The Newsroom (2012–2014)
A newsroom undergoes some changes in its workings and morals as a new team is brought in, bringing unexpected results for its existing news anchor.
A news team attempts to create a news show that reports the news in an ethical and reasonable way. They take real, newsworthy events from our world as they're happening (such as bin Laden's justified killing, NSA spying, etc) and report on them as if they were an actual news station that followed rational and moral guidelines, in a biting criticism of our popular press and a clever blurring of art and reality.
- 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.
McAvoys boss, Charlie Skinner, the unapologetically old-school president of ACNs news division, laments the changing face of the news. Setting the stage for Wills return to the standard set by news legends such as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, Charlie covertly orchestrates the hiring of Wills 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.
Wills 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 MacKenzies 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, Wills former executive producer. Neal Sampat, a young, resourceful selfmade newsman writes Wills blog and scours the Internet for stories, often finding leads his colleagues have missed. Sloan Sabbith is ACNs financial news analyst.