News Briefs: The Newsroom Fires Its Writers

BROKEN NEWS NEWS

... The integrity of journalism must be protected, and in doing so, The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin has fired the entire writing staff of his HBO show. Except for his ex-girlfriend Corinne Kinsbury, who writes on the show. She stays. Because Sorkin's art imitates his life, and characters Mackenzie and Will need that spark and tension in this drama about fixing everything that's wrong with America AND hilarious relationship problems! [The Daily]


BUSINESS TIME

... Ryan Murphy's upcoming NBC comedy The New Normal is about a gay couple trying to have a baby with the help of a surrogate. So of course a group called "One Million Moms" has a problem with it. The group complains that the show will ruin the sanctity of marriage and its 50-percent divorce rate, teach our children poor moral values of treating people equally, and turn chocolate milk into regular milk. [TV Guide]

... History has ordered another reality show, this one about flipping cars. No, not like moms amped up on adrenaline who toss cars when they're babies are stuck underneath them. That will be on TLC eventually. Counting Cars follows Pawn Stars character Danny "The Count" Koker as he buys old cars, fixes 'em up, then resells them. Look for it next month. [THR]

... DirecTV and Viacom have ended their feud, restoring channels like Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central back to DirecTV's lineup. The dispute was over—oh, you've already run off to watch Teen Mom 3. Fine. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Lifetime has ordered a pair of pilots, The Secret Lives of Wives and an adaptation of The Witches of East End. The former is about a bunch of women and the latter is also about a bunch of women. [THR]


CASTING UPDATE

... American Horror Story has signed actress Clea Duvall (Carnavale, Heroes) for multiple episodes. No details on her character yet. At this point, it's news when someone DOESN'T join the cast of American Horror Story's second season. [TV Line]

... Parks and Recreation will start its next season in Washington, D.C., and making guest appearances on the series will be senators Barbara Boxer, John McCain, and Olympia Snowe. It's good to see that they can find time to star in television shows instead of sitting on their thumbs all day. [TV Guide]

... You know how I know you're old? Jennifer Jason Leigh is playing a MOM now. Leigh (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) has joined the cast of Revenge as Emily Thorne's mother. What's next, Molly Ringwald playing a mother of three? [EW]

... Burn Notice has made a few awesome guest-casting moves. Comedian Patton Oswalt (Ratatouille) and actress Sonja Sohn (The Wire) will both appear in Season 6 of the USA show. Oswalt will play a smuggler and Sohn will play a CIA director. [EW]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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I believe The Newsroom is too complicated for the average American. Let's face it they are going to vote in a few months based on what the media is force feeding them. I don't believe they understand what Sorkin is trying to tell us, that news are no longer based on facts they are based on corporate interest and whoever is swimming against the mainstream will be discredited publicly. I remember exactly that happening to a GOP candidate when he was polling first 3 days before Iowa, they first tried to discredit the caucus itself, then made him look like a racist or someone who invites attacks on America. None of this was true but whoever challenges the establishment will be discredited in public and since people are the best sponges in the world they soak that in as it was true. The message of the show is amazing, the writing is great and i understand that they put these emotional topics in for the female viewers. I am not sure if new writers will improve the quality of the show.
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...and you're generalizing and not giving us enough credit. THAT aspect of the show (when they don't get it wrong) is good!



It's the silly walking into doors and other running gags (The Miss-sent Email, Drinks Thrown in Will's face, Bigfoot) the last few weeks that absolutely don't work that are the problem with this show...



See my comment (the one that is a reply to Tim that is far down the page here - http://www.tv.com/news/the-newsroom-happy-new-year-29113/ ) on the previous episode about how they didn't "earn" the Jim/Maggie relationship as a huge reason I'm close to no tuning in anymore.
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You're absolutely right. Goodbye Newsroom.
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The Newsroom started off as gripping and compelling, then it was interesting - now it's just whiney and annoying IMO. I've never worked in journalism/media, so perhaps I'm expecting too much, but is TV journalism anywhere near this unprofessional? There's SO much personal drama and whining in the last few episodes.



I'm actually enjoying McAvoy being targeted by the tabloid host because it's part of "the conspiracy" against McAvoy by Fonda's character. But I think MacKenzie appears too emotionally unstable to be any good as a producer. And how does the younger staff even find time to investigate news stories when they spending so much time squabbling and whining?



