October 23, 2006 12:00 PM

Even if he stays behind the camera, producer-writer Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing) is very much a star. The characters on his new NBC drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip have some unmistakable parallels to Sorkin’s own life—from the drug drama to a love interest.

1. The show is set at network NBS, one letter off from West Wing‘s old home, NBC.

2. The guys running Studio 60‘s show-within-a-show, Matt Albie and Danny Tripp (played by Matthew Perry and West Wing alum Bradley Whitford), both have Sorkinesque backstories: Albie and Tripp had previously left the show, as Sorkin departed West Wing, and Tripp has had substance abuse issues, as did Sorkin.

3. One of Studio 60‘s main characters is a Christian comedian (Sarah Paulson) who released a religious album and dated Albie … and West Wing‘s Kristin Chenoweth also put out a spiritual album and dated Sorkin.

4. That weird tribute to Gilbert and Sullivan in the second episode? Sorkin is a huge fan of the operetta writers.

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