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TV Column
Posted at 03:32 PM ET, 07/02/2012

HBO renews ‘The Newsroom,’ ‘True Blood’


Emily Mortimer as the producer of “News Night” on HBO’s “The Newsroom.” (Melissa Moseley - HBO)

True to form, HBO announced a season pickup the morning after premiering a series’ s second episode. On Monday, the network said it had ordered a second season of Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom.”

The freshman drama stars Jeff Daniels as a news anchor who radically changes his cable news show after his public rant about the state of the country goes viral, as co-stars Emily Mortimer as his ex-girlfriend/new exec producer.

HBO describes it as a series about a cable news anchor and his new executive producer and staff as “they set out on a patriotic and quixotic mission to do the news well in the face of corporate and commercial obstacles and their own personal relationships.”

TV critics described the show as having characters who “never stop speechifying to one another, replacing believable dialogue with that unmistakably Sorkinesque logorrhea of righteous self-importance” (The Washington Post), and a series that “chokes on its own sanctimony” whose characters aren’t just quixotic, they cite Cervantes to one another” (the New York Times).

Which, apparently, appeals to HBO subscribers.

The series premiere snagged an average of 2.1 million viewers, making it one of the channel’s most-watched launches in recent years. HBO issued those numbers the Monday after that unveiling.

Yet despite Monday’s second-season pickup announcement, HBO reps said they did not have second-episode stats available, telling us to check back Tuesday.

HBO also announced that it had renewed vampire drama “True Blood” for a sixth season; that show scored 5.4 million viewers in its Season 5 opener in June.

By  |  03:32 PM ET, 07/02/2012

 
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