HBO's "The Newsroom" to premiere Sunday
(CBS News) Aaron Sorkin's new TV series, "The Newsroom," about the inner workings of a nightly news broadcast, premieres Sunday night on HBO.
The series marks Sorkin's return to television after winning an Academy Award for best adapted screenplay for "The Social Network."
The behind-the-scenes subject matter of "The Newsroom" seems to be the screenwriter's niche as evidence by his other series "Sports Night," "The West Wing" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip."
The show follows cynical "News Night" anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), whose staff abandons him after he has a public meltdown. When he returns from an enforced vacation he discovers he has a completely new staff.
The show's new executive producer is MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), whom he was once romantically involved with and knows that McAvoy has potential to be great. Also new to the team are are Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.), Margaret Jordan (Allison Pill), Don Keefer (Thomas Sadoski), Neal Sampat (Dev Patel) and Sloan Sabbith (Olivia Munn), the newsroom staff.
Critics have not given the new series the best reviews. The Los Angeles Times' Mary McNamara wrote, "For the first hour, the show seems promising, especially for Sorkin fans. After that, things go into a baffling free-fall in which plot exists almost solely to support the political and cultural points Sorkin wants to make, often in non sequitur monologues."
"The pilot of "The Newsroom" is full of yelling and self-righteousness, but it's got energy, just like 'The West Wing,' Sorkin's 'Sports Night,' and his hit movie 'The Social Network,'" writes The New Yorker's Emily Nussbaum. "The second episode is more obviously stuffed with piety and syrup, although there's one amusing segment, when McAvoy mocks some right-wing idiots. After that, 'The Newsroom' gets so bad so quickly that I found my jaw dropping."
The New York Times' Alessandra Stanley agrees writing, "'The Newsroom' suffers from the same flaw that it decries on real cable shows on MSNBC or Fox News. Cable television would be a lot better if anchors pontificated less and went back to reporting. 'The Newsroom' would be a lot better if the main characters preached less and went back to reporting."
The San Francisco Chronicle's David Wiegand had better words to say for the series writing , "The series, premiering Sunday, is kind of a mess, but one you can't really look away from."
"The Newroom" premieres on HBO this Sunday at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
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