The Newsroom

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

2015 Emmy Awards (67th)
Nominated – Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Jeff Daniels)

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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