After his breakdown, Will McAvoy, the most popular news anchor in the U.S., returns to work to find out things have massively changed. Most of his staff have left the show and his boss has hired a brilliant new executive producer, MacKenzie MacHale, his ex-girlfriend. MacKenzie comes in with one mission - change the show from a pandering, ratings driven news program to a truth driven, ethical and fair news report reminiscent of the original news programs. First up, the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill.moreless
With Mac taking full control of the show, she attempts to launch version 2.0 of the nightly news. While she battles to get an on-air economist to help host the segment, Charlie says no to Reese and Will's secret meetings. Also, Maggie miscues during the broadcast causing problems for Will.
Will catches the eye of network executives and Atlantis World Media CEO Leona Lansing when he apologies on-air for his dishonest and inaccurate coverage before the November 2010 midterm elections.
Maggie gets pressure from Don to set Jim up with her roommate, while Neal gives his Bigfoot theories to anyone willing to listen. After a confrontation with a gossip columnist on New Year's Eve, Will becomes fodder for the tabloids, threatening the integrity of the news investigation.
Two uprisings occur simultaneously and the news crew does their best to report on both equally. First, the ousting of President Mubarak in Egypt, then unrest in Wisconsin in response to the governor's call for budget cuts.
Sloan subs for Elliot and takes over the ten o'clock show dealing with the Japanese nuclear crisis following the March 2011 earthquake, but her harsh tone may ruin her credibility. Meanwhile, Will sees a therapist to try and fix his insomnia.
While the staff celebrates at their one-year anniversary party, Charlie gets an anonymous tip about an upcoming televised speech by the president. This prompts the News Night staff to switch gears and focus on possible reasons for the speech.
The ratings for News Night make a huge decline after its decision not to cover a pair of headline making stories, and Will and Mac must find a way to bring enough viewers back to justify the network's quest to air a Republican debate. Meanwhile, Will considers writers for an all-access profile; Sloan is upset by the lack of coverage of a financial story; and Charlie learns a National Security Agency whistle-blower's identity.moreless
The power outage clarifies Mac's thoughts about the way they're going about achieving their goal for the debate. Neal poses as an internet troll, baiting Sloan's fans with inaccurate posts. Charlie asks Jim to vet his NSA source. Lisa's interview with Will about Casey Anthony goes horribly wrong, and the staff's sample mock debate for the Republican Party's representatives does not go as planned.moreless
In the Season 1 finale, Mac is agitated by a possibly devastating announcement from gossip columnist Nina Howard. Meanwhile, Sloan ponders a new job opportunity; Neal's Internet alias could avert a catastrophe; and Will, Mac and Charlie confront Leona and Reese during a volatile lunch meeting.