HBO Makes Newsroom Available to Just About EveryoneHBO debuted their latest series, The Newsroom, on June 24th and now the network wants all audiences – and not just their subscribers – to have an opportunity to check it out. HBO announced they’re making the first episode available to everyone via HBO.com, YouTube, DailyMotion, TV.com, and Free On Demand through July 23rd.
Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network, The West Wing) created the dramatic series which stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Dev Patel, and Sam Waterston.
A favorite with viewers, news anchor Will McAvoy has found a safe niche with bankable ratings on his 8:00 p.m. flagship cable show, News Night. Numbed by success, McAvoy has become stoic, complacent, cynical – content not to rock the boat as he delivers the nightly news straight down the middle of the road – dialing it in as he avoids ruffling feathers with anything resembling politics. What fire he still has, he reserves for the cutting sarcasm and general unpleasantness that earn him no fans with his news team.
In a literal blink of an eye – or perhaps an optical illusion – McAvoy is catapulted from apathy to engagement when a spontaneous outburst leads him to tackle the principles of American patriotism in a public forum. Surviving the professional fallout from his unexpected tirade following an enforced vacation, McAvoy returns to work to discover that most of his staff has jumped ship for another show and is forced to work with several new team members brought on board during his absence.
McAvoy’s boss, Charlie Skinner, the unapologetically old-school president of ACN’s news division, laments the changing face of the news. Setting the stage for Will’s return to the standard set by news legends such as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, Charlie covertly orchestrates the hiring of Will’s new executive producer, the one person who can restore Will’s passion and bring the best out of him – whether Will wants it or not.
Will’s new executive producer is MacKenzie McHale, back from 26 months embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan. MacKenzie was once romantically involved with Will and knows the idealism he has buried beneath a veneer of apathy and cynicism. With their shared past, she knows exactly how good he can be. Even more unsettling for him, she challenges Will to abandon the successful, middle-of-the-road approach that has made him so popular with both sides of the aisle, and realize his full potential by delivering the news with integrity.
Also imposed upon Will are Jim Harper, Margaret Jordan, Don Keefer, Neal Sampat and Sloan Sabbith, the newsroom staff. Although this group finds itself off to a tumultuous start when breaking news comes over the wire, they immediately come together for one elusive goal: to do TV news well. Jim Harper is MacKenzie’s loyal senior show producer. Though only 27 years old, Jim is more like the old-school reporter Charlie than he is like his contemporaries. He finds himself instantly smitten with Margaret Jordan, a young intern-turned-associated producer, who is already in a relationship with Don Keefer, Will’s former executive producer. Neal Sampat, a young, resourceful self-made newsman writes Will’s blog and scours the Internet for stories, often finding leads his colleagues have missed. Sloan Sabbith is ACN’s financial news analyst.