister (Sen. from Brothers and Sisters played by Rob Lowe, who was the original star of the West Wing). #win

    • Amber says:

      Wasn’t there also a character named Will on Sports night? =) Also, Dan/Danny/Dana is a name he loves. (Dan and Dana on Sports night and Danny on Studio 60).

      • kj says:

        don’t forget Danny from West Wing, too!
        Aaron Sorkin is a genius. I just re-watched Sports Night on Netflix. What a great show! I think tv really needs a Sorkin show right now, smart, funny, well-written. I’m actually considering getting HBO again just to watch this.

    • Ben says:

      Sorkin didn’t have anything to do with Brothers & Sisters, so he isn’t really recycling a name there. Just coincidence.

      But yeah, there are a LOT of names that carry over. I’m rewatching the West Wing right now, and I’ve heard the name “Stackhouse” mentioned probably four or five times, I think each time in reference to a different person, and I haven’t even gotten to the filibuster episode yet.

  7. MiaS says:

    Sam AND Aaron together???
    I don’t even have to read what it is about-
    I have to get HBO again.

  8. Slappy san says:

    How does Munn keep getting work? Seriously?

    • maggie says:


    • Amber says:

      *Like.* In all seriousness, showing her hoo-ha in see-through underwear on the cover of Maxim probably helped her get a lot of auditions. Some women think that’s empowering to do, but personally, I call selling your body to get work and money “prostitution”, and it’s gross and disrespectful to do to yourself. That’s probably just my thought. I really wish the adorable Marissa Tomei had gotten that role in the show instead.

  9. maggie says:

    I was hoping that the failure of L&O:LA would make NBC want to bring back the original L&O, even if just for a few movies. But if we can’t get that, then Sam Waterston deserves to be on TV in another great project. Waterston & Sorkin will be a great team!

  10. TiminPhx says:

    This will be just another snarky, Leftist, self-righteous snore fest. But if will give Liberals something to throw awards towards, to discuss among themselves as if it was the funniest thing ever in the history of man.

    • Are you kidding me? says:

      Yes…hilarious…Whenever I watch a Sorkin show that’s all I do is laugh every second. All that snappy dialogue, subtext, and deep discussion of serious social issues amongst the characters is a real laugh riot.

    • John says:

      I love Sorkin shows and I also loved 24, which was about as right-wing as television gets. Maybe people can be entertained and find quality in different viewpoints. Then again, I guess that’s kinda the definition of “Liberal”, so I hope another conservative showrunner comes along for you someday.

  11. Rlynh says:

    Oh joy. An HBO series about newspeople. “Law & Order” meets “Broadcast News”?

  12. Michael says:

    Jack McCoy back on TV??!??! You got yourself a viewer!

  13. Amber says:

    It confuses me why people take the time to read and comment on articles about shows they don’t give a crap about…or even seem to have a real loathing for. Don’t they have better things to do with their time?

    Anyways…I love Sam Waterston, I’m glad to see him back at work, and I think he’ll be a perfect fit for a Sorkin show. And I’m glad to see the title of the show “More as this Story Develops” is just tentative. I hope they change it. It’s kind of a mouthful to say, it needs to be simplified. Seriously, whenever anyone ever talked about Studio 60, did they ever use the full title, “Hey, did you see what happened on last night’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip?” Too long. I never used the full title.

  14. Nancy says:

    I agree – I will watch anything written by Aaron Sorkin and I absolutely love Sam Waterston. I would love to say it’s a can’t miss — especially since it will be on HBO and they might actually give it time to find an audience.

  15. linderella49 says:

    At last a reason not to cancel HBO…so glad Sam Waterston is coming back to TV. This is awesome news.

  16. wooster182 says:

    No West Wing alums? Really? I need my Timothy Busfield and Bradley Whitford!!!

    • rm says:

      I was thinking how great it’d be to see those two specifically with Sorkin’s words for this show; kept holding out for a casting announcement to that effect. It seems a no-brainer especially for Busfield, who has been proven to be solidly credible and hugely engrossing as a Sorkin-esque reporter on The West Wing.

    • kj says:

      It wouldn’t shock me to see Josh Malina show up on this one. He did Sports Night and West Wing.

