By Amy Ryan
October 17, 2005 at 06:21 PM EDT

Great minds think alike. The West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and Saturday Night Live star/head writer Tina Fey (left) are both developing series for NBC that take place backstage at an SNL-like sketch comedy show. The New York Post has some details about both shows in development, speculating on the question of whether they’ll both make it to air? Which will make it first? Tough to handicap: Fey clearly knows the territory better, but she’s been on maternity leave from SNL, and it’s not clear how active she’s been on her sitcom project. Sorkin knows how to do backstage TV comedy, as anyone knows who remembers SportsNight, but his project, called Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, is a drama. Let the sketch-off begin.

Alexis Arquette, the drag performer best known to movie audiences as the Boy George lookalike/soundalike in Adam Sandler’s band in The Wedding Singer, has been filming his preparations for his upcoming sex-change operation for a two-hour documentary on A&E. Sister-in-law Courteney Cox is part of the film, as are Alexis’ famous siblings David, Patricia, and Rosanna. Look for the, um, final cut to air early next year.

-Alan Alda and Jimmy Smits talk up their live presidential debate episode of The West Wing (Nov. 6), telling the New York Daily News that it’ll be less scripted than last year’s real-life debates. Viewers will even be able to submit questions for the faux candidates via the Internet.

addCredit(“Tina Fey: Jim Cooper/AP”)

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