HBO’s “The Newsroom” was arguably the most anticipated debut of any series this year, generating deafening hype for being acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin‘s return to television.
When it premiered last summer, it ended up with a middling 54 score from review aggregator Metacritic. Hank Steuver (Washington Post) criticized Sorkin’s writing for “lapses into self-parody, leaving savvier viewers to marvel at how quickly the show goes awry” while Ellen Gray (Philadelphia Daily News) succinctly noted, “‘The Newsroom’ is both wonderful and terrible.”
However, on the upside, Robert Bianco (USA Today) thought, “what works about the show outweighs what doesn’t” and Matt Roush (TV Guide) said the show is, “recklessly full of wit, passion, anger and humor–and timely purpose.”
As its freshman season progressed, “The Newsroom” showed signs of improvement, and many of the criticisms appeared to die down. It is one of only a handful of new series that will likely make an impact at the upcoming Golden Globe and SAG Awards.
The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., always an enthusiastic supporter of new series and fresh faces, is not as slavish to rerunning the same nominees over and over again like the more highbrow TV Academy. “The Newsroom” looks like the most likely newcomer to take one of the Best Drama Series slots.
As the HFPA loves movie stars in television roles, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that Jeff Daniels will hear his name called on Dec. 13 when nominations are announced. It is also a good bet that Sam Waterston might join him as a nominee, as he has proven to be a Globes favorite over the years, nominated seven times (winning once in 1993 for “I’ll Fly Away”). And Emily Mortimer could reap her first-ever nomination at the Globes. (Review our Editors Golden Globe predictions here.)
Although the SAG Awards tend to be more conservative than the Globes, they too have shown a real affection for big-budget premium cable offerings like “Boardwalk Empire,” “Dexter” and “Game of Thrones” in the last couple of years. Gold Derby’s Editors agree that “Newsroom” should take at least a couple of nominations (TV Drama Ensemble and a TV Drama Actor nod for Daniels) when the Screen Actors Guild announces it nominations on Dec. 12.