The Newsroom (2012–2014)
10 user 18 critic

We Just Decided To 

TV-MA | | Drama | Episode aired 24 June 2012
Will's professional idealism is put to the test with his new news team when they are first to cover the Deep Horizon platform oil spill.


Greg Mottola


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin




Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Daniels ... Will McAvoy
Emily Mortimer ... MacKenzie McHale
John Gallagher Jr. ... Jim Harper
Alison Pill ... Maggie Jordan
Thomas Sadoski ... Don Keefer
Dev Patel ... Neal Sampat
Olivia Munn ... Sloan Sabbith
Sam Waterston ... Charlie Skinner
David Harbour ... Elliot Hirsch
Elizabeth Marvel ... Sharon
David Cromer ... Moderator
Jason Butler Harner ... Lewis
Adina Porter ... Kendra James
Chris Chalk ... Gary Cooper
Ned Vaughn ... Dick Warren


April 20, 2010. Will McAvoy comes back to his national news anchor desk two weeks after a PR disaster at a college forum. He discovers that most of his staff are following his executive producer to another show, and his boss has hired Mackenzie MacHale as the new EP. McAvoy wants nothing to do with her and talks to his agent about getting her fired. While he and MacHale hash things out in his office, the news wire carries a report about a fire at BP's Deepwater Horizon oil well. McAvoy's old EP dismisses the intelligence that MacHale's assistant is discovering. How will McAvoy handle the opportunity to devote an hour to this news - and can the team put a show together on the fly? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




TV-MA | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 June 2012 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The voice of the Minerals Management Service junior employee with whom Will speaks on air is Jesse Eisenberg in an uncredited cameo. See more »


Reference is made to a reporter having been embedded with troops in the Vietnam War, but embedding reporters did not start until after the Vietnam War. One of the first instances was the Falklands War in 1982. It was somewhat prevalent in the First Gulf War and the initial stages of the War In Afghanistan in 2001. Criticism to the lack of insight in these wars led to changes and it is from 2003 - the Iraq War - that the term "embedded journalism" came into wide use. See more »


Mackenzie MacHale: I've come here to produce a news broadcast that more closely resembles the one we did before you got popular by not bothering anyone, Leno.
Will McAvoy: I think Jay and I would rather be employed, if it's all the same to you.
Mackenzie MacHale: It's not all the same to me, you punk. I've come here to take your IQ and your talent and put it to some patriotic fucking use.
See more »


References Jaws (1975) See more »


The Newsroom Main title soundtrack
by Thomas Newman
See more »

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User Reviews

A great start to a timely show
28 April 2017 | by trixie30See all my reviews

We didn't watch season 1 until it was available on demand. We were instantly hooked. We didn't love every episode equally, but didn't dislike any. We came as close to binge watching as we ever do (three episodes a night) and then waited impatiently for season 2.

As for Sorkin, we liked The American President and A Few Good Men, thought Sports Night was okay, loved The West Wing, and also enjoyed Studio 60. (Studio 60 would have been much better and lasted at least three seasons if a few things had been different: better and more realistic casting for Jordan or, at a minimum, not forcing the pregnancy into the show; hiring more real comedy writers to put together the show-within-the-show scenes; less focus on Harriett and Matt. However, the relationship portrayed by Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry was outstanding. And the opening "rant" done by Judd Hirsch was great.)

So we approached The Newsroom knowing we'd at least like it. One of the things that made it so good and off to a wonderful start was how complete everything was. The set, the supporting characters, the extras, and the complexity. Even things like Olivia Munn standing in the secondary "studio" doing Sloan's "market wrap up" while this episode went on around her. The episode would have been fine without that detail and depth, but there she was doing her part. That's something common to most Sorkin shows: Having actors not actually "in" a scene on set and performing in the background. Look at the scenes where you see the wall of screens in the control room where the peripheral news, videos, etc. are accurate to the time frame. In fact, Olivia Munn technically shouldn't be listed as "credit only" for this episode.

Anyway, this is certainly something we could use now to remind us of our responsibilities as citizens. It's simply fantastic.

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