Breaking News (TV Series 2002– ) Poster

(2002– )

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A most interesting production history
Pro Jury8 September 2002
Fans of this series may not be aware of the very complex history of its production. This is a report from a BREAKING NEWS fan list:

The TNT cable network produced BREAKING NEWS but *never* aired ANY of the episodes!

TNT filmed the pilot in April of 2000, then came back and shot the remaining episodes from October 2000 to April 2001. Originally, it was supposed to air in January of 2001, but then TNT's premiere date for the show kept getting pushed back and back and back.... until they announced in the summer of 2001 that they weren't going to show any of the episodes at all. Basically, they canceled it without ever even airing a single episode.

Lots of theories are floating about as to why they made such a ridiculous decision, but the prevailing school of thought seems to be that the series got caught up in the big merger between AOL and Time-Warner (parent company of TNT), and that the show became pretty much a nice fat tax write-off. That sent BREAKING NEWS into total limbo.

So, in the Summer of 2001, producer Gardner Stern did kind of a guerilla sampling campaign by sending a few episodes on tape to several critics for review. The critics were understandably appalled at the way TNT handled the whole situation with such a quality show. Still, it was a bad time to try to shop the series around, since all the networks had already picked their fall line-ups. So, things looked pretty grim.

Lead actor Clancy Brown was so sure that the show would never see the light of day that he and his biggest fan club put together a private screening of all the episodes for friends, family, and fans last October 2001, in Cincinnati.

That was the only time any of the fans got a chance to see the show until Bravo miraculously (and unexpectedly!), bought the rights and premiered "Breaking News" in the Summer of 2002 -- the actual FIRST OFFICIAL broadcast of the series. That would make BREAKING NEWS eligible for the 2002-2003 nominating season for the Golden Globes, Cable Ace and Emmy awards.

When Bravo was first promoting the premiere, one of their executives mentioned that, if ratings were *very* good for the the network, they *might consider* making new episodes. But the logistics of that would be pretty tough, even if the show was doing spectacularly, as most of the cast has moved on to some very high profile projects.
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A Bad break for a Great Show
Maidendlm20 October 2002
I really love this show, Breaking News.


It features terrific writing, a strong talented cast--I especially love the witty chemistry between Clancy Brown's decent and ambitious I-24 broadcast president/news director Peter Kozyck and Lisa Ann Walter's driven, wryly ascerbic producer, Rachel Glass--striking production values, and a crisp, brisk "pay attention or you'll miss something significant" pace. It's a truly well made television show.

So of course it follows that the network that poured a reported $20 million into its creation-- that's Turner Network Television for those of you out there who still don't know-- would ultimately trash it and sell it for scrap.

Welcome one and all to the brave new world of Corporate American television! (Abandon hope all ye who enter...)

TNT's unforgivably cynical and shabby mishandling of "Breaking News" and its talented cast and crew was bad enough.

But what are we to make of the Powers That Be at the Bravo channel, who rescued "Breaking News," from near oblivion, vaguely assuring its devoted viewers that the show would be continued "if it was a hit" only to decide to dump it almost as unceremoniously as TNT had earlier done?

"Breaking News" would be continued "if it was a hit"? Well, what does that mean, Bravo? What in your estimation comprises "a hit"? "The Sopranos"? "Friends"? "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation"? Were you just blowing smoke about re-newing BN or were you serious?

Then why debut "Breaking News" smack in the middle of SUMMER, a time of the year when many if not most of us are out and about doing any and everything BUT tv-watching?

And what precisely was the thinking behind pairing BN with, Oh Yeah, That Other TV Show About News, "Deadline"? What genius considered that kind of scheduling an effective strategy for audience-building for "Breaking News"? Were we viewers supposed to like these two shows interchangeably or something?

Hey guys, excuse my naivete, but whatever happened to giving what you know is a good new show time to find an audience and vice-versa? ("The Dick Van Dyke Show," "Hill Street Blues," "Cheers," or "Seinfeld," anyone?)

Just curious TNT, Bravo, et al: Is a high school diploma still a requirement for a career in broadcast programming, or was that waived at the start of the Go-Go Nineties?
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well done, intelligent
mpgmpg12322 September 2002
This is a well done, intelligent show. No wonder they did not air it, in these days of reality garbage. It is about a CNN type, 24 hour news network. It has good writing, is fast paced, and has good performances. Good work from Tim Matheson as the Tom Brokaw type anchor, being able to show more in a role than he usually gets (except on West Wing), Lisa Ann Walters is touching and funny, but best of all is the wonderful, much under utilized in recent years, Patricia Wettig. She is the wife of Matheson in this and a former reporter who has taken time off to deal with her bipolar disorder. In the last few shows, she is starting to rapidly lose control, stopping her medications and all hell appears to be about to break lose. Of course, the show only has 13 episodes and will end soon, so we will probably not get to see what finally happens. She should get another Emmy for her work on this, but most likely won't as quality is hardly recognized anymore. (proof positive is the fact that this show was only aired TWO years after it was made!!)
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Very nice
clyde93152 September 2002
A well done program. Where has this program been? Some miss-casting really works. I think this program really captures what goes on behind a big video news room. I know this program will not last. Nothing I like ever does. So maybe I should say I don't like it, then it will be around for a long time. Well, I do hope it's around for a while.
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Well done!
kdm04218 July 2002
I just saw the two hour premier of "Breaking News," and I must I'm impressed. The series essentially covers the life and times of a struggling news network and its attempts to get the journalistic "scoop" on fast-breaking news stories.

So far, the series shows a good balance between portraying the working lives of the journalists and the personal lives of the human beings behind the scenes. If they keep up the pace, the series will be among the brightest summer shows of the 2002 season.

Be forewarned: If you're looking for mindless entertainment, go someplace else. This show treats its audience with intelligence. Very well done.

*** 1/2 out of *****
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