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Critics' Notebook: True Blood, Newsroom Finales — and a Bad Break

Jeff Daniels

With buckets of gore and flustery bluster, HBO's big-ticket summer items True Blood and The Newsroom signed off Sunday with noisy season finales. But as usual, the night was owned by upstart AMC's brilliant Breaking Bad in the season's penultimate episode — its finale airs next Sunday as a Labor Day distraction — with a quietly devastating death scene for one of its most memorable characters.

Some thoughts in ascending order (also the order in which I watched):

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Top Moments: Dallas' Bombshell, Covert Affairs' Death and Talent's Got a Feud

Dallas

Our top moments of the week:

13. Hardest Problem: On the series premiere of NY Med, an unidentified male visiting New York City goes to the hospital after having an erection for 12 hours as the result of taking an erectile-dysfunction drug. The urologist explains that the only solution is to drain blood from his penis. "Have you done this before?" the man asks, before exclaiming, "We should YouTube this!" The real kicker? He comes in with a guy he had met the night before at a club.
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Weekend TV: The Newsroom, Falling Skies, The Great Escape

Newsroom

There aren't enough words. Except in the world of Aaron Sorkin, where there are always enough, maybe too many, as the Emmy- and Oscar-winning maestro of the hyper-verbal aria (The West Wing, Sports Night, The Social Network) aims his sights back on TV with the exhilarating, exasperating and often sensationally entertaining The Newsroom. (It premieres Sunday at 10/9c following summer hit True Blood.) read more

Inside Aaron Sorkin's New HBO Drama The Newsroom

The Newsroom

Jeff Daniels storms out of the glass-walled conference room for the fifth time in 25 minutes. Apparently, Nancy Grace can do that to a man. Take after take, her Southern-fried commentary on the Casey Anthony murder case has been blaring on multiple television monitors around the set of a TV newsroom, and her "Oh, God, will you look at that" attitude is more than Daniels' character, Will McAvoy, can bear.

McAvoy is a veteran anchorman unraveling before our eyes on The Newsroom, Aaron Sorkin's new HBO drama about... read more

VIDEO: Meet the Newsnight 2.0 Team in The Newsroom Trailer

Jeff Daniels

Now this feels more like an Aaron Sorkin show.

A new trailer for his upcoming HBO series The Newsroom strikes a considerably different tone than that of the first, in which brash news anchor Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) has a Howard Beale-like meltdown. But Trailer No. 2 shows it's not all ...
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Celebrities Get Real About Sex, Death and Drugs on Lifetime's The Conversation

Gwyneth Paltrow and Amanda de Cadenet

Lifetime's The Conversation breaks every conventional rule we know about celebrity interviews.

On the series, which premieres Thursday at 11/10c, A-listers like Gwyneth Paltrow, Lady Gaga and Eva Longoria open up to host Amanda de Cadenet about issues we rarely see them address elsewhere: death, drugs, body image, relationships and their sex lives.
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The Social Network's Jesse Eisenberg Heads to Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom

Jesse Eisenberg

Jesse Eisenberg will reunite with The Social Network's Aaron Sorkin in his new HBO drama The Newsroom, Entertainment Weekly reports.

Eisenberg, who portrayed Mark Zuckerberg in the Oscar nominated film, has landed... read more

HBO Sets Premiere Dates For True Blood and New Series Newsroom

True Blood

True Blood's fifth season will premiere on Sunday, June 10 at 9/8c, HBO announced Wednesday.

This season will be the last for showrunner Alan Ball, who has been with the show since it debuted in 2009.
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Watch the Trailer for HBO's Aaron Sorkin Series The Newsroom

Newsroom

HBO has released a trailer for Aaron Sorkin's new drama series, The Newsroom.

As The West Wing creator has done before with Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Sorkin again offers viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a television show. read more

The Closer's Jon Tenney to Visit HBO's Newsroom

Jon Tenney

From The Closer to The Newsroom, Jon Tenney is sticking with cable.

The actor will guest-star in producer Aaron Sorkin's upcoming new HBO series, formally titled The Newsroom, about a fictional cable news network, TVLine reports. He'll play Wade, the boyfriend of the cable news show's executive producer, played by Emily Mortimer.

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