Just as it did for Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and yes, even Luck, HBO has granted an early second season renewal to a program that has just begun its first season. This time the recipient of the good news is The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's optimistic (albeit preachy with the benefit of hindsight), drama about a fictional cable news program and its ardent, yet delightfully imperfect crew trying against all odds to make the news report on what really matters.
After just two episodes, The Newsroom has proven successful enough for HBO to announce Jeff Daniels' Will McAvoy will be returning for more News Night in 2013. The much-hyped drama debuted to 2.1 million viewers – a hefty haul for HBO, and one that came in just under the ratings for Game of Thrones' series premiere in 2011. While initial reviews saw many critics with mixed views on the show's overly moralizing approach to diagnosing what's wrong with the media today, some have considered this a welcome return to television for Sorkin, who has spent the last few years winning an Academy Award for The Social Network, lending a helping hand to the script for Moneyball and preparing to work on what will probably be considered the more legitimate of the two Steve Jobs biopics.
The renewal for The Newsroom is another kind of victory for Sorkin, whose last two behind-the-scenes programs Sports Night and Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip ended far sooner than one would have expected, considering the clout Sorkin's name carried even back then. So, unless the set of The Newsroom is struck with a series of disastrous events, similar to what befell Luck, it looks as though Sorkin will finally be able to tell that television drama about television he's been so adamant to tell.
So far, Sorkin has ended the first season of The West Wing, Studio 60 and Sports Night all with an episode titled: 'What Kind of Day Has It Been?' We're still weeks away from The Newsroom's season finale, but it'll be interesting to see if Sorkin continues the tradition, or ditches it for something new.
Today wasn't merely for Sorkin and his fans to rejoice, however, as HBO has also seen fit to grant the vampires and other assorted creatures of True Blood a sixth season. Unlike The Newsroom, True Blood's first season debuted to 1.4 million viewers, and then grew from there. Compare that to the season 5 premiere of 6.3 million (including both broadcasts), and it's clear the randy residents of Bon Temps are still quite a draw for HBO.
Season 6 will mark the first season without creator Alan Ball at the helm, as he will be working on the new Cinemax series Banshee. Stepping in for Ball will be co-executive producer Mark Hudis, who has been working on the series since season 4, and whose credits also include stints on Showtime's Nurse Jackie and That '70s Show.
While many saw True Blood season 4 as a disappointment for the series, season 5 appears to be headed in the right direction. With only four episodes under its belt, though, it is anyone's guess as to how this young season will turn out. If things end up on another downturn, perhaps some new blood will be exactly what the show needs.
True Blood and The Newsroom air on Sunday nights starting @9pm on HBO.
Source: TV Line