Guest Spots Galore! Sorkin on '30 Rock,' Fonda on 'CSI: NY'
Television used to be a place for actors whose star has faded to pick up the occasional gig or, if they're lucky, a full-time job.
While it still serves that purpose, shows like "30 Rock" have more and more used it as a platform for major stars to keep themselves visible. That show in particular has kept remarkable pace with getting big name guest stars (Oprah Winfrey, Al Gore, and Matt Damon have all been on the show), and they look to be continuing that trend with an upcoming appearance by "The Social Network" screenwriter Aaron Sorkin.
After years of wandering the entertainment industry with two failed projects - neither "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" nor "Charlie Wilson's War" succeeded in generating the buzz expected of them - Sorkin has roared back to life with "The Social Network," which is expected to win him an Oscar at the end of the month.
Meanwhile, he's getting a new television series going on HBO, this time focusing on the behind-the-scenes drama (and, one would imagine, snappy dialogue) that goes into producing a cable news show.
His appearance on "30 Rock," for which Entertainment Weekly reports he will play himself, would air well after the Oscars (March or April), but close enough to the "Social Network" buzz to maintain the narrative that Sorkin is a national treasure.
On the other end of the spectrum, Entertainment Weekly also reports that Peter Fonda will be paying the bills with an upcoming appearance on "CSI: NY," in which he'll play the former partner of Det. Mac Taylor (Gary Sinise). The two will reteam to catch a convict they once put away.
Despite appearing in many interesting films over the past forty years, Fonda has never really escaped being the guy from "Easy Rider," even while his co-star, the late Dennis Hopper (who even directed the film), went on to continue doing groundbreaking work. But Fonda's role was always the more iconic of the two, so perhaps that was inevitable.
It's great that he's still getting work, but he certainly deserves better.