SoHo Newsroom Drama Makes Headlines Ahead of Debut

NZ will be among the first territories to see “easily the most buzzworthy show” of the LA Screenings, The Newsroom.

An updated Broadcast News meets The West Wing, the behind-the-scenes-of-a-cable news network drama is from Aaron Sorkin.

He not only wrote the long-running White House drama series but also won an Oscar for the screenplay of 2011 best picture nominee The Social Network.

Sky’s SoHo channel will premiere The Newsroom on July 8 but preview it online and on-demand (in HD) from July 1 — a week after its goes to air on HBO in the US — whereas Britain’s Sky Atlantic, the channel on which SoHo is modelled, won’t screen it until October.

TV trade site C21 dubbed the series “easily the most buzzworthy show” of last week’s LA Screenings, when broadcasters from around the world gathered to preview what’s on offer from US distributors over the next year or so.

The Newsroom is the show everyone is talking about here,” C21 reported Stephen Mowbray, head of programme acquisitions at Sweden’s SVT, as saying.

“The show had huge expectations but I don’t think people were disappointed. I was worried it’d be too clever for its own good but it was just gripping. Aaron Sorkin is a genius at building characters and keeping the story moving.”

However, Sorkin has misjudged public interest in insider-TV drama before, with Studio 60 on Sunset Strip, which starred Friends’ Matthew Perry.

It lasted only one season but was a network TV commission that was compromised by free-to-air broadcast standards and rating imperatives; an earlier cable-TV expose, Sports Night, ran for two seasons with a cast that went on to greater things in Six Feet Under, Desperate Housewives and The Good Wife.

The Newsroom stars Jeff Daniels, Emily Mortimer, Sam Waterston, and, in a recurring role as the owner of the network’s corporate parent, Jane Fonda (who, of course, was married to CNN founder Ted Turner).

And Jesse Einsenberg, who played Facebook founder Mark Zuckenberg in The Social Contract, has a voiceover cameo in the premiere.

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