Miss The Newsroom? Watch the First Episode Here and Share Your Review

Walk with me as I talk to you about this….

If you are not an HBO subscriber — or perhaps you are, but last night’s Nik at Nite reruns of Yes, Dear were too hard to resist and your DVR remains untended — the pay cabler has put online the full first episode of Aaron Sorkin‘s The Newsroom, for free.

The new drama, taking you behind the scenes of a cable news operation, has quickly proved to be one of the more polarizing summer shows among critics. If you saw it — or after you check out the pilot below — tell us what you think of the West Wing creator’s latest.

The first episode is also available for free via multiple On Demand platforms and as an iTunes podcast.

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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56 Comments
  1. Absolutely loved it. Critics are being incredibly harsh.

  2. Shell says:

    Not the best idea to watch this show while exhausted. Will give it another episode to really hook me. I want to like it, but may just rewatch Sports Night on Netflix for my Sorkin fix.

  3. Britta Unfiltered says:

    I gave it a B, but I think I need to watch it again. Usually with these types of shows I benefit from watching it a second time the day after airing. I need to research what is polarizing about the show, I guess, as the particular reviews I have seen so far have been glowing. One critic thinks we’ll see Jeff Daniels at the Emmy’s next year. One thing I do believe about Sorkin shows is that the effect of them is cumulative. They get better and better the more you come to learn the characters, so maybe the critics who didn’t like it need to watch more episodes.
    .
    One thing I would like to request about the show is that Sam Waterston never wears a bow-tie again. Every time he was on screen, all I could hear was the bow-tie talking to me. “Hey Amber, how do you like me? Don’t I make Sam Waterston look silly? Don’t I make him look like a Dapper Dan? Want to go on a riverboat ride with me and Sam Waterston and drink mint juleps?” It was a teeny bit distracting.
    .
    I really hope this show is successful enough that future articles anywhere about Jeff Daniels will stop identifying him as “Jeff Daniels from Dumb and Dumber.” Hopefully now it’s going to be “Jeff Daniels from The Newsroom.”

  4. Becka says:

    That opening rant made me want to stand up and clap. Amazing writing!!

    • Martina says:

      I totally agree, I know Sorkin’s world is “ideal” but it’s a world I wanna live in. When the room went quiet, I felt jeez not one person in a room full of the next generations minds could see what he meant.

    • DL says:

      Seriously. Every aspect of it, both the “rant” portion and the “inspirational” portion afterward were so true. Aaron Sorkin, my hat’s off to you.

    • rowan77 says:

      I saw it in a room full of people earlier last week and the entire audience DID applaud. I’ve read three bad reviews and each of them seem to have a problem with characters being very intelligent and that it’s not realistic. The show is an idealistic view of what would happen if an anchor stopped pandering and just did hard-hitting news stories because they’re news stories. People who surround themselves with dumb people are dumb themselves, so why would I want to watch drama about idiots doing a TV show. If I want to watch idiots on TV I’d watch Fox and Friends.

  5. KSM says:

    I really liked it a lot. Then again, I tend to like what Aaron Sorkin does… that seems to be where the split has been from people I know. You either like Sorkin and what he is preaching, or you don’t.

  6. Alex says:

    I liked it. I like that they use real events- it’s fun to know what is going to happen before the characters do- rather than “There’s a situation in Equatorial Qundu.” But for people that can’t seem to stop talking about Don Quixote, it was funny that none of them can remember Rocinante’s name. :)

  7. Ross says:

    Really, I have to say, I can’t remember enjoying a single episode of television more than I enjoyed this in recent history. It was exceptionally written and wonderfully clever and witty. I wish people really spoke like this. Also loved the random reference to Man of La Mancha. Love that Sorkin is a Theatre nerd. Can’t wait for his Broadway show, “Houdini” later in the year!! But yeah as I said, The Newsroom is FANTASTIC!! Everyone should watch.

  8. cjeffery7 says:

    there are some thematic bits that don’t line up for me, but overall they are minor, and i really enjoyed it. it’s strength is in it’s frenetic newsroom scenes.

