The Newsroom TV Poster Image

The Newsroom

Newsy drama targets adults; some drinking, mature themes.
  • Network: HBO
  • Genre: Drama
  • Release Year: 2012

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The purpose of the show-within-a-show is to deliver news that actually informs the viewer and encourages thoughtful discussion. There's also a subtle message that standing up for the truth -- and what you believe in -- is a risky but noble pursuit.

Positive role models

Most characters are principled with admirable ideals, and there are several strong female role models. The newsroom staff also works well as a team with surprisingly little infighting.

Not applicable

Light sexual tension and banter with references to affairs and relationships.


Unbleeped swearing includes terms like "f--k," "s--t," "Goddamn," "ass," and "blow me," but cursing isn't constant.


Characters mention real-life brands like Goldman Sachs, Capital One, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Characters drink socially, occasionally to excess.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom contains unbleeped swearing in the form of "f--k, "s--t," etc., although cursing isn't constant. There's also some light sexual tension, along with allusions to romantic relationships, and characters drink socially, occasionally to excess. The show is not targeted toward kids or teens, but mature teens with an interest in journalism might find something worthwhile here.

What's the story?

In the wake of a public gaffe that sends most of his underlings scrambling, popular News Night anchor Will McEvoy (Jeff Daniels) regroups with a brand-new staff led by uber-capable executive producer Mackenzie "Mack" McHale (Emily Mortimer). The two share a personal and professional past that makes working together particularly complicated. But Mack is also one of the few who knows what Will is capable of in THE NEWSROOM -- and she isn't afraid to push him toward greatness.

Is it any good?


The Newsroom makes it known through ever-present monologues that it's tackling worthy and weighty issues, like whether "good television" and "the news" are mutually exclusive or whether journalists should have an opinion. But instead of answering those questions with nuance and intelligence, it gives us impassioned but ultimately hollow speeches and one-dimensional characters who are frustratingly chatty.

Of course, those elements are precisely what series creator Aaron Sorkin -- a critically acclaimed writer who won an Oscar for The Social Network script and multiple Emmys for his work on The West Wing -- is known for, and they usually work like a charm. But with the Sorkin magic missing from The Newsroom on multiple fronts, it makes for a show that's better in theory than in practice.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how accurately The Newsroom portrays the state of modern-day journalism and the way we get our information. How have nightly news programs changed in the past few decades, both in terms of structure and their importance to the public?

  • How have the Internet and social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook changed the way we perceive and process news? Are we more or less informed as a result?

  • Are the show's premise and characters realistic, or do they suggest an idealized version of reality? Would a show like the revamped News Night succeed with American audiences?

TV details

Premiere date:June 24, 2012
Cast:Emily Mortimer, Jeff Daniels, Sam Waterston
Topics:Great boy role models, Great girl role models
TV rating:TV-14

This review of The Newsroom was written by

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 14 years old Written bytraylorharp99 July 10, 2013


This show is amazing, and one of the best shows on TV. This show has bad language, they drop the F bomb a lot, along with S**t, A**H****, Son of a B****, etc. Other then that it's good, the show covers a lot of political things, and covers actual new events. The show never gets boring. Will McAvoy is a okay role model, he can loose his temper, but he has a big heart. He cares about the people in his office, but doesn't show it a whole lot. There are cases where people in the show use marijuana, some smoking, and some drinking. None of it is used heavily. I would recommend kids 14 and up to watch this.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 14 years old Written byMr47 August 28, 2013

This...Is Good

Aaron Sorkin is a genius TV writer and the Newsroom reinforces that statement. To get into it though you are gonna need some general knowledge of world events. They swear a bit but the show wouldn't be the same without profanity. A few times people kiss but nothing that will "scar" your child. This is an immensely entertaining drama and you would be doing your child a disservice from denying them watching it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byNapoleon15 February 10, 2015


This is one of the greatest shows I have ever seen. It is spot on as regards politics, society, and modern America. This said, their is quite a lot of swearing and sex references. The subject matter is quite mature and I would not show it to a teen under 15.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking