Heart-breaking News For Newsroom Bosses?
This week HBO renewed rookie drama The Newsroom after just one episode — and only hours ahead of the second tanking in the ratings.
The premiere screens
Sunday July 18 on SoHo (Sky 10, 8.30) and is being previewed, in HD, on Sky’s on-demand service from Sunday. (The series will air 8.30 Mondays from August 13.)
HBO ordered a second season of the Aaron Sorkin cable news drama on Monday, along with a sixth season of True Blood, after the US premiere was the channel’s third highest-rating drama bow since 2008.
This was despite key US critics deriding it.
And across the Atlantic, The Times agreed: “Sorkin’s point — that sensationalism trumps analysis in news — is valid but preachily made, while the show’s newsroom is unlike a real newsroom.
“Strangely, its news stories are real yet old: the first episode features the BP Gulf of Mexico 2010 oil spill.”
And it seems more viewers than HBO initially thought also are having second thoughts.
According to New York magazine, this week’s episode was down 20% from the premiere, to 1.7 million viewers, and shed an even higher percentage of viewers under 50.
“If The Newsroom were on a broadcast network, this week’s declines would be cause for modest concern, particularly since last week’s premiere numbers were more ‘good’ than ‘great.’
“But HBO has trained its subscribers to look for multiple repeats of its shows throughout the week or to view via its HBO On Demand or HBO GO platforms, so until all those numbers are in, it’s really impossible to know whether this week’s drop-off is a sign of viewers opting out, or simply deciding to watch the show on their own timetable.”