Academy Award winner screenwriter Aaron Sorkin wrote the political drama ‘The Newsroom’, which ran for three successful seasons. However, its abrupt cancellation baffled the fans. But what was the reason for the show’s cancellation?
HBO’s ‘The Newroom’ debuted in 2012 and became an instant hit. The political thriller series was one of the most successful dramas of that year. Created and mainly written by Aaron Sorkin, riding high on the recent success of ‘The Social Network’, the series took a peek into the newsroom of one of the primary American news network, Atlantic Cable News. The series was led by Jeff Daniel as the face of the channel, along with a big supporting cast. However, the series was abruptly ended after 3 seasons. On December 14, 2014, the final episode of the series was aired on HBO and then there was a long silence about the show’s coming back for another season. For years, the fans wondered whether there will be a continuation of the series, but there was no hope in sight. Hence, it is safe to conclude that ‘The Newsroom’ has been cancelled for good. But what was the reason?
- Why ‘The Newsroom’ failed
- Sorkin Newsroom apology
- ‘The Newsroom’ Netflix
There was no definite answer from the producers or the channel. The key to understanding the reason for the show’s cancellation somehow lies with its hot-shot creator Aaron Sorkin. He was known to have written some of the most critically celebrated TV shows such as ‘Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip’ and ‘The West Wing’. Hence, there were huge expectations from Aaron and he succeeded in meeting them. Instead of opting for a lighthearted series, he went heavy with ‘The Newsroom’ and told the story of a small television news channel crew and how they go about processing and presenting the news. The series was laden with political and social commentaries and criticized everything from the left wing to the right-wing to every other political ideology. Needless to say, it became the most popular TV series of its kind.
Why ‘The Newsroom’ failed
When the series was about to return for a third season, Aaron said in an interview that he was done with television. He also noted that his failures on television with shows such as ‘Sports Night’ and ‘The Newsroom’ are more in number than his successes. However, it also explained one of the weaknesses of Aaron as a creator. The series, right from the beginning, dabbled more into teaching than entertaining. The very Sorkin-ish dialogues were long, preachy and fast-paced. It might work well in a movie, with 2 hours of runtime, but not in an hours-long television series. The plot was self-limiting, with a fixed number of characters, without any substantial character development just going about their daily routines. After a while, it got a bit mundane and hence, the ratings began plummeting.
Sorkin Newsroom apology
In 2014, at the Tribeca Film Festival, Aaron was even seen apologizing to the journalist community. He accepted that he writes romantically and ideologically. He further said that it was not his intention to show the journalists how to go about their jobs. He confessed that he was not an expert on politics or journalism, and he just wrote what he thought was right, subjectively. Now that’s quite rare for a writer to admit shortcomings in his/her writings.
‘The Newsroom’ HBO
That’s not to say that the show didn’t have its moments. The monologue at the very beginning of the series felt real and authentic and set the stage for what to expect. But instead, the series became repetitive and mundane. Perhaps, Aaron Sorkin was smart enough to realize that and instead of dragging it, he pulled the plug after the third season. For that moment, it seemed like the right thing to do.
While there has not been any official comment yet, fans should keep their heart strong and know that ‘The Newsroom’ isn’t getting a season 4 anytime soon. Aaron Sorkin is still among the most celebrated screenwriters around. It will be interesting to see if he ever turns to television after these bitter experiences.
Tell us in the comments which are your favourite Sorkin movie? Also, tell us what you think about ‘The Newsroom’ cancellation?