The Newsroom

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HBO (ended 2014)

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Show Summary

The Newsroom is the tale of a fictional cable news program with a lofty goal: bring back integrity and journalism to the news. The team takes on a Don Quixote-like belief in the ideals of a bygone era where journalism was facts, not opinion. As their quest plays out against the reality of ratings and public opinion, their successes and failures are magnified. Behind this aspiration is the reality of a work place where romances, betrayals, competitions, and corporate expectations add to already stressful jobs.

Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) is a complacent news anchor who is shocked back to life by a public breakdown and the arrival of his ex-love MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), one of the best executive producers in the business. She is hired by Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston), president of the news division at ACN, who cheers on the transformation he orchestrated. Will is supported by his former EP Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) who jumped ship for the 10 pm show; Jim Harper (John Gallagher, Jr.), the new senior producer who came with MacKenzie from a war zone; Maggie Jordan (Alison Pill), a newbie associate producer whose personal life affects her work; Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn), a beautiful and brilliant economics expert who works to become an anchor; and Neal Sampat (Dev Patel), whose coverage of the London subway bombings landed him a job maintaining Will's social media presence but who longs to break a big story.

Created by Oscar- and Emmy-winning writer Aaron Sorkin. Aaron Poul, Scott Rudin and Aaron Sorkin serve as executive producers for this HBO Entertainment production.


Program Notes:
Season one's opening titles used a somewhat majestic theme by Thomas Newman, black-and-white pictures of journalism greats including Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, and clips from season one's first few episodes to identify the regular cast. Each episode focused on an 18-month-old real major news story. Ten episodes were ordered.

Season two's titles were overhauled during the break. A modified theme by Newman began with a syncopated piano that merged into part of the old theme with orchestral backup that continued the jazz-influenced remix. The pictures of journalists and cast clips were replaced with shots of New York, work at the studio and clips of disasters. The episodes continued with past news stories, but they were in the background. The overarching storyline was a broadcast where the story turned out to be false, and the ramifications thereof. Nine episodes were ordered.

Season three's titles used season two's title sequence. The episodes continued the 18-month delay of real news stories against two overarching storylines; a whistle blower story that attracts the attention of the feds, and how – after Genoa – can ACN win back the trust of its viewers. Six episodes were ordered.

On January 13, 2014, HBO announced the truncated season three order and that it was the final season. This was a relatively long delay, as HBO announced the second season during season one. Sorkin's scheduling conflicts were blamed for the delay as his film career interfered with his television responsibilities. In this case, the script for the feature Jobs had to be completed before Sorkin could return to the show.

Broadcast History (All times E/P):
Season 3 – Sunday, 9:00 pm
Seasons 1-2 – Sunday, 10:00 pm

Awards:
2014 Emmy Awards (66th)
Nominated – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)
Nominated – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Jane Fonda)

2013 Emmy Awards (65th)
Won – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)
Nominated – Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series (Jane Fonda)
Nominated – Outstanding Main Title Design

2013 Golden Globes
Nominated – Best Television Series – Drama
Nominated – Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series - Drama (Jeff Daniels)

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Great show with missing explanations.

    6.0
    First of all, it's hard to believe it ended so quickly. They could have done more through the brilliant concept they had. However, the show needs some explanation, in my opinion.

    1) What happened about Genova case? Although they retracted the story, there's something hasn't been revealed which is conclusion of the lawsuit that filed by Terry Dantana? Who've won the lawsuit?

    2) At premiere of season 3, when Will gets notified about Boston bombing, he makes mysterious calls. Not once, twice. Who was that and what's the connection to all story?moreless
  • Goodnight, Newsroom, and Good Luck

    10
    The Newsroom was a very brave effort to get Americans to see that they have chosen a fake balance in the media over facts and, yes, truth. Sorkin did a masterful job in taking a network newsroom and using it as a means to dramatize the degree to which we have allowed mass marketing, jingoism, fear, propaganda and money to create an illusion of reality while the ugly facts of America are carefully kept out of the public eye. The acting was outstanding and the characterizations were pure Sorkin in the sense that we could look at all these people and recognize real human beings, not two dimensional action figures.



    Sadly, all of this came too late. Too many Americans regard any television show that requires them to think as being overbearing or preachy. If the recently released report on American torture can be ignored, and it is being ignored, then we've proved that Americans have become willing participants in the giant ostrich dive that has become public discourse. We now require loud laugh tracks, zombies and action heroes whose sound can transmit through the sand we've buried our heads in. The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave has become the Land of the Frightened and the Home of the Terminally Uninformed.



    Happily, great ideas are not dependent on ratings or the knee jerk critiques of right wing malcontents. Regardless of its brief lifetime, The Newsroom burned brightly and it reached many open minds. As a television show, it's just over. As an idea it will go down in history as one of the last and greatest attempts to both entertain and actually inform the American viewer.moreless
  • It gives me hope.

    10
    A news room is a place of people that work hard to at least try to give us as mush of the truth as they can get it and place it in front of us as a prospective for us to see, know, for us to grasp at some truths to be known. Its Integrity is for us to see right in front of the TV, I for one hope that this quality show rubs off on the other real networks.moreless
  • Reply to "Who sang Oh Shenadoah?"

    9.0
    The singer is the Norwegian soprano Sissel.
  • Great, Terrible, Amazing

    9.5
    I really want to give The Newsroom a 10, but had to go with a 9.5 solely based on how terrible season 2 was.



    I don't get it. Season 1 was great, Season 3 has been amazing, yet somehow Aaron Sorkin wrote the WORST. SEASON. EVER. of a drama that I have that includes the season of Dexter with Jimmy Smits on it in between.... so I cant give it a perfect mark.



    Season 1 and 3 get 10s though.... infact, they should get 10.5s.

    Too bad they made that second season though.moreless
  • SIGNING OFF

    The Newsroom Series Finale Review: A Wake for Don Quixote

    The Newsroom went out on a relatively high-ish note.

  • TAKING THINGS TO HEART

    The Newsroom "Oh Shenandoah" Postmortem: Sam Waterston Breaks Down That Shocking Ending

    The Newsroom usually mines most of its drama from the real-life news stories that its fictional characters are covering. But the most dramatic moments of the series' penultimate episode originated within the newsroom itself.

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    More Info About This Show

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    Drama