Hopefully a new writing staff will bring back the tone of the first two episodes.
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I'd say your first sentence is spot on. Bravo!
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Not only was Aaron Sorkin right to fire the writers on The Newsroom, they need to fire some of the actors in this show. I think they should bring on Peter Gallagher to play the foil to Will McAvoy, a hybrid Network Exec/Line Producer to put the fire under Wills ass because apparently he answers to nobody. Sam Waterston has problems with his vocal delivery and Hanoi Jane is just too old. That being said, they need some better actors at the various news desks who can convey the urgency of live televsion. Also they need to speed up the camera blocking and take a lesson from Brian De Palma or Oliver Stone and make the camera a participant not just an objective viewer.



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One Million Moms needs to calm down. The show is on NBC. It will get cancelled. That being said, hatred really doesn't calm down.
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Good. Maybe season 2 of The Newsroom will actually be good.
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The Monty Python approach...one dirty fork? Sack the entire washing-up staff!
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He's brilliant at exploring white men.
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Loving The Newsroom. Second best new show of 2012, behind Awake.
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With all due respect Americans on the whole aren't intelligent enough to understand why shows like The Newsroom should be considered great. The writing is superb and the dialogue between characters perfect. Drawing American's attention to just how poorly their successive governments handle politics and how dumb some of your politicians are and how biased your media is makes this show a GREAT. Just because Americans don't understand it doesn't make it a bad show. I beg the writing to remain high brow and not be dumbed down to suit an increasingly dumber audience.
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The majority of Americans are not very well educated and just want TV to entertain them with game shows, reality shows (that aren't), and situation comedies. After a day of menial work, they want a few hours of brain-free TV time.



Then, there are still a few Americans, who are educated and thirst for shows that can make them think and understand some issues that are "not politically correct" to discuss on a TV show; "The Newsroom" and "The West Wing" are designed for this group of lisetners



Kudos to HBO for airing this program.
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If you feel so passionately about this, please recruit Sorkin to move to your superior country and write for your more intelligent populace. And while you're at it, search the internet for a tv-centric website that has your populace as its target demographic. tv.com's target demographic is the one you just finished insulting.
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Have you noticed how bad tv.com is at hitting its target demographic? I swear at least half of the commenters are from outside the US.
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Wait! There's actually life OUTSIDE the US? Wow! What would they think of next...
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Some would say it was dumbed down already, and that's why it's having problems that The West Wing didn't. We'll just have to see which direction he takes at this fork.
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With all due respect, it was an American who wrote it.
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The paradox is that whether an American wrote it, damned if it was and damned if it wasn't. I agree with you that most Americans are either not smart enough or reactive enough to understand the ramifications of this show.But the fact that now it exists should give us hope that at least some of those people will think more and /or react more. In general though, one must admit that intelligent shows like LOST are not usually making it over the first season. I mean Alcatraz got cancelled, 'nuff said.
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Alcatraz is trash
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That's insulting to trash.
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Nothing great ever comes from the poorly used, unfathomably condescending phrase "With all due respect..." For the record, any opinion and/or argument loses it's value the moment it's used.



Your gross generalization is as unconversant as it is deplorable. It's as unfathomably and incontestably absurd as it is unfounded. Your use of run on sentences and lack of punctuation is despicable. And finally,your painfully obvious and ill conceived attempt at using "big words" to separate yourself from us "dumb" Americans only devalues your intelligence, not ours. Your opinion makes you an imbecile, the manner in which you attempted to express it screams amateur. Or to put this in lamest terms (because that is all we Amercans comprehend doncha know) You're an idiot.
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Wow. Interesting you think that. My comments were never meant as an insult to any nation. I think that the dumbing down of society is a world wide pandemic actually. Just happens that the dumbest people I've ever met en mass are from America. Some of the very nicest people too. Anyway, id be careful slating someone else's English ability and try not to spend hours with thesaurus next time you want to make a poorly put point
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Wow.So that wasn't meant to be insulting? Huh. Not just the delusions of grandeur...you're plain ole delusional.



Aww,it's adorable that you think I actually need a Thesaurus to counter your poorly expressed statement. Figured I'd at least speak in this superior language that only your superior mind could understand. :)
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I love you. That is all.
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This.



