Before the premiere of Game of Thrones season 2, HBO reminded the legions of fantasy fans that, as a network, they have a pretty good idea of what it takes to make a decent drama by providing the first trailer for Aaron Sorkin’s The West Wing meets Sports Night cable news drama The Newsroom (previously titled More as This Story Develops).
If there was any question about it before now, the trailer confirms that The Newsroom will be Sorkin’s third swing at knocking a behind-the-scenes series out of the park. After picking up an Academy Award for his work on David Fincher’s The Social Network, Sorkin’s name alone might be enough to get most viewers to tune in when the series premieres in June.
But if Sorkin’s name isn’t enough to whet your appetite, the impressive collection of familiar faces HBO has amassed to star in the series certainly should be. Alongside Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom stars Emily Mortimer (Hugo), Chris Messina (Devil), Dev Patel (Slumdog Millionaire), Alison Pill (Scott Pilgrim vs. the World), Olivia Munn and Sam Waterston (Law & Order). And in a cheeky nod to her ex-husband, Jane Fonda also pops up in the trailer as the CEO of the cable company Daniels’ Will McAvoy works for.
To research the role of McAvoy, Sorkin spent time with cuddly cable news personalities Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews. So it stands to reason that the outspokenness that begets unpopularity, displayed by McAvoy in the trailer, is some sort of amalgam of the two. The difference here being McAvoy is given the benefit of having his words penned by Sorkin, which provides the requisite amount of empathy and rapier wit needed to prevent him from being completely loathsome.
The trailer is fairly revealing in the sense that, with McAvoy’s on-air meltdown/state of the union diatribe, The Newsroom is unmistakably Sorkin – which given the kind of monologue-friendly scripts Sorkin has churned out during his career, has almost turned into a subgenre of sorts. At least, for those familiar with Sorkin’s television writing, there seems to be a definite pattern with his characters and the essential truths they like to spread through whatever means are available to them.
That being said, it’s unclear from the trailer if The Newsroom is more of a jab at the current state of cable news journalism, or more of a platform for certain political ideologies to be dispersed like Sorkin’s past work on The West Wing.
Whatever the show turns out to be, someone should tell Sorkin to loose the The. Just Newsroom. It’s cleaner.
The Newsroom premieres Sunday, June 24 on HBO.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter