‘The Newsroom’ Breaks Out The Big Guns

Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin, Jeff Daniels, Greg Mottola, a voice cameo by Jesse Eisenberg? What more could HBO viewers ask for? Witness The Newsroom, which debuted on Sunday with decent premium channel ratings of 2.1 million viewers.

The show, made by the man (Sorkin) who wrote Moneyball and The Social Network and created The West Wing, follows a team of dysfunctional journalists and staff members who work for a well-known CNN-esque program called “News Night.”

I watched it yesterday and enjoyed it despite long-winded, unedited moments of dialogue. Fortunately it is good dialogue with an Emmy-ready cast worthy of delivering those witty lines that often relate to relevant stories of the past, like the BP oil spill of 2010. 

Jeff Daniels is great as the managing editor and unlikable anchor but it is Emily Mortimer who takes the cake, playing off Daniels like a gust of wind through the Puget Sound.

Between supporting roles played by Sam Waterston, Dev Patel, Olivia Munn, Alison Pill, Jane Fonda and Adina Porter and Sorkin’s experience creating and writing shows that explore the behind-the-scenes world of fictitious TV programs (Sports Night, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip), we’re in good hands.

If you’re wondering how 2.1 million viewers compares to other HBO and Showtime efforts, here’s a summary of past season one premieres:

Boardwalk Empire: 4.81 million
The Sopranos: 3.45 million
Sex And The City: 3.7 million
Game Of Thrones: 2.22 million
True Blood: 1.44 million
Luck: 1.14 million
Girls: 1.1 million
Homeland: 1.08 million

[You can watch episode one of The Newsroom “We Just Decided To,” for free at HBO.com.]

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