  9. beej says:

    “Compelling” is the word I’ve been using to describe this excellent first episode. After I watched the first 40 minutes, I swear I held my breath for most of the last 30 (or however long the show was). I am absolutely delighted to have television where I have to actually keep my mind engaged as I follow the plot.

    Watching most anything Sorkin makes me feel smarter for having seen it. That’s a gift.

  10. crazyhomebodygirl says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. The pilot was 75 mins, but it didn’t feel it at all. I was totally engrossed in the plot. Its been a while since I’ve loved a pilot episode this much. I hope it stays around for a while and keep up the momentum.as for the critics, ratings always shuts them up so…

  11. a lot of critics think they’re the smartest guy in the room. sorkin KNOWS he’s the smartest guy in the room, and reminds you of that every 14 seconds or so. and so the critics tend not to like sorkin. i’ve always felt that was at least partially the basis behind a lot of the anti-sorkin sentiment from the criticverse.

    • rowan77 says:

      I think it is too. I read someone on Huffington Post (Maureen Ryan), which I gotta stop reading, who clearly has a chip on her shoulder about Sorkin. Another guy complained that the show wasn’t realistic. No one would ever ask the “Why America is Great” question, the moderator would never try force a panelist to give a real, non glib, non-prepared answer and no one would ever go on a rant like that in public. It is obvious these two missed to forrest for the trees.

  12. Mía says:

    Network did it first, and better. Sorkin should start a blog, The Malcontent, for the “intellectuals” to coo over and leave the half-researched exploration of politics to the professionals

    • RachelA says:

      What, did you get that from a Fox News internal talking points memo? Because seriously, what you just said could not have been more of a parroted cliche.

      • Mía says:

        That aaron sorkin did nothing to enhance or progress what Paddy Chayefsky already nailed 35 years ago? Yeah, what a right-wing dunce I must be

    • DL says:

      I agree that the professionals only “half-research” their exploration of politics. The rest is opinion and rampant bias. :)

      Aaron Sorkin, more power to you.

  13. JB says:

    Absolutely amazing.

    I’m sick of the “This is just Sports Night and West Wing in a Newsroom” complaints. Those 2 shows happened to be two of the best shows ever so why is that a bad thing? If they were to tell the truth is would be “Its too smart for me”.

    To other complaints about the pace of the Sorkin’s dialogue and that real people don’t talk like that. You’re right they don’t, but wouldn’t it be great if they did.

  14. RachelA says:

    I really quite liked it. It wasn’t perfect – the nostalgia for America’s supposed former greatness in his opening speech raised my eyebrow a bit – but still incredibly solid work from Aaron Sorkin. I think it could have been a bit more evenly paced; it started off slow and was somewhat of a whirlwind towards the end. But I thought it was very well cast, very well written and is trying to tackle a deeply important topic in American life right now.

    I got goosebumps, I laughed and I was anxious for the next episode. That’s more than most shows do for me these days. It may not have been The West Wing at the height of its glory, but it was still a significant cut above most of the things on TV right now. I’ll definitely be tuning in again, and I’ll be rooting for this show.

  15. Jean says:

    Loved it! John Gallagher Jr. stole the show for me!

  16. Mary Ann says:

    We have a new classic. If you were not hooked into it within the first 10 minutes, then its probably safe to say that Dept. of Education needs more work… No child left behind right? But nonetheless, it was so good, I delayed my walk for today and watched it again. Nothing but praises for Aaron sorking for bringing back good TV!

    • Mary Ann says:

      *Aaron Sorkin* Got so excited… But I bow down to Aaron for creating it! :)

    • Jellymoff says:

      A little harsh, no? I watch the first 10 mins and changed the channel. I don’t have time to watch a ton of TV, so when I do, I want to be entertained. I don’t need to be preached to, doesn’t mean I’m stupid.

    • Nichole says:

      Think that comment is a little unfair. The opening was fantastic, from the writing to the acting to the direction, but the 15-20mins after that was a little too flat and drawn out, not the fast paced dialogue one has come to expect from Sorkin. In fact I paused it after 25mins to come online to read comments!! Once the action moved to the live broadcast the pace and flow was much better.