  17. rm says:

    It’ll be great to see Sam Waterston in the ‘mentor’ role on a Sorkin show a la Robert Guillaume on Sports Night. Great choice; really makes up for a lot of otherwise facially ho-hum cast choices. Unfortunately, though, as said above, it really does seem to plant the tombstone on any possible revival of original flavor L&O.

  18. tvcon says:

    Word has it that Emily Mortimer has two projects that she can’t get out of so they might be letting finish. If she has indeed dropped then find someone to too the project.

  19. Sheikia says:

    OMG this is awesome! This show is going to be great!

  20. Matt says:

    Man, this is going to kill me that I don’t get HBO. LOVE Sorkin’s work.

  21. TheDude says:

    So is Ari Gold representing Sorkin in this new project?

  22. Yvonne says:

    I am totally down with anything that Sam is in. So glad I added HBO to my FIOS package. Sam & Jill (Hennessy)this fall — way to go HBO!!!!

    Peace out!

  23. Terralane says:

    I love Sam Waterston and will watch anything he’s in. Such talent.

  24. Yvonne says:

    I was going to cancel my subscription to HBO as I only got it to see Jill Hennessy (my favorite actress) in the short lived series, “Luck.” But now my guy Sam is returning to the small screen!! I am now doing the “happy dance!” Yep, I am retaining HBO and will faithfully watch the show. So glad to have Sam back!!! Here’s hoping he is actively a part of the storyline and not just a one or two liner.

  25. Susan c says:

    I saw a “blip” about Sam, and can’t wait to watch.

    Pleeze, let me know name of show, time and start date. Can’t wait!!

  26. navvet55 says:

    another sorkin indoctrination vehicle.silly cool aid for the gullible superficial folks.what a sad reflection on todays public.

  27. Sammie is the finest of ALL actors in the ‘biz’ & to get him back on TV or ANYWHERE, for that matter is a treat to behold!!!!! I’ve loved him for 30+ yrs. & it keeps getting stronger–but NOT in some sick-o way. He is bursting with talent, humor and humility– and humanity for all!! I work and study in Theatre & know what hard work it takes and ethics–I’d like to think I feel like him, channel his style & grace. He’s wonderful in all he does & my PERSONAL role model for what I aspire to to.be on a different plaIn. I’d LOVE to meet him one day & his iconic characters are a joy & a treat to watch!! Heart & soul, blood, sweat & tears goes into EVERY role, ie “The Killing Fields”, etc. And his feelings are ALWAYS genuine!!!!!! He becomes who he plays–in ALL he does. I was happy For Dr. Hang S. Ngor for his Oscar win–but Sammie deserved to win by his side. To see Sammie’s pride over his co-sitar was truly heartfelt; but he deserved to win too– side by side; ESP. after all Dr. Ngor had endured in escaping the Khmer Rouge only to die by three men of gunshot wounds lying in the street & a 1 st. Time actor. The real Dith Pran lived to 2008 & died of pancreatic cancer 3 months after diagnosis. Sammie went to BOTH funerals. And now Sammie, whoa is now
    Mthis gracefully aging man–71?–hardly!! Charlie is a role he was born to play; like so many others–we believed he was John Jack McCoy EADA/DA. He ‘becomes’ who he plays–in ALL he does. This is a man of looks and immeasurable talent, plus he truly cares about his legions everywhere!! Sammie is a one-of-a-kind ladies and mans man w/a full mane of hair and youthful looks to boot!!!!! Newsroom, like L& O is a pleasure to watch ex pet he traded down from excellent Scotch whiskey To lower class Bourbon, but no worries–it’s TV– but at it’s ABSOLUTELE EXCELLENCE!!!!! Bones!!

  28. I meant to say ” and now ‘this’ gracefully aging man of 71!?”. The statement reads as “Mthis…..”

  29. maryliz says:

    As much as I’ve always admired Sam Waterston as an actor-I notice that Jane Fonda will be in this – is only 5 episodes- but I will not contribute to any ratings for any show that she’ll be in. This maybe an over-reaction on my part. But I have no use for her. And please don’t say – Get Over It-am sure the families of the 55,000 killed in Vietnam would love to get over their sons & daughters deaths. I hope that anyone with a vet in their family will never turn this program on. I know I won’t be.