With Sorkin’s pedigree and they keep true to the pilot episode, this show is going to go places. There is no doubt Aaron Sorkin wrote the pilot episode because all the trademarks are there; the walk and talk, quick dialog, smart characters…
The show takes place in the fictional news studio of ACN. It is a competing cable news channel with one of the top anchors, Jeff Daniels, as its star. He is publicly likeable but privately a bit hard to get along with…. Ok, ok, ok… he’s an ass. In the opening scene he let that side out which earned him a little vacation. Upon his return nearly his entire staff has been poached for a new up and coming anchor who is taking over a prime slot in the nightly lineup. His boss, the talented Sam Waterston, also informs him that he rehired Daniels old Executive Producer whom he has a romantic history. Fireworks fly about as high as the tension but all is proven a good fit when a big news story breaks and the new team works to put together an on-the-fly broadcast.
That’s the bones of it. The show had me from Will McAvoy’s (Jeff Daniels) diatribe during the event he was part of at Northwestern. What a great speech. That got me hooked but it was the characters that started to reel me in. They are well thought out and have excellent depth. What landed me was how they pulled together and executed the live news broadcast. Having worked in that field in different capacities, I know what it takes to go live with a breaking story like the one they had in the show. The measure of a great newscaster is their ability to work on the fly in those moments. When they pan around to reveal the teleprompter where the only word on it was [VAMP] hit home for me. They were flying blind and how they portrayed all of that was excellent. This show is now set to ‘Series Record’ on my DVR. You should check it out.
Here is part of the opening scene… Enjoy… (NSFW… There is a bit of language.)