      Maybe it was just me, but other then Daniels and Waterston I felt the acting was sub-par or more that it just didn’t fit right, especially the outgoing EP and the newly promoted assistant. Hopefully that’s just first episode jitters and the actors and characters flesh out better in following episodes, would be a shame to have stellar work from Daniels over shadowed by lesser work from everyone else.

  17. Pearl says:

    C’mon. The first 8 minutes of this show I was in love already! It’s a smart series, and a great way to see things. The whole episode is absolutely fantastic, and it was just the pilot. I’m totally addicted, can’t wait to see more. Thanks HBO! And, PLEASE, KEEP THIS SHOW IN THE AIR FOR YEARS. Its funny to see a show feeling more real than the real news. Just Loving!

  18. steve says:

    So, the great white man destroyed the media but a great white man can save media? ‘Network’ did this far more honestly 40 years ago. And does Sorkin really hate woman that much? Liked his writing more when he was drinking. Awful, fake TV

  19. Polly says:

    awesome show.
    jeff daniels is absolutely amazing.
    top notch dialogues.

  20. Mick says:

    Sorkin is the Steven Moffat of American television. Great when he someone looking over his shoulder. Good when he is on his own.

  21. Claudia Costa Chaves says:

    I have just watched the first episode. Is there a new House in the house? That opening rant DID make me stand up and cheer. After it was all over, I gave it a standing ovation As for characters being too intelligent, what kind of people do they think Murrow and Cronkite worked with? Homer Simpson and the guys from Springfield Nuclear Power Plant?

  22. firstroyal says:

    I liked it, didn’t love it. My wife and I are opposite on the political scales and she noticed the same things I did. Writers tend to throw out only stats that support what they are trying to say and then leave everything else out. That’s fine for drama but then it sucks the less educated into thinking it is brilliant. Freedom is not just a Republic or Democracy, its about being able to say what you will about YOUR elected officials without fear of reprisal, It is about being able to defend your life and property without fear of reprisal. It is about spending BILLIONS to assist other countries in time of need. It is also about the 2nd Amendment (which is NOT about the right to defend oneself) but is as Thomas Jefferson stated

    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.-Thomas Jefferson

    Taking all the above into consideration, there is only one truly free country in the world and yes the US is the greatest country on earth
    PERIOD

    However, as stated above I liked it but will take it for what it is, a fantasy piece, from a writers imagination.

    • Pearl says:

      C’mon. Let’s be real. The USA WAS the greatest country on the world, then you went after your pride and forgot your home. It’s not a coincidence that the USA economy went down AFTER the country started to get in wars. It’s the price of call itself the guardian of freedom. The americans believe they are the best, because that’s what the media and Hollywood tell them they are. But the fact is that USA is on rote for colision. Just like said in the show “The first step to correct a problem is aknowledge that there is a problem.” And right now, you are blind. Thats the great thing on this show… Is about showing that is not about sides, and its not about pride, it’s all about FACTS and taking care of your home.

      • firstroyal says:

        thats funny, you are just like the show, pick and chose what to say and what to ignore. LIke I said I liked it but C’mon its fantasy drama

        • Van says:

          I think you are seriously misinformed and misguided if you believe the USA is the best country in the world and the only one that has Freedom — in the way you described it — I think you are sadly mistaken if you believe that there is no tyranny in our government. What is a law or amendment good for if the people (politicians) who are suppose to be following them are intentionally going against them and corrupting them. How about we protect our children’s education, our disabled, and our old, before we spend billions on fighting for oil. I think you just want to believe that you live in the greatest country in the world because you are too afraid of what may happen when you realize you don’t. The USA use to mean something and now it’s all about who you vote for and how taxes are affecting you, and if you think that our opinions are being heard, then you must also believe in Santa Claus. I think you watched this show with rose colored glasses on or a right-wing agenda, because clearly the message was lost on you.

          • firstroyal says:

            No Van I am not misinformed or misguided. I am not going to revisit a conversation I had later so for you i will just copy and paste and then leave you with a quote

            You seem to blow your opinion around like its all there is to discuss which is totally untrue- as in where do most of the worlds advances come from? Who is there for other countries (no matter what country it is) as in who leads the WORLD in charity? of the 100 plus countries they named on the show HOW MANY are allowed to protest the government without fear of ANY reprisal? Like the show you ignore why this country is #1 and spout only the things that fit your belief system. Good for you. Seems a sad place to be.

