Heart-breaking News For Newsroom Bosses?

This week HBO renewed rookie drama The Newsroom after just one episode — and only hours ahead of the second tanking in the ratings.

The premiere screens Sunday July 18 on SoHo (Sky 10, 8.30) and is being previewed, in HD, on Sky’s on-demand service from Sunday. (The series will air 8.30 Mondays from August 13.)

HBO ordered a second season of the Aaron Sorkin cable news drama on Monday, along with a sixth season of True Blood, after the US premiere was the channel’s third highest-rating drama bow since 2008.

This was despite key US critics deriding it.

And across the Atlantic, The Times agreed: “Sorkin’s point — that sensationalism trumps analysis in news — is valid but preachily made, while the show’s newsroom is unlike a real newsroom.

“Strangely, its news stories are real yet old: the first episode features the BP Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill.”

And it seems more viewers than HBO initially thought also are having second thoughts.

According to New York magazine, this week’s episode was down 20% from the premiere, to 1.7 million viewers, and shed an even higher percentage of viewers under 50.

“If The Newsroom were on a broadcast network, this week’s declines would be cause for modest concern, particularly since last week’s premiere numbers were more ‘good’ than ‘great.’

“But HBO has trained its subscribers to look for multiple repeats of its shows throughout the week or to view via its HBO On Demand or HBO GO platforms, so until all those numbers are in, it’s really impossible to know whether this week’s drop-off is a sign of viewers opting out, or simply deciding to watch the show on their own timetable.”

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4 Responses to “Heart-breaking News For Newsroom Bosses?”

  1. On Sunday, SoHo appears to be screening John Adams as far as I can tell? Has Sky decided against screening The Newsroom at this stage?

  2. No, it will screen on SoHo this month but on July 18 and not Sunday, which is when it goes on-demand (until July 16). Apologies for the confusion and thanks for pointing out the error.

  3. Although indeed preachy and perhaps simplistic, I’m giving it a chance. After all, I wonder if one can one trust the critics of a show in which these very critics are in the firing line.

  4. Seen the first two eps, ep1 was ok, ep2 rubbish. Feedback was more convincing than this twaddle.

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