After waiting and waiting to see whether Aaron Sorkin would continue with his HBO series The Newsroom, the creator has agreed to return for a third and final season. The network announced today that it would be renewing the series for one last season, after Sorkin recently stated that he “needed time to think” about returning for a third season. The scheduling issue that came into play was the fact that Sorkin needed to write the script for Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic before returning to his showrunning duties, and it appears that he has done so as THR reports that production on The Newsroom’s final season will commence this spring.
Joining Sorkin and executive producers Alan Poul and Scott Rudin for the third season will be former The Office showrunner and actor Paul Lieberstein (aka “Toby”), who has come onboard as an executive producer for the HBO series. The team has been meeting in recent weeks to map out storylines, and as an avid Sorkin supporter—for better or worse—I’m eager to see what they come up with.
HBO has a habit of renewing its original series very early, which makes The Newsroom a curious case. Though Aaron Sorkin’s cable-news set drama isn’t exactly a critical darling, the show’s second season showed a steady increase in viewership and Jeff Daniels pulled a surprise Emmy win for Best Actor in a Drama Series this past Sunday. Nevertheless, the show wrapped up its second season over a week ago and we have still yet to hear official word from HBO about season three—despite Daniels jumping the gun with a tweet “confirmation.”
What we have heard is that discussions are ongoing with Sorkin about a third season, and the ball very much appears to be in his court. Now the creator says he “needs time to think” about doing another season of the show. Hit the jump for more.
From the mind of Aaron Sorkin (creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball), The Newsroom is a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program. Focusing on network anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), his executive producer and former girlfriend MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), the newsroom staff (John Gallagher, Jr., Olivia Munn, Dev Patel, Alison Pill and Thomas Sadoski) and their boss (Sam Waterston), the series tracks their idealistic and seemingly impossible mission to do the news well, in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles, as well as their own personal entanglements.
During this recent exclusive phone interview with Collider, actor Thomas Sadoski (who plays news producer Don Keefer) talked about how challenging The Newsroom is to make, how exhausting it can be to do such fast-paced dialogue for 16 hours a day, how passionate both the fans and haters of the show are, the growth of his character in Season 2, how much fun he has working with Olivia Munn, how much he enjoyed the physical comedy he got to do this season, whether he’d watch ACN, if it were a real news network, and the new appreciation the show has given him for journalists and what it takes for them to do their job well. Check out what he had to say after the jump.
HBO famously renews its original series incredibly quickly, but Aaron Sorkin’s drama show The Newsroom is barreling towards the final two episodes of its second season and we have yet to hear official word of a renewal. That appears to have changed, though, as star Jeff Daniels recently tweeted, “It’s Official. #Newsroom coming back for a Season 3.” Though we still haven’t heard official word from HBO regarding season three, we do know that HBO wants a third season. The holdup has actually been a matter of scheduling instead of concern over ratings or reviews. Hit the jump for more, including why The Newsroom just might return a little later than usual.
While at the HBO portion of the TCA Press Tour, President of Programming Michael Lombardo and co-President Richard Plepler took some time to talk about new and returning programming. During the interview, they spoke about how long Game of Thrones and True Blood could run for, what they have currently in development with both David Chase (The Sopranos) and David Milch (Deadwood), the status of the Criminal Justice pilot and why they think it’s best to recast the role James Gandolfini played, the possibility of a second season for Family Tree and a third season for The Newsroom, the half-hour series about high school life that they’re developing with Danny McBride and Jody Hill, and that they are no longer moving ahead with a Transporter series at Cinemax. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
HBO has released character posters for the upcoming season of The Newsroom. As we previously reported, season two will focus on the 2012 Presidential campaign, but EW reports that the season will begin on August 23, 2011 (the day Muammar Gaddafi’s Tripoli compound was captured by rebel forces) and also cover major events including “the Tea Party/American Taliban, the general election including the primaries and conventions, Trayvon Martin, the Affordable Care Act, and drones,” because Aaron Sorkin wants to throw in his two cents but use a TV series instead of a blog. The new posters cleverly play up Sorkin’s impeccable one-liners, but also use the very serious reporters staring pensively.
Hit the jump to check out the posters. The Newsroom returns July 14th.
Here’s a look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
Creator Aaron Sorkin’s HBO drama series The Newsroom returns for its second season next month, but the first season of the cable news-set show hits stores on Blu-ray and DVD soon, and we here at Collider are happy to share an exclusive clip from one of the bonus features included on the set. In this clip from the bonus feature called “The Rundown,” Sorkin, Jeff Daniels, and Sam Waterston discuss Waterson’s wonderfully charming comedic performance as Charlie Skinner. In the clip, Waterston admits that he never knows when Sorkin is writing Skinner drunk and when he’s writing him sober, so he has to decide just how loose to play Skinner in any given scene.
Hit the jump to watch the clip. The Newsroom: The Complete First Season will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on June 11th, and the set also includes the full “The Rundown” roundtable interview feature, a behind-the-scenes look at the show’s sets, deleted scenes, audio commentaries, interviews with Sorkin about each episode, and more. Season two of The Newsroom premieres on HBO July 14th.
Tonight’s season finale of Game of Thrones will be one of HBO’s most watched episodes of their year, so it was the perfect time to promote their upcoming slate of programming. Shortly before the season finale, HBO aired promos for the new seasons of Eastbound & Down, The Newsroom, and Boardwalk Empire; the new series True Detective and Hello Ladies; and Greg Mottola‘s upcoming comedy, Clear History. Most of these functioned as announcement trailers. We’re still fairly early in the summer, and most of these programs won’t arrive until we’re firmly in the fall; True Detective won’t even show up until 2014. But if you’re eager for The Newsroom, it’s a substantial new trailer.