            For you, the misinformed I will leave you a quote to help you understand true freedom
            Thomas Jefferson
            Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases

        • jeni says:

          You have defined freedom and perhaps your claims fit your definition, but to have a legitimate argument, we would all have to agree on the definition.
          I remember quite clearly feeling mislead (and betrayed, lied to, manipulated) when I realized that our country isn’t the only free one, as I had been taught so brazenly in elementary school.

  23. kate says:

    I enjoyed it, and am looking forward to next week. All the reviews by critics I’ve seen of this show have been negative but I’m not really surprised. Imagine that! The media failing to enjoy a critique of the media. But so far, fan reaction seems to be positive. Could be a homerun for HBO.

  24. Walter says:

    Most critics thought the pilot was decent to above average. Apparently, the problem is the next two or three episodes descending into sanctimonious cliches. I guess we commoners will just have to wait and see for ourselves.

  25. farsia2010 says:

    some people say that the fact that the premises of the show are in year 2010 is a cop out because it is easy to be so smart in hindsight well:
    it’s not a cop out, if we don’t make shows like that and point out exactly what went wrong and how it did so we will never learn. the way HBO films its shows, it is impossible for them to take the material that is happening now. how are they supposed to make a show about this summer’s news if they are filming it before the summer??? besides whether this is done in hindsight or not, the things that are said here were never said back when it all happened and they need to be said.

    and anyway, writing a dialogue that is sooooo sharp and to the point and almost painful as it strikes the nerve so harshly is not easy no matter what time period you are talking about. this is by far the best summer show to premier this year.
    and the actors, they are true virtuosoes of their craft!
    Jeff Daniels is charming even while being antagonistic, and no matter how much of a jerk he appears to be he also happens to be a jerk who is RIGHT! kudos to the actor for bringing so many layers to his character right from the start, even before we got any background history on him we already felt like we knew him and he was already a complex character. Amazing work!
    and Sam Waterstone? wow! it is soooo nice to see him after Law and Order, he definitely bring intellect to his character at the same time give us a glimpse of old school journalism and all that with comedy that is so sharp that it is satire. Come on his outburst when he threatened to kick butt because he is a marine and he didn’t care how many protein bars the guy ate!
    Just Brilliant all around.

    Let me just quote sth:
    Charlie Skinner: “you were unreachable, no one knew how to contact you except one person – ”
    Will McAvoy: “It was you!”

    and did you guys notice the echoing atmosphere that they have created as the noise background. amazing it creates a very authentic atmosphere.
    and when Will first saw Mackenzie MacHale and called her into his office, the backdrop of rain did an amazing job creating an isolated and closed up feel for their conversation, it really brought out the intimacy of the moment and the sadness of lost opportunity too.

  26. AJ says:

    This show was horrible. I am not surprised some people are eating up it’s liberal “America sucks and the vast majority of people are stupid” message. The second part may even be right judging by how many people did not even get it. The female lead simply failed to deliver like most of the other characters and made the show unwatchable at times. Thank God critics were not afraid to come out and call a spade a spade on this one.

    • tired of idiots says:

      Yes, how dare anyone not chant “WE’RE NUMBER ONE! WE’RE NUMBER ONE!” Those liberals. How awful. We’re not number one anymore. We could be, but there are too many people who want to scream about how we’re number one, not put any work into it, and then cry endlessly when anyone else says “Hey, maybe we’re not number one.” We were number one because we aspired for it, because we believed we could do better. Now? Well. Maybe you should watch McAvoy’s speech to those college kids again.

      • farsia2010 says:

        you said it all! thank you!

      • firstroyal says:

        The problem is neither with the previous post nor with the speech, it is with what was left unsaid. The previous post by AJ is absolutly wrong, the vast majority of americans ARE stupid but not for the reason the show pushes on you. Give an american a chill running up their leg and they are willing to jump blindly into believing it regardless if it is lacking facts, because most americans will close their eyes to any facts that do not fit their beliefs (as you have proved)

        • tired of idiots says:

          as I have just proved? why? because I want the US to rank as number 1 in math & science and not just have a constitution? yeah, I read your first comment. blabbing my face off and waving a gun around without the government being able to stop me doesn’t make this country “NUMBER ONE!” they’re crucial protections in a functioning republic, but those things alone aren’t what makes us great. what’s great is what we accomplish with those protections and within the boundaries of our laws.