I actually try to get on your bad side, but it's impossible when I agree with damn-near everything. Stop making sense all the time, will you?
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For you I'll try. :)
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Yes! The Sensible versus the Maker of Sense! It'll be epic.
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Damn! Remind me never to get on your bad side.
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Would you think less of me if I said that that wasn't my bad side?
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On the contrary. You're reminding me of Donna right now, and I think I wanna see your bad side...
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Saying that people are dumb because they don't like a certain show is pretty dumb. (I'm not from America)
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People, people don't get so defensive. Travel more outside of your ego inflated country and you'll see the truth. I wasn't making an anti American statement for god's sake. Calm down.
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The majority of the people expressing dissent have mentioned that they aren't American...so which "ego inflated country" are you referring to this time?
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I agree with you eipus, people aren't dumb just because they don't like a particular show. Are people dumb just because they don't like mint choc-chip ice cream? No they aren't they just have different tastes to me (the weirdos).

The fact that he's obviously insinuating that ALL Americans are dumb is particularly dumb considering he's trying to defend an American show that's created by Americans. How does that work? They are all too dumb to appreciate a good show but not too dumb to create one? Very odd.

(I'm not an American either, by the way.)
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People, people! I learned this lesson the hard way: do not feed the trolls. They will feast upon your rage. Instead, starve Mr. Barrett with your silent indifference! Then he shall wither and recoil back to whatever dark corner of the Internet he crawled out of in the first place.
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Oh and by the way, I think that was a message of one of the recent episodes. I also wasn't saying people are dumb for not watching the show just that dumb people wouldn't consider the show for how great it is.
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I think that reading is a skill you should learn. Comprehension of text another. Try reading again what I said. I am not American but have lived in America. I like American people in general but let's be honest on the whole they have a far higher percentage of less intelligent people than most other places in the world. So yes while some Americans are very intelligent and can create a great tv show, the masses (dumb Americans) will not tune in to watch it due to the fact it is too well written with highbrow ideas.
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With all due respect stating such generalizations of "Americans" or any other majority of a country only displays your own lack of depth. In truth, you sound like a pompous elitist who looks down on others who don't possess your own level of intelligence. Your lack of humility is what is wrong with your statements.
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It won't work, Aaron. As long as you're the head writer, it's still gonna be a regurgitation of your previous works. You can shuffle the cards, but it's still the same hand.
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Know how I know *you're* old? I had to google Jennifer Jason Leigh. I do know her from Weeds, though. I just didn't know her name. She's good.



I just caught up on The Newsroom today. Firing those writers was a good idea, especially if Sorkin had been asking himself "Does this compare to The West Wing?" Aside from setting the show in the RL past, most of these characters are annoying, especially the ones around my age (23).



Anwar from Skins going on and on about Bigfoot, the unprofessional tirades during work, Coldplay (I get enough of that from Morning Joe), Olivia Munn dateless at an office party during New Year's Eve...c'mon. And is Will losing his faculties, or not? They used it for cheap nitro at the very beginning, and haven't touched it since.



At the very least, we'll soon find out if Sorkin was being cramped / rolled, or if he's now the problem. I'm still a fan, but maybe he's getting too old to write young people.
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For once...even my being the "Old Soul" who occasionally makes pop culture refs that are obscure to anyone my age and younger, had to google her too.
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Aha! With that, I am redeemed...and Tim is old.



I almost knew who she was. I tried watching Fast Times at Ridgemont High a while back, but it was boooooring. Stoner Sean Penn was pretty damn surreal, with him being who he is now. The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller, I get those. Those are great, but Fast Times...no. Like really old SNL, some things just don't hold up.
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That goes w/o saying ;). LOL!



Okay yes! I love 80's movies like nobody's business but to this day I don't understand the hype with Fast Times at Ridgemont High. It was boring and I believe the three times I tried watching it I fell asleep mid way through. And I'm a freakin Insomniac. LOL! You've surpassed redemption dude!
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Seen it. Liked it!
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Random barely-watched 80's movie: 3 'o Clock High.



Nerd accidentally pisses off the biggest bully in school and has to fight him at the end of the day. Breakfast Club meets 24.