Hit the jump to check out the promos, and come back later tonight when Allison posts her recap of the season finale of Game of Thrones. As a side note to GoT fans, we’ll be talking about the series on this week’s Collision when we record on Tuesday.
HBO has unveiled some new trailers for the upcoming seasons of two of its original series. First up, the debut teaser trailer for Boardwalk Empire season four gives us our first look at the new character played by Jeffrey Wright, Valentin Narcisse. The character is described as “Doctor of Divinity, philanthropist, student of culture and the man who runs Harlem,” and it’s clear in this brief teaser that he may pose quite the threat to Steve Buscemi’s Nucky Thompson. Wright’s character is a series regular for the new season, so expect to see plenty of Narcisse when Boardwalk Empire returns this fall.
Additionally, a couple of trailers for the upcoming second season of Aaron Sorkin’s drama series The Newsroom have landed online. The most recent one is more of a “mood tease,” as we see dialogue-less behind-the-scenes glimpses of the show’s ensemble cast readying themselves to reprise their characters. The second, longer trailer was actually unveiled a few weeks ago and features the cast and Sorkin talking about the season-long arc that will unfold this year. The Newsroom season two premieres on HBO Sunday, July 14th. Hit the jump to watch trailers for both series.
Fresh off the news that True Blood will return this June, HBO has announced a firm premiere date for the second season of The Newsroom. Season two of creator/executive producer Aaron Sorkin’s drama series will kick off on Sunday, July 14th at 10pm ET/PT. The show centers around the goings-on at a fictional cable news network, and we know that the new season will focus heavily on the 2012 presidential election with recurring appearances set for Patton Oswalt, Marcia Gay Harden, and Constance Zimmer. HBO has an additional plot synopsis that, while vague, hints at a larger arc that may or may not play out over the course of the season: “the staff of ‘News Night’ chases a mysterious tip, which leads to a story that ultimately spins out of control.”
Though the show’s first season wasn’t near as strong as Sorkin’s previous series The West Wing and Sports Night (or even the first few episodes of Studio 60), I still found a significant amount of things to like about the show (Alison Pill, for one) and I’m looking forward to seeing how/if Sorkin “course corrects” with the upcoming season. The series also stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston, John Gallagher, Jr., Thomas Sadoski, Olivia Munn, and Dev Patel.
Over the past 30 years, PaleyFest has held panel sessions and screenings that connect the worldwide community of television fans with the casts and creators of their favorite TV shows. One of the drama series celebrated this year were the folks behind HBO’s The Newsroom, and Collider was there to get the updates on Season 2.
After giving a sneak peek at 10 minutes of the first episode of Season 2, airing sometime this summer, creator/writer/executive producer Aaron Sorkin, executive producer Alan Poul and actor Jeff Daniels spoke during the panel about why cable news was the right setting for this show, how much pressure it is to do a Sorkin monologue, how the show has polarized critics, and the unique way in which the show is shot, along with giving tidbits about the news stories they’ll be covering in the second season, more of the Don (Thomas Sadoski) and Sloan (Olivia Munn) relationship, and that Will McAvoy (Daniels) and MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer) possibly getting together won’t kill the show. Check out what they had to say after the jump.
Opening this weekend in limited release is director Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land. The film stars Matt Damon and Frances McDormand as natural gas salesmen who try to prey on an economic town in decline only to have their mission complicated by the citizens they encounter and an environmentalist played by John Krasinski. Damon and Krasinski wrote the screenplay, and the film deals heavily with the consequences of fracking. The film also stars Rosemarie DeWitt, Hal Holbrook, Scoot McNairy, and Titus Welliver. For more on Promised Land, here are seven clips and the trailer.
During the recent Los Angeles press day I got to speak with DeWitt. She talked about what surprised her when researching fracking, how she got cast, what were Damon and Krasinski like on set as they wrote the script, Sundance, and more. In addition, she also talked about being in a few episodes of the second season of Aaron Sorkin’s The Newsroom and revealed she plays a litigator since AWM is being sued. Hit the jump to watch.
We’ve got a couple of TV news-related bits to share this afternoon. First up, as production on the second season of Aaron Sorkin’s HBO series The Newsroom gears up, two welcome cast additions have been announced. THR reports that Patton Oswalt and Rosemarie DeWitt (Mad Men) have been set in recurring roles for the show’s second season. Oswalt wil be playing the new VP of Human Resources at the cable network Atlantic Cable News, while DeWitt is set as a litigator who is brought in to defend the network in a wrongful-termination lawsuit.
Hit the jump for more, including a new trailer and poster for the promising new Kevin Bacon-fronted Fox series The Following.
The HBO drama series The Newsroom, from show creator/executive producer/writer Aaron Sorkin, centers on cable news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), his new executive producer and former girlfriend, MacKenzie McHale (Emily Mortimer), his newsroom staff (which includes John Gallagher Jr., Alison Pill, Thomas Sadoski, Dev Patel and Olivia Munn), and their boss (Sam Waterston). Showing the excitement and exhilaration that comes from getting breaking news on the air, it also illustrates the corporate and commercial obstacles along the way.
While at the HBO portion of the TCA Press Tour, Aaron Sorkin talked about writing for film versus television, addressed the criticism of the series, clearly defining characters so that you can then have them slip on as many banana peels as you want, that his writing staff didn’t really get fired for Season 2, balancing the comedy and drama, his decision to reference actual news events, and how the show will always remind a bit behind, so that it never catches up with current news. Check out what he had to say after the jump.