The Newsroom is an American television drama series created and primarily written by Aaron Sorkin which chronicles the behind-the-scenes events at the fictional Atlantis Cable News (ACN) channel as anchor Will McAvoy, together with his staff, sets out to put on a news show in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal entanglements.
From the mind of Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and screenwriter of The Social Network and Moneyball, comes The Newsroom, a behind-the-scenes look at the people who make a nightly cable-news program.
A favourite with viewers, news anchor Will McAvoy has found a safe niche with bankable ratings on his 8pm flagship cable show, News Night.
Numbed by success, McAvoy has become stoic, complacent, cynical - content not to rock the boat as he delivers the nightly news straight down the middle of the road - dialing it in as he avoids ruffling feathers with anything resembling politics.
What fire he still has, he reserves for the cutting sarcasm and general unpleasantness that earn him no fans with his news team.
In a literal blink of an eye - or perhaps an optical illusion - McAvoy is catapulted from apathy to engagement when a spontaneous outburst leads him to tackle the principles of American patriotism in a public forum.
Surviving the professional fallout from his unexpected tirade following an enforced vacation, McAvoy returns to work to discover that most of his staff has jumped ship for another show and is forced to work with several new team members brought onboard during his absence.
McAvoy's boss, Charlie Skinner, the unapologetically old-school president of ACN's news division, laments the changing face of the news.
Setting the stage for Will's return to the standard set by news legends such as Edward R. Murrow and Walter Cronkite, Charlie covertly orchestrates the hiring of Will's new executive producer, the one person who can restore Will's passion and bring the best out of him - whether Will wants it or not.
Will's new executive producer is MacKenzie McHale, back from 26 months embedded in Iraq and Afghanistan. MacKenzie was once romantically involved with Will and knows the idealism he has buried beneath a veneer of apathy and cynicism.
With their shared past, she knows exactly how good he can be. Even more unsettling for him, she challenges Will to abandon the successful, middle-of-the-road approach that has made him so popular with bothsides of the aisle, and realize his full potential by delivering the news with integrity.
Also imposed upon Will are Jim Harper, Margaret Jordan, Don Keefer, Neal Sampat and Sloan Sabbith, the newsroom staff. Although this group finds itself off to a tumultuous start when breaking news comes over the wire, they immediately come together for one elusive goal: to do TV news well.
Jim Harper is MacKenzie's loyal senior show producer. Though only 27 years old, Jim is more like the old-school reporter Charlie than he is like his contemporaries. He finds himself instantly smitten with Margaret Jordan, a young intern-turned-associated producer, who is already in a relationship with Don Keefer, Will's former executive producer.
Neal Sampat, a young, resourceful self-made newsman writes Will's blog and scours the Internet for stories, often finding leads his colleagues have missed. Sloan Sabbith is ACN's financial news analyst.
Created by Aaron Sorkin, The Newsroom follows the news team on their quixotic mission to reclaim the legacy of Murrow and Cronkite in the face of a fickle audience, corporate mandates and tangled personal relationships.
Jeff Daniels stars as Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer stars as MacKenzie McHale.
Also starring are Sam Waterston as Charlie Skinner; John Gallagher, Jr. as Jim Harper; Alison Pill as Margaret Jordan; Thomas Sadoski as Don Keefer; Dev Patel as Neal Sampat; and Olivia Munn as Sloan Sabbith.
New to the guest cast in season two are Marcia Gay Harden as Rebecca Halliday, a lawyer hired to defend ACN staffers in its wrongful-termination case; Hamish Linklater as Jerry Dantana, who temporarily replaces Jim when he leaves to cover the Romney campaign; Grace Gummer as Hallie Shea, a reporter competing with Jim on the Romney campaign; and Constance Zimmer as Taylor Warren, a Romney campaign press spokesperson who questions the coverage her campaign is getting from the media.
The series is set at the fictional cable network ACN, but the news stories being covered in the broadcast are actual past news events. 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 second 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.
The Newsroom was created by Aaron Sorkin; executive producers, Aaron Sorkin, Scott Rudin and Alan Poul; co-executive producers, Denis Biggs, Greg Mottola and Paul Redford.