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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.

past TV show

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?


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{ 99 comments… read them below or add one }

Heidi December 17, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Watching The Newsroom was something I looked forward to. I go to work and listen to people talk about shows like Honey Boo Boo and Duck Dynasty and I realize that the movie Idiocracy is no longer a fictional story. The Bumpases would rather watch reality television than a show with substance. If there were news stations that ran real stories instead of re-capping what happened on American Idol, I might have some confidence in humanity.


Rebecca December 19, 2014 at 4:03 pm

We, the People, demand more NEWSROOM.


Kacy Morales December 16, 2014 at 9:09 pm

Newsroom is in my opinion the best written, thought provoking show I have watched in years. I am saddened that the show has been cancelled and question why it has been cancelled. Maybe another network would be better equipped to promote such an intelligent show. I hope to see Newsroom picked up and carried on another network. I would be a faithful viewer.


Jan December 16, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Best TV show since West Wing. Really wish it could return.


Todd Duvall December 16, 2014 at 12:39 am

The Newsroom was a show with substance. But today’s consumer doesn’t want substance. They want to see what has-been celebrity can halfway dance or what dumb-ass barbie girl picks which Ken-Doll to “fall” in love with.

The irony of this is sickening. In the 25 shows not one was slow or lacking any type of thought provoking dialogue.

This show deserves to keep running but today’s society doesn’t want to think. They want garbage to consume and that is what TV will give them. So the show will die and we will keep getting fed garbage.


Kacy Morales December 16, 2014 at 9:35 pm

As a simple, singular part of this society, I would like to say I prefer to have this thought provoking show over any dancer or celebrity driven show any day. Celebrities whoring themselves out for ratings not only lacks entertainmet but is found to be offensive. I enjoyed the quick witted commentary and thought provoking context of Newsroom. Alot may be over my head, but I enjoy a show that can put current events in a context that is both challenging and understandable.


Bret Geil December 18, 2014 at 8:04 pm

I whole heartily agree. I think that if society wants to watch has been trying to regain some of their former glory stick to the big three. I has followed Sorkin’s career for a long time. Everyone of his shows are thought provoking. I finally thought his work found a good network in HBO. Why bring an end to something that really was made for the thinking man


Laura Richards December 15, 2014 at 3:13 pm

My overwhelming dissappointment @ HBO for not more vigourosuly promoting “The Newsroom” is palpable. Last night was gut wrenching and so sad to realize the full potential this show had to engage and enlighten. How many shows on this channel can a family sit and watch and force discussions about national/world events while sharing a laugh or engaging in the antics of the characters on the screen. The cast was beyond fabulous and the dialogue quick, witty and thought-provoking. I’d love to understand the thought process that allowed this show to not receive, it appears, the full promotional support that same Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire or some of the other deviant non-current value programs that HBO so readily renews and promotes. When Jeff Daniels won the Emmy for his outstanding portral of Will McAvoy, HBO should have jumped all over that and built the promo machine from there. Definately a ball was dropped. PLEASE someone have the common sense to either renew this show or aim for programming of some substance not mind-numbing “entertainment”.


Nancy December 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

No one does TV like Sorkin. His intelligent, thought provoking and up to the minute series are the best things going on TV. How can HBO cancel a show like “The Newsroom”? Are there any HBO with taste and intelligence? Guess not. It seems unlikely that they will bring this show back and that is a great loss for those of us who tuned in each week (actually more than once a week to see the same show over again) eagerly anticipating the best in entertainment.


Rachel Lee December 15, 2014 at 1:53 pm

Dear Mr. Sorkin and HBO – I am so disappointed and even maybe angry that one of the best, and I mean best, written, smart dialogue, great characters and actors, etc. has been canceled after 3 seasons. I am not sure who “pulled the plug,” but it is sad. What? Did the new media not like the depiction? Did the public not support it enough? Who was responsible? I’d like to send them an impassioned letter to pick up the series again. Another series that went away was Damages and Netflix picked it up for another season or perhaps two. Why on earth would anyone not enjoy the smart, snappy, exchange between these fabulous actors? The relevant stories, etc. I don’t understand. In fact, I had to watch each episode at least twice to get all the innuendos. Too bad for the public!!!


Lee McClelland December 15, 2014 at 10:49 am

To the entire staff at HBO, let me say this: I have spent mind-numbing years at my wife’s side watching multiple seasons of vampires, gladiators and kings of lands that never existed. For myself, I waited with great anticipation for the next show that I could truly enjoy. As I was sitting in my living room one Sunday evening, I stumbled across a season premiere that literally “grabbed” me and my attention. Since that evening some 3 years ago, I held with hopes that HBO and/or any of the premium networks would continue their aspirations toward thought-provoking, relevant entertainment. With that said, I cannot begin to express how disappointed I am by the cancellation of The Newsroom. From my perspective, The Newsroom is and will always be one of the best shows ever created in all aspects: writing, directing, acting, relevant storyline and relatability to each character–hero, villain and everyone in between. This is brilliant entertainment and I can only hope that HBO will reconsider.


George December 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Lee. I couldn’t agree more! I too wish there was more to come!


Jack fuller December 15, 2014 at 9:37 am

This was a GREAT show. I’m really going to miss it. PLEASE HBO renew !!!


Charlie Kirgis December 15, 2014 at 9:30 am

This is the best series I have ever seen and can not imagine why a show of this quality is not renewed or extended when some others of significantly lower quality are. A true tragedy. Please reconsider.


Martin Diamond December 15, 2014 at 3:11 am

This has been a terrific Series. I agree wholeheartedly with many of the very positive reviews above. It has been one of the few truly interesting, informative and intelligent
shows on the air. What a shame that it has been cancelled. If there is any one on the
staff of HBO reading these comments, please help to bring a new year of the show back.
HBO: Thank you for helping to create Newsroom and for reconsidering a renewal!


Stacy levin December 15, 2014 at 1:17 am

HBO please reconsider!

What a fabulous show


Gail December 14, 2014 at 11:00 pm

My husband and I can’t believe HBO would cancel such a well-written, thought provoking show. The second to the last show about a female college student who was raped was the best ever presented on the subject.
There are so many mindless programs on TV that aren’t worth watching and yet they stay on. Please consider bringing back The Newsroom for those of us who are intelligent enough to think while watching a program!


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