Gets the Me seal of approval. Watch it if you haven't, people.
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There is only one reason, well two actually that there is hype about "Fast Times". And neither of those have anything to do with the acting or the plot of the film. And both of those reasons belong to Phoebe Cates. The rest of the movie was boring and not up to par with some of the other 80's movies.
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You're both absolved. I feel slightly like a traitor to my generation, but Fast Times wasn't all that good. On the other hand, old SNL is the only good SNL: http://www.hulu.com/watch/4189/
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"You know how I know you're old? Jennifer Jason Leigh is playing a MOM now."



Not sure why that's supposed to make us feel old. We watch the CW shows too, so we have already seen Natasha Henstridge (13 years younger than JJL) as a mom, and Jasmine Guy (about the same age as JJL) as a grandmother.



The CW is pretty ridiculous actually. Jasmine Guy is only 28 years older than Kat Graham who plays her granddaughter. Natasha Henstridge and Stepfanie Kramer are only 12-13 years older than the people playing their children.
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Jennifer Jason Leigh already plays a mom on Weeds. So yeah, we're really old.
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Oh and not impressed with HBO's The Newsroom, I love Jeff Daniels but .... the show doesn't have IT.
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I think it's really good. It may be the second best show right now, after Breaking Bad. But I think it would be better if it had been a bit more about the characters, and a little bit less (just a little) about the news.
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Love Danny Koker! I absolutely love the work he always did for Rick on Pawn Stars, so I'm really looking forward to seeing more of him.
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In regards to Revenge, while she wasn't my first choice (Michelle Pfeiffer or Sharon Stone) I'm willing to give her a chance. Besides, she's a great actress and we all know she's really good with crazy characters (see Single White Female).
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Patton Oswalt mouthing off to Michael Westen? Life is complete!
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Who cares about these 'One Million Mums"? I care about the no less than "One Million Kids' whose wellbeing is neglected because their mums are too busy checking every single TV program for dangerous content...



On behalf of 'One Million Kids'- Mummy - Stop watching tv and start baking cookies (or whatever)
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<3 this.
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So is Leigh gonna be the mother of the real Emily Thorne/fake Amanda Clarke, or the mother of Amanda Clarke/fake Emily Thorne?
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Amanda Clarke/fake Emily Thorne.
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thx for clearing that up :)
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I wonder what triggered the firing. Excessive reference to Big Foot, perhaps.
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Oh man, Alex Navarro is going to have a field day with this.
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Haha! Well, if Sorkin did this to impress him, it's pointless. He's still not going to be happy with the show whose creator he's totally a fan of.



To be honest, it's not that surprising. I'm loving the show, but the humour specially needs a lot of treatment. Here's to a better Newsroom.
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I'm wondering how mady episodes we'll have to watch until we notice the difference in writing style. Sorkin needs to find a happy mix of writers from The West Wing and Sports Night, seeing as how The Newsroom is trying to merge the two.
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It would be nice to have an explanation of the shakeup. Did the press release TV.com got this from give any indication? Was Sorkin dissatisfied with the writing staff or was it HBO? Also, does anyone think this could be a replay of what happened to The Walking Dead?
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I'm pretty sure Aaron Sorkin at least co-wrote a majority of the episodes this season. So this doesn't come as a surprise. In fact, it's encouraged. This can help ensure tighter writing, but I'm sure it puts a lot of stress on the writer... case and point: Matthew Weiner.
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Isn't "The New Normal" on NBC?
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Staff
yes. will fix!
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YES!! I'm getting my Teen Wolf back!!
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Straight or Gay, I'm against anything that changes my chocolate milk to regular milk. There are some things you just don't mess with! lol
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If people are going to be against Ryan Murphy shows. Be against them for the right reasons. Like he makes crappy shows. The New Normal probably shouldn't be watched. Not because of what it depicts, but because it is probably going to be stupid., like Glee, like AHS etc. He hasn't had anything good since the second season of Nip/Tuck.
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Jennifer Jason Leigh is 50 and she already is playing a mom (of 2) on Weeds. Cool she'll be on Revenge.
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I was thinking the same thing about Weeds and she's great on that show.
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Ugh... I'm so tired of hearing about all this crap from anti-gay people. The New Normal looks like a cute and heart-warming TV show. I mean, I don't kow if it's going to be a hit or anything, but seriously some people just need to shut up.
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Were you volunteering?
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Were you trying to be taken seriously?
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