• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Jun 24, 2012
  • Season #: 1 , 2
Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 31
  2. Negative: 6 out of 31
  1. I'd rather spend time with an edgy show that aims high and sometimes falls short, than one that doesn't.... Welcome back, Mr. Sorkin. It's a pleasure to have you.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Jun 25, 2012
    83
    Aaron Sorkin can write crackling dialogue. Believable characters, not so much.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Jun 25, 2012
    80
    In between the romantic dramas, a lot of sharply written comedy and some long passages of news-wonk stuff, it aims to make viewers do a little thinking.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Roush
    Jun 22, 2012
    80
    There's no question The Newsroom is eye-rollingly full of itself. But it's also recklessly full of wit, passion, anger and humor--and timely purpose.
  5. Reviewed by: Sarah Rodman
    Jun 22, 2012
    80
    Fans of Sorkin's work, especially his previous shows "Sports Night," "The West Wing," and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," will be pleased to see The Newsroom has all the hallmarks of its predecessors.
  6. Reviewed by: Aaron Riccio
    Jun 25, 2012
    75
    The Newsroom is a message-driven delight--at least for liberals--that's bogged down by uninteresting characters.
  7. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    What works about the show outweighs what doesn't, but others will read the results differently.
  8. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    Through the first four episodes, Sorkin teeters between abject fantasy and believable fiction. Strong performances by Daniels, Waterston and Mortimer serve to offset some of Newsroom's excesses and missteps.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Jun 20, 2012
    75
    There's plenty of heart here--and some very sharp writing and acting, too.
  10. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Jun 20, 2012
    75
    Newsroom is both entertaining and irritating. The info is important and good, but the quipping banter with which it's delivered, isn't. News junkies will be hooked.
  11. 70
    The Newsroom is the worst of Aaron Sorkin and the best of Aaron Sorkin.... Mostly I like Sorkin's optimism, the very quality that many of my colleagues are hanging him with.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Jun 11, 2012
    70
    If you're not put off by some of those Sorkin traits--and honestly, they are ever-present--then The Newsroom might be a drama that hooks you with what it's ultimately trying to say about some complicated issues.
  13. Reviewed by: Ken Tucker
    Jun 22, 2012
    67
    The Newsroom boldly wants to smother you in both ethical debate and its own self-reflected glory. [29 Jun 2012, p.58]
  14. Reviewed by: Gareth James
    Jun 25, 2012
    60
    The Newsroom is timely, well acted, and big-hearted, but offers few surprises.
  15. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Jun 22, 2012
    60
    The Newsroom characters grow a bit over the show's first four episodes and begin to seem less like types and more like fully-defined people, but they never feel altogether real, the unintended consequence of inhabiting an idealistic fantasy land.
  16. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Jun 18, 2012
    60
    The Newsroom essentially presents viewers with two options: Lament how the series doesn't match the lofty crests of Sorkin's finest work, or admire the show's ambitions and embrace of serious ideas, and grudgingly roll with its uneven tides.
  17. Reviewed by: Joanne Ostrow
    Jun 15, 2012
    60
    The extremes of smart and wacky writing styles have never been so much at odds.
  18. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Jun 22, 2012
    50
    Daniels is great, biting clean through clotted dialogue that's twinkly yet sanctimonious. [2 Jul 2012, p.40]
  19. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Jun 22, 2012
    50
    The series is kind of a mess, but one you can't really look away from.
  20. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Jun 21, 2012
    50
    At its best, and that doesn't come into full view until the third and fourth episodes, The Newsroom has a wit, sophistication and manic energy that recalls James L. Brooks's classic movie "Broadcast News." But at its worst, the show chokes on its own sanctimony.
  21. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Jun 20, 2012
    50
    The Newsroom is both wonderful and terrible.
  22. Reviewed by: Alan Sepinwall
    Jun 20, 2012
    50
    The Newsroom is convincing as a faux newscast. It's less convincing as good television.
  23. Reviewed by: Troy Patterson
    Jun 22, 2012
    40
    The Newsroom's focus is on putting on a show, and because its weak points are howlers and it will be a hoot to laugh not with but at them.
  24. Reviewed by: Mary McNamara
    Jun 21, 2012
    40
    That transcendent mixture of confidence and fear, of humility and clear-eyed self-assessment, evident in so much of Sorkin's other work, is what turns a sermon into a work of art. And that is precisely what is missing here.
  25. Reviewed by: Willa Paskin
    Jun 20, 2012
    40
    The results are a captivating, riveting, rousing, condescending, smug, infuriating mixture, a potent potion that advertises itself as intelligence-enhancing but is actually just crazy-making.
  26. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Jun 22, 2012
    30
    It's clear that Mr. Sorkin's main interest in The Newsroom runs to concerns other than characters and storytelling.
  27. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    Jun 21, 2012
    30
    The West Wing gave us rich characters, a sense of proportionality and an infectious feeling of romance with the country and the people who want to make it better. The Newsroom, after four exhausting, smug episodes, gives us none of that: just Aaron Sorkin writing one argument after another for himself to win.
  28. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Jun 20, 2012
    30
    Sorkin's writing lapses into self-parody, leaving savvier viewers to marvel at how quickly the show goes awry.
  29. Reviewed by: Emily Nussbaum
    Jun 18, 2012
    30
    The Newsroom treats the audience as though we were extremely stupid.
  30. Reviewed by: Maureen Ryan
    Jun 19, 2012
    20
    When The Newsroom isn't obvious and self-congratulatory, it's manipulative and shrieky.
  31. Reviewed by: Glenn Garvin
    Jun 24, 2012
    0
    Monstrously misconceived and incompetently executed, powered by a high-octane blend of arrogance and contempt, The Newsroom is an epochal failure, a program destined for television's all-time What Were They Thinking? list. Not since NASA's first Vanguard rocket blew up on its launch pad in 1957 will Americans have seen anything crash and burn on television with such hellish spectacularity.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 444 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 122
  2. Negative: 13 out of 122
  1. hbo
    Jun 24, 2012
    10
    This could be the best show I have seen in a long long time. A lot of the critics reviews make me angry, they have to remember that it's a television show and to stop taking it so personally. I applaud HBO for sticking with Aaron Sorkin to make this happen. Television is supposed to be entertaining, if it was supposed to be real, we'd just be watching CNBC or CNN. Be sure to watch and judge this amazing show on your own, not from the eyes of a journalist that is comparing it to their own life and work. I can't wait for this season to unfold! Full Review »
  2. Jul 3, 2012
    3
    First episode: 7/10. Second episode: 1/10. What started in episode 1 as a cutting and crackling critique of modern America through the prism of televised news devolved in episode 2 into a preachy mess of irritating people screaming and gesticulating wildly, neither half as funny or half as smart -- or half as believable -- as they're supposed to be. Abysmal. Avoid. Full Review »
  3. May 20, 2013
    2
    Went down hill fast after the opening monologue and never regained its footing. Cheesy, schmaltzy, self-indulgent pabulum. The episode with the psychiatrist was probably the best one. The 9/11 episode? Unbelievably turgid. I thought the critics were being unduly harsh at first, but now I see why. Full Review »