The Newsroom

HBO TV show The NewsroomNetwork: HBO
Episodes: 25 (hour)
Seasons: Three

TV show dates: June 24, 2012 — December 14, 2014
Series status: Ended

Performers include: Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, and Sam Waterston.

TV show description:      
Created by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), this TV series takes a behind-the-scenes look at the people who put together a nightly cable-news show on the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel.

The unapologetically old-school president of the news division is Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterson), a professional who learned at the feet of the legendary newsmen.

The anchor and managing editor of News Night is Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), a moderate Republican whose success is largely the result of never offending anyone. He’s in a lot of pain and that manifests itself in a gruff exterior when he’s off camera. His world is turned upside down when Mackenzie McHale, his new executive producer, re-enters his life.

MacKenzie (Emily Mortimer) is a highly respected news producer who was once romantically involved with Will. She returns from 26 months of reporting in Iraq and Afghanistan to executive produce News Night. She hopes to help her former flame to realize his full potential — something that he has little interest in doing.

Jim Harper (John Gallagher, Jr.) follows MacKenzie to News Night as senior producer. He served with her in Iraq and Afghanistan and she can’t live without him. Though he’s just 27, he’s more like Charlie Skinner than he is his contemporaries and has followed the news industry since he was a boy.

Margaret “Maggie” Jordan (Alison Pill) started at News Night as an intern and quickly rose to the role of associate producer. Her level of intelligence is equal to her lack of experience and lack of confidence.

The network’s financial news reporter is Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn), a young woman could be earning much more money as an analyst at Goldman, but her calling is economic reporting.

Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) writes Will’s blog and scours the Internet for stories and leads that others have missed. At only 21-years-old, he’s a self-made newsman and covered the London subway bombings with his camera phone.

Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski) is the former executive producer of News Night, having taken over the show that follows it. He often butts heads with Will, mostly because they’re a lot alike. He’d love to be on the same quixotic journey as everyone else, but is a realist who understands the business and knows he’s always one ratings point away from being out of a job.

Series Finale:     
Episode #25 — What Kind of Day Has It Been
As Charlie’s friends and family gather to pay their respects at his funeral, Mac finds out she’s pregnant. She shares the news with Will, who is both elated and nervous for her. He accidentally reveals her pregnancy to some of the other staff and word quickly travels.

Jim and Maggie have been together for three days, and Jim recommends Maggie for a field producer role in D.C. Maggie is thrilled about the job prospect, but is put off that Jim isn’t more ambivalent about her leaving town for it. Sloan involves herself in making sure they don’t miss another opportunity to be together.

Don and Sloan both feel responsible for Charlie’s death. Don apologizes to Charlie’s widow for what he believes was his role in bringing on the heart attack. She reveals that in every one of the fights Charlie had with the staff since Pruit took over, he was glad they stood up to him. She gives Don and Sloan matching gifts: Charlie’s bowties.

Pruit is having PR issues — one of his companies is reportedly paying female employees less money; a separate story revealed he hired models to appear at his birthday party. Leona offers him some unsolicited advice. He doesn’t have a PR problem, he has an actual problem.

Neal returns from Venezuela and sees what’s become of ACN Digital. He remotely shuts down his replacements’ computers mid-story and chews them out for ruining everything he built. They’re going to shut down the site for a week and rebuild it.

At the reception after the funeral, Will spots Charlie’s grandson playing a standing bass in the garage. He joins him on guitar and they play “That’s How I Got to Memphis,” a song Charlie introduced him to.

At Leona’s urging, Pruit promotes Mac to Charlie’s role as network president. Don wants to stay at 10 o’clock, so Jim takes over as the new executive producer at ‘News Night.’ He offers Maggie his old job as senior producer so she can stay in New York, but she still wants to pursue the field producer position in D.C. They’re going to try to make it work long distance.

Three years earlier, Charlie watched Will peddle soft news for ratings and likability. Upset that his news channel wasn’t doing the news, he sought out Mac. Fresh from Afghanistan, she spent her afternoons drinking at a bowling alley. Mac brought Jim on board, and helped facilitate Will’s rant at the panel at Northwestern.

Thinking of Charlie, the staff powers up the newsroom and gets to work. The broadcast rolls and they do the news. (courtesy HBO)
First aired: December 14, 2014.


What do you think? Do you like The Newsroom TV series? Do you think there should have been a fourth season?

Canceled and renewed TV show

116 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Wendy says

    This was a GREAT show, with smart writing and a top notch cast. Emily Mortimer has become an absolute favorite of mine. With all of the garbage on TV, there should’ve been a clear path for this show to have a long run. There are a few small things going right on TV today, but mostly things are very wrong. I don’t understand how people get paid for making the wrong decision over and over again. C’est la vie.

  2. says

    I’m in the fortunate position of just finishing series 1.So I have series 2&3 to look forward to. I know when I get to the end I will wish it went on longer. I always do when I get really involved in a good piece of writing and reach the last page of the final book in the series. (Mostly I read books rather than watch TV). But that’s life – or rather art, in this case – it comes to an end. My solution: wait 2 years and read it, or watch it, again. Then immerse yourself in the fantasy with fictional people round you who we’ve got to know and love. Interesting man that Aaron Sorkin.

  3. Connie says

    This is by far my husband and mine’s favorite show ever. The series probably didn’t make it because it takes an intuitive brain to understand it. Most people are too low information to grasp its political ramifications.

  4. Dan McCrory says

    Just watched the finale. My wife started getting bored with it. (Too newsy) So I waited till she went out of town to have a Newsroom marathon. I loved the sincerity and the notion that, damn it, they were going to report the REAL news. Meanwhile, all these REAL serious news types were falling in love. (REAL news types don’t hook-up for one-night stands. They’re in it for the long haul.) Still, there seemed to be a double standard on journalistic ethics. But Sorkin failed to show that the choices aren’t always as noble or black-n-white as portrayed. I liked it when am savoy/Sorkin was on his soapbox about the blurred line between entertainment and news. And I wish that the news was not susceptible to ratings or budgets. NPR has the closest thing to real news and analysis. How about bankrolling some of that, Mr. Sorkin?

  5. Tinysuperman says

    I don’t understand why good shows are canceled? It seems to me that were catering to the lowest denominator of intellect in this country and it’s not the right way to go. The show should’ve been on for atleast seven seasons but because you have to think to watch it, it was taken off air we are slowly circling the drain in this country!

  6. Duffy says

    So sorry to see it go. Very few excellent TV shows out there and this was definitely one of them. I wish another network would pick it up. I’d would certainly watch.

  7. Stacy Anderson says

    So sad. Not sure what happened to end this amazing show, but I feel truly sad that I will no longer be able to feel the joy of having my thoughts and ideas coming out of the mouths of beautiful people. I’ve still got John Stewart, though. Seriously…thanks for sharing such smart writing, an ensemble with great chemistry, and a weekly reminder to ‘pump the brakes’ when listening to the 24 hour news networks. Wishing all involved a wonderful future.

  8. Dr. Jack Weaver says

    Possibly the best series I have ever watched. I believe it made a positive contribution to helping americans get back on track to once again be the people whose values, integrity and courage made this great country. There does not seem to be much in the entertainment industry that makes that kind of contribution anymore. A real shame that we will not see more seasons. A heartfelt thanks to all who contributed to the program.

    Jack Weaver

  9. Leon Garner says

    Newsroom was more than a show, its said things that I have been feeling for years, only more eloquently and emotively. It was real entertainment, real artistry. A crying shame indeed!

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