          • firstroyal says:

            You seem to blow your opinion around like its all there is to discuss which is totally untrue- as in where do most of the worlds advances come from? Who is there for other countries (no matter what country it is) as in who leads the WORLD in charity? of the 100 plus countries they named on the show HOW MANY are allowed to protest the government without fear of ANY reprisal? Like the show you ignore why this country is #1 and spout only the things that fit your belief system. Good for you. Seems a sad place to be.

          • Pearl says:

            You don’t have and don’t want to have a healthy system that everyone can use, while the majority of the countries have it. No, you prefer to have thousands of dollars in medical bills. You all have a house, except that it’s not your house, cause you live all your life paying a mortgage, that never ends. You don’t have public universities that are amazing, all the best universities you have are private, and yes, you can enter, since you pass the next 10, 20 years paying the student loans. Yes you have pride, and arms, and entertainment, and technological avances, but you don’t have the basics. In USA only the riches aren’t until the neck in loans and bills, and sometimes, they actually are poorly than they look. The great thing for americans is… Work and you have the american life that everyone in the world wants, but you’ll allways have banks around you like vultures. But maybe, you want this, right? For you is better everyone believing you are the greatest county in the world, and that your life is beautiful and perfect, even though the most of your population lives on the edge of have nothing, needing two, three, four jobs to pay the bills, choosing only one child to go to college, collecting coupons to save money, paying taxes above taxes. Mayb you don’t care about your life, only the way people thing your life is. So then, then, maybe, you can believe you’re the greatest country in the world. Advertising is everything after all. Right?

          • firstroyal says:

            No pearl I do not want a socialist health care system, I do not want a house given to me- that is the price of freedom, true freedom. Arguing left is like banging your head against the wall so I will leave you with a quote from a founding father (you have him to think for everything)

            Thomas Jefferson
            Government big enough to supply everything you need is big enough to take everything you have … The course of history shows that as a government grows, liberty decreases

          • tired of idiots says:

            Ha, so you’re one of them – with your “socialist medicine” comments and all. You’re one of the ones who want to talk about how everything is exactly perfect the way it is and how DARE anyone suggest there are improvements to be made. my opinion is we have a lot of good stuff going for us, but it’s not enough. we could do better. we SHOULD want more. your opinion is “everything is perfect the way it is, why bother aspiring to anything greater?” It’s people like you that hold the rest of us back.

            You’re really good at quoting Jefferson. Did you know Jefferson thought that we should scrap the Constitution every 19 years and start over from scratch? The Constitution “naturally expires every 19 years” because “the earth always belongs to the living generation.” Did you know he didn’t think one generation should hold hostage future generations? “Can one generation bind another and all others in succession forever? I think not. The Creator has made the earth for the living, not for the dead.” Or that the Constitution should advance as the human mind evolves? “But I know, also, that laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” See? I can do it too. And I’ve read more than the would-be great soundbites. So do yourself a favor and don’t quote Jefferson at me. I don’t pretend to think he’d back everything I say, but I do believe he’d laugh at you.

  27. Loved it! I was unsure if I would but don’t know why, I loved Sports Night and Studio 60 without ever hearing anything about Sorkin, and have just discovered The West Wing and love it too. Of course the people who are criticising and saying its an unrealistic view of work in the media are the media themselves, they always say the Media bashes the media, makes you think does that mean there’s some truth to his show? Anyway I found it fun compelling and for the romance side I am hoping Maggie gets rid of don in favour of the amazing Jim, a bit of something for everyone!

  28. Reblogged this on TV Addict and commented:
    As a non HBO subscriber this show is so good im the closest I have ever been to wanting to get HBO. The pilot felt like a perfectly done feature film and is a MUST WATCH- Aaron

  29. I’m really inspired along with your writing talents and also with the layout on your weblog. Is that this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to peer a great blog like this one today..

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