he third and final season of The Newsroom finds Will and Mac and the staff of “News Night” facing two explosive situations: the possibility of a hostile takeover of the network looming on the horizon, and leaked classified government documents that unleash a legal fire storm that threatens to topple more than one professional career.
Going beyond the headlines, the six-part season turns its attention inward, focusing on a series of internal events at ACN that rock the very foundation of the network, and tackles such topics as privacy issues, the influence of social media on traditional news gathering and corporate takeover. The men and women of “News Night” are faced with personal and professional dilemmas that will forever determine their futures.
Set against the backdrop of the Boston Marathon bombing, The Newsroom kicks off the season with a highly charged look at the core issue of maintaining journalistic integrity in the era of 24-hour news cycles, while crowd-sourcing and “citizen journalism” result in the dissemination of misinformation.
Created by showrunner Aaron Sorkin (Oscar® winner for writing “The Social Network,” executive producer and creator of the multiple Emmy® winner “The West Wing”), the Golden Globe-nominated HBO drama series The Newsroom follows the “News Night” team at the cable network ACN on their quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of a fickle audience, corporate mandates and tangled personal relationships. Beginning its six-episode, third and final season SUNDAY, NOV. 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT), the series is executive produced by Sorkin, Scott Rudin (the Oscar® winner “No Country for Old Men “) and Alan Poul (HBO’s multiple Emmy® winner “Six Feet Under”), with Denis Biggs (HBO’s “Entourage”) and Paul Lieberstein (“The Office”) joining the show as executive producers.
Jeff Daniels (Emmy® for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) stars as Will McAvoy and Emily Mortimer (“Hugo,” “Shutter Island”) stars as Mackenzie McHale, the show’s executive producer.
Other returning cast regulars for the third season are: Sam Waterston (Oscar® nominee for “The Killing Fields”) as Charlie Skinner, Will’s old-school boss; John Gallagher, Jr. (Tony winner for “Spring Awakening”) as Jim Harper, Mackenzie’s loyal producer; Alison Pill (HBO’s “In Treatment”) as associate producer Maggie Jordan; Thomas Sadoski (Tony nominee for “Reasons to Be Pretty”) as Don Keefer, Will’s former executive producer; Dev Patel (“Slumdog Millionaire”) as resourceful self-made newsman Neal Sampat; and Olivia Munn (“I Don’t Know How She Does It”) as financial news analyst Sloan Sabbith.
Returning guests for season three include Jane Fonda (Oscar® winner for “Klute” and “Coming Home”) as Leona Lansing, the CEO of ACN’s parent company, Atlantis World Media; Chris Messina (“The Mindy Project”) as ACN president Reese Lansing; David Harbour (“Revolutionary Road”) as reporter Elliot Hirsch; and Marcia Gay Harden (Oscar® winner for “Pollock,” Oscar® nominee for “Mystic River”) as ACN attorney Rebecca Halliday.
New to the guest cast in season three are B.J. Novak (“The Office”) as Lucas Pruit, a suitor for control of ACN; Kat Dennings (“2 Broke Girls”) as Reese’s half-sister, Blair Lansing; Mary McCormack (“The West Wing”) as Molly, an FBI agent who’s a friend of Mac; Tony Award winner Joanna Gleason (“The Skeleton Twins”) as Charlie Skinner’s wife, Nancy; and Clea DuVall (“Argo”) as Lily, a mysterious woman who works for a government contractor.
Episode #20: “Boston”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOV. 9 (9:00-10:00 p.m. ET/PT)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 9 (11:45 p.m., 2:25 a.m.), 12 (10:00 p.m.), 13 (8:00 p.m.), 14 (2:00 a.m.) and 15 (9:45 p.m.).
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 10 (9:00 p.m.), 11 (8:00 p.m.), 12 (2:45 a.m.) and 15 (3:45 p.m.)
In the wake of the Genoa debacle, Will (Jeff Daniels), Mac (Emily Mortimer) and the “News Night” team decide to err on the side of caution in reporting a major breaking story, which may enhance credibility, if not ratings. Neal (Dev Patel) faces a slippery slope when he’s contacted by an anonymous source in possession of stolen government documents revealing how false press stories planted in newspapers spawned fatal riots in Kundu. Sloan (Olivia Munn) looks to solve a takeover puzzle; Maggie (Alison Pill) is forced to pinch-hit for Elliot (David Harbour) in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings.
Written by Aaron Sorkin; directed by Anthony Hemingway.
Episode #21: “Run”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOV. 16 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 16 (11:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m.), 18 (1:15 a.m.), 19 (10:00 p.m.), 20 (8:00 p.m.), 21 (2:00 a.m.) and 22 (11:25 p.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 17 (9:00 p.m.), 19 (2:00 a.m.) and 22 (1:00 p.m.)
