Aaron Sorkin's much anticipated HBO drama 'The Newsroom' debuted in the U.S last week, though it received a rough ride from critics - something 'The West Wing' creator has experienced little of in recent years. Most projects he's touched have turned to gold, though it may take a little longer for 'The Newsroom' to win over the American public.
The show is set at a fictional cable news channel, where anchor Will MCAvoy (Jeff Daniels) leads a group of reporters attempting to make a hard-hitting news program. The Huffington Post were the first out the block with a scathing review, saying, "When The Newsroom isn't obvious and self-congratulatory, it's manipulative and shriek", while the New Yorker bluntly asserted, "When The Newsroom isn't obvious and self-congratulatory, it's manipulative and shriek". The New York Times gave the show the benefit of the doubt, noting, "At its best, and that doesn't come into full view until the third and fourth episodes, The Newsroom has a wit, sophistication and manic energy that recalls James L. Brooks's classic movie "Broadcast News." But at its worst, the show chokes on its own sanctimony". The San Jose Mercury News gave 'The Newsroom' a glowing review, noting, "I'd rather spend time with an edgy show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn't.... Welcome back, Mr. Sorkin. It's a pleasure to have you".
Sorkin responded to claims last week that Jeff Daniels' character on the show was based on the ousted MSNBC political commentator Keith Olbermann, telling the Hollywood Reporter, "I spent less than 10 minutes with Keith; those reports are false. I spent two days at MSNBC, I spent a few days at Fox, a few days at CNN. In the time I was at MSNBC, we talked for a few minutes in his office, about sports mostly".