I think I have an idea for why Aaron Sorkin keeps having trouble with television projects after The West Wing. It's because he keeps trying to do that series again, in terms of the weight with which he approaches his subjects, when he should be trying to do Sports Night.
It was observed in more than one place that a problem with Studio 60 was that it treated the preparation of a late-night sketch comedy series as though it were the doings of Government. Comedy may be a serious business. And those who do it may have to act at least to themselves as if it were the most important thing in the world. But there's just no way you're going to get a general audience to feel the same.
The Newsroom has the advantage of being about something more important, but it's losing ground because its hour-long, drama format forces it to treat the personal relationships of the characters with equal weight to real-world tragedy.