It’s a year later, and in the days leading up to election night 2012, the “News Night” staff is being prepared to give depositions in a lawsuit — the circumstances of which unfold throughout the season. A mysterious tip has led to the airing of a story with consequences no one could have anticipated.
Created by Aaron Sorkin (Oscar® winner for writing “The Social Network,” executive producer and creator of the multiple Emmy® winner “The West Wing”), the Golden Globe-nominated HBO drama series THE NEWSROOM follows the “News Night” team on their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of a fickle audience, corporate mandates and tangled personal relationships. Kicking off its nine-episode second season SUNDAY, JULY 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT), the series is executive produced by Sorkin, Scott Rudin (the Oscar® winner “No Country for Old Men “) and Alan Poul (HBO’s multiple Emmy® winner “Six Feet Under”).
The series is set at the fictional cable network ACN, but the news stories covered in the “News Night” cablecast are often actual past news events, or are inspired by them. THE NEWSROOM offers viewers an opportunity to return to and relive the news that made headlines as they watch it unfold for the show’s characters, who race to put together the broadcast. Covering the period from August 2011 to November 2012, the new season touches on the administration’s anti-terrorism policy, Occupy Wall Street, Troy Davis, Trayvon Martin, Benghazi and, of course, the primaries and general election.
Jeff Daniels (Golden Globe nominee for THE NEWSROOM, as well as “The Squid and the Whale,” “Something Wild” and “The Purple Rose of Cairo”) stars as Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer (“Hugo,” “Shutter Island”) stars as Mackenzie McHale, the show’s executive producer.
Other returning cast regulars for the second season are: John Gallagher, Jr. (Tony winner for “Spring Awakening”) as Jim Harper, Mackenzie’s loyal producer, currently covering the Romney campaign; Alison Pill (HBO’s “In Treatment”) as associate producer Maggie Jordan; Thomas Sadoski (Tony nominee for “Reasons to Be Pretty”) as Don Keefer, Will’s former executive producer; Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”) as resourceful self-made newsman Neal Sampat; Olivia Munn (“I Don’t Know How She Does It”) as financial news analyst Sloan Sabbith; and Sam Waterston (Oscar® nominee for “The Killing Fields”) as Charlie Skinner, Will’s old-school boss.
Returning guests for season two include Jane Fonda (Oscar® winner for “Klute” and “Julia”) as Leona Lansing, the CEO of ACN’s parent company, Atlantis World Media, and Hope Davis (HBO’s “The Special Relationship”) as gossip columnist Nina Howard.
New to the guest cast in season two are Marcia Gay Harden (Oscar® winner for “Pollock,” Oscar® nominee for “Mystic River”) as Rebecca Halliday, a lawyer hired to defend ACN staffers in its wrongful-termination case; Hamish Linklater (“The New Adventures of Old Christine”) as Jerry Dantana, who temporarily replaces Jim when he leaves to cover the Romney campaign; Grace Gummer (“Smash”) as Hallie Shea, a reporter competing with Jim on the Romney campaign; and Constance Zimmer (“House of Cards”) as Taylor Warren, a Romney campaign press spokesperson who questions the coverage her campaign is getting from the media.
Episode #11: “First Thing We Do, Let’s Kill All the Lawyers”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 14 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: July 14 (midnight), 16 (11:00 p.m.), 17 (9:00 p.m.), 18 (8:00 p.m.), 19 (midnight) and 20 (10:15 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: July 15 (10:00 p.m.), 16 (9:00 p.m.), 17 (11:00 p.m.) and 20 (3:15 p.m.)
Will (Jeff Daniels) and the “News Night” staff are questioned by their lawyer about a story they’ve aired that’s become a network crisis. An on-air remark by Will has him pulled from 9/11 anniversary coverage. Jim (John Gallagher, Jr.) volunteers to cover for an embed reporter on the Romney campaign and Neal (Dev Patel) investigates the beginnings of Occupy Wall Street.
Teleplay by Aaron Sorkin; story by Ian Reichbach and Aaron Sorkin; directed by Alan Poul.
Episode #12: “The Genoa Tip”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 21 (10:00-11:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: July 21 (midnight), 23 (11:00 p.m.), 24 (9:00 p.m.), 25 (8:00 p.m.), 26 (midnight) and 27 (10:15 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: July 22 (10:00 p.m.), 23 (9:00 p.m.), 24 (11:00 p.m.) and 27 (12:40 p.m.)
A tip on a story that will ultimately cripple the network starts to become more real. Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) and Sloan (Olivia Munn) continue to push Will on drones as Don (Thomas Sadoski) urges Will to advocate for Troy Davis. Maggie (Alison Pill) is un-friended by her roommate, but gets the assignment she’s been begging for. Neal gets arrested on Wall Street.
Teleplay by Aaron Sorkin; story by Dana Ledoux Miller & Adam R. Perlman and Aaron Sorkin; directed by Jeremy Podeswa.
Episode #13: “Willie Pete”
Debut: SUNDAY, JULY 28 (10:00-11:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: July 28 (midnight), 30 (11:00 p.m.) and 31 (9:00 p.m.), and Aug. 1 (8:00 p.m.), 2 (midnight) and 3 (11:55 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: July 29 (10:00 p.m.), 30 (9:00 p.m.) and 31 (11:00 p.m.)
Will continues his mission to civilize by telling Nina Howard (Hope Davis) the truth. A new witness to the Genoa story emerges on Twitter, and in New Hampshire, Jim’s efforts to have his questions answered continue to fall on deaf ears.
Teleplay by Aaron Sorkin; story by Michael Gunn & Elizabeth Peterson and Aaron Sorkin; directed by Lesli Linka Glatter.
In 2012, THE NEWSROOM received two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama (Jeff Daniels)
“The Newsroom: The Complete First Season” was released on DVD and Blu-ray June 11.
For more on the series, visit facebook.com/Newsroom and twitter.com/HBO #newsroom.
THE NEWSROOM was created by Aaron Sorkin; executive producers, Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin and Alan Poul; co-executive producer, Denis Biggs; consulting producers, Jon Harmon Feldman and Nancy Pimental; co-producers, Lauren Lohman and Eli Bush; casting director, Nancy Perkins.