'The Newsroom' Premieres Next Sunday--I Can't Wait!

Sunday, June 17, 2012
This is what greeted me this morning on the back cover of today's New York Times Magazine

I'm not quite sure if it's due to my college program or if it's the thought of a television show of the same (or perhaps better) quality of The West Wing but I am anxiously counting the hours (less than 168 from this posting) for the debut of Aaron Sorkin's latest drama, The Newsroom, much like a young child does late into the third week of December in anticipation of Christmas.  I read the piece about the show in last week's New York Times and today's back cover of that publication's Sunday magazine section featured a full page advertisement for the series premiere a week from tonight.  A quick comment to HBO's marketing people--mission accomplished!  Count me in!

This series has been in the works for several years and comes on the heels of Sorkin's Academy Award win in 2011 for writing the adapted screenplay for The Social Network, the movie about the founding of Facebook, and another Oscar nomination this past year for Moneyball, a film about the life and professional exploits of baseball general manager Billy Beane.  This new show features Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy, anchor of News Night on the fictional Atlantis Cable News network, and his the rest of his program crew's struggles to do the news well despite what corporate and commercial minefields they have to navigate to do it.  Sam Waterston, most recently from NBC's Law & Order franchise of programs, plays ACN boss Charlie Skinner and Jane Fonda plays his boss, Atlantis World Media CEO Leona Lansing (perhaps not too far a stretch from her real-life exposure to media mogul Ted Turner during their 10-year marriage).  Others in the cast include Emily Mortimer, John Gallagher, Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Deve patel and Olivia Munn. Ten shows are planned for its initial season but any follow-ons will have to be squeezed into Sorkin's very busy schedule (a movie about the life of the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs is reported to be in the works).

Here are the first three posted trailers for the show (WARNING: since this show will air on a pay cable channel, some of the language in these clips is NFSW and/or not appropriate for children--please take the appropriate precautions before pressing the 'play' icons):

The anticipation of this premiere has me reminiscing about other favorite programs from my past having television news as its focus, to include The Mary Tyler Moore Show back in the 1970s and Murphy Brown during the early 1990s.  Due to my current studies, I now look more at how the news is presented rather than what is actually reported (although that component is also important).  Those two shows, both situation comedies, seem dated by today's media standards and predate the 'cable-ization' of television news that was witnessed in the mid 1990s when Fox News and MSNBC crashed CNN's 16-year monopoly of that specific portion of the media spectrum.

My main hope is that The Newsroom provides viewers some realistic insights into this specific segment of journalism for 'non-insiders' like me to easily link with scholastic instruction, much like what The West Wing did for the study of civics and political science.  Watching the late John Spencer explain to Bartlett administration officials about President Andrew Jackson's 'big block of cheese' still sticks with me almost 13 years after its initial mention on the show.  Perhaps Sorkin can dig up some newsroom-related trivia or practice and feature it in an episode of his new show that future journalists will refer to in the years to come--including, hopefully, me!

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