With Rebecca (Marcia Gay Harden) again tasked with defending ACN in a possible lawsuit, Will tries to protect Neal from the fallout over the DOD leak. Charlie (Sam Waterston) and Leona (Jane Fonda) enter the fray of a hostile-takeover gambit involving Reese’s (Chris Messina) half-siblings, Blair (Kat Dennings) and Randy Lansing (Chris Smith). Sloan fears Don (Thomas Sadoski) may be guilty of cashing in on insider information; Maggie ponders the ethics of eavesdropping; Hallie (Grace Gummer) pays a price for a late-night tweet.
Written by Aaron Sorkin; directed by Greg Mottola.
Episode #22: “Main Justice”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOV. 23 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 23 (11:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m.), 25 (12:30 a.m.), 26 (10:00 p.m.), 27 (10:00 p.m.), 28 (midnight) and 29 (1:30 a.m.)
HBO2 playdates: Nov. 24 (9:00 p.m.), 26 (2:45 a.m.) and 29 (3:30 p.m.)
Leona and Reece look to raise cash in order to salvage ACN and thwart Blair and Randy. Will gets a surprise at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, while Charlie trades visions with ACN suitor Lucas Pruit (B.J. Novak). Maggie’s EPA scoop makes it to “News Night.” Sloan and Don try to keep their relationship a secret from a new HR veep.
Teleplay by Aaron Sorkin; story by Jon Lovett & Aaron Sorkin; directed by Alan Poul.
Episode #23: “Contempt”
Debut: SUNDAY, NOV. 30 (9:00-10:00 p.m.)
Other HBO playdates: Nov. 30 (11:00 p.m., 1:00 a.m.) and Dec. 2 (12:30 a.m.), 3 (10:00 p.m.), 4 (8:00 p.m.), 5 (midnight) and 6 (1:45 a.m.)
Facing a court subpoena and possible incarceration for contempt, Will stands firm in refusing to reveal the source of the stolen DOD documents. As Charlie’s disdain for Lucas grows, Sloan and Mac scramble to find a more acceptable 11th-hour buyer for ACN. Jim’s relationship with Hallie is put to the test by her new job at Carnivore, a start-up website.
Teleplay by Aaron Sorkin; story by Deborah Schoeneman; directed by Anthony Hemingway.
In 2013, Jeff Daniels received an Emmy® for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role on the show. He was nominated in the category again in 2014, while Jane Fonda was nominated in the category of Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.
In 2012, THE NEWSROOM received two Golden Globe nominations, for Best Television Series – Drama and Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Drama (Jeff Daniels)
“The Newsroom: The Complete Second Season” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray Nov. 4.
Episode 3.01 – Boston
Season 3 begins in April 2013 in the aftermath of the Genoa disaster, so the “News Night” team treat a breaking story cautiously, a strategy that could benefit them in the long run. Meanwhile, an anonymous source contacts Neal about stolen government documents that may be related to riots overseas; Sloan tries to solve a puzzle; and Maggie subs for Elliot following the Boston Marathon bombings.
Episode 3.02 – Run
Will tries to protect Neal from the fallout over the leak; Maggie considers eavesdropping.
Episode 3.03 – Main Justice
Leona and Reece try to raise cash to save the network; Will gets a surprise.
Episode 3.04 – Contempt
Will stands firm in his refusal to reveal the source of the stolen documents.
EW: Will there be a time jump when the show premieres?
AARON SORKIN: We’re ahead about five months. However, once the season starts each episode begins right after the last one ended so there are no time jumps during the season. It’s a very compressed season. Once again, we’re telling one story throughout the whole season, there are stories that come off like branches, but there’s one story that we begin in the first episode and goes to the end.
Can you tease the main story?
Well, without giving too much away, it’s something that we’ve been talking about for the last 2 years: government and journalism. A lot of people feel like the current administration has been really tough on reporters and whistleblowers. I realize I’m not making it sound exciting but it involves one of our characters in a lot of jeopardy. Our people have a story that was given to them by a government whistleblower and the Justice Department wants the name of their source and they won’t give it up. So we see how far they’re willing to go for that.
The Newsroom returns to HBO November 9 for its six final episodes. Was it difficult for you to say goodbye to your character of cable news executive Leona Lansing? It really was. Aaron [Sorkin] has done a great job in the third season of wrapping everything up. Fans will be pleased. He’s such a genius. – See more at: http://www.atlantamagazine.com/news-culture-articles/interview-jane-fonda-on-her-ties-to-atlanta-working-with-tina-fey-and-her-new-netflix-series/#sthash.avHcHHGM.dpuf
Variety’s Power of Women event, presented by Lifetime Television, announced on Tuesday that actresses Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Viola Davis and Universal Pictures Chairman Donna Langley have been selected as Variety’s “Lifetime Impact Honorees.”