Drama, USA, 2012Synopsis
"The Newsroom" - "News Night 2.0" - July 1, 2012We pick up three days after the pilot April 23, 2012Will is looking over the resumes and head shots of the young staff McKenzie- who people call Mac-- has hired as his maid cleans and it sounds like people play basketball overhead. A chunk of his dining room ceiling falls on the table. The maid says there are new neighbors.In the office, Will complains to Mac about how green the staff is. She says she wants to "grow" these people. Before they go into their first pitch meeting, Will makes Mac promise not to tell anyone why they broke up. She agrees.In the pitch meeting Will crows about learning everyone's name last night and they all argue over whether to lead with BP or with the Arizona immigration issue. Mac says they're going with Arizona and unveils her rules for "News Night 2.0." 1. Is this information we need in the voting booth? 2. Is this the best possible form of the argument? 3. Is this in historical context? Mac shoots down the idea of having someone screwed by immigration reform on the show because she doesn't want to be emotionally manipulative. And she adds a fourth rule: Are there really two sides to every story, arguing sometimes there are five and sometimes there is only one. Mac says they are going to treat the show as a courtroom and that they will only have expert witnesses and Will will be the lawyer and they will get great guests based on that template.After the meeting Don tells Mac he won't take crap from Will and he's there to help. He asks why she cut some popular elements of Will's show, elements he came up with. She tells him he can have them for his new show at 10. He wonders why since there will be no viewers at 10 after the "eat your vegetables" hour with Will.Charlie meets with a man named Reese. He's the network ratings cruncher. Charlie says he knows that Reese has a secret meeting with Will every day to break down the numbrs. Reese protests but Charlie asks him to just not do it. He says they're trying something new: the news. And he doesn't want ratings to drive content. Reese explains how that could be good for advertising but Charlie doesn't want to hear it.After the meeting Jim and Maggie get into a heated debate on several levels. One, he has been asked to oversee her pre-interview with the press aide of the Arizona governor. She says she's done this before and resents someone who has been there three days telling her, who has been there for a year, what to do. Then they start role-playing the call and essentially have the immigration debate. It is oddly contentious. He asks if she's really going to the 10 o'clock show with Don. She rants that, essentially, she thinks he thinks she's following her boyfriend and that she's not as serious about news as he is. They do more immigration banter and apparently this is hot because they are clearly attracted to each other.McKenzie asks Sloane to do five minutes on the economy on Will's show. Sloane says there are more qualified people but Mac says none with her legs. Sloane agrees and Mac hopes they can be friends. Sloane says they have something in common since her boyfriend cheated on her too. Mac protests that Will didn't cheat but she can't say what did happen and that Sloane needs to tell everyone what a good man Will is. Sloane demurs.Reese takes an afternoon walk with Will and breaks down the numbers. They talk about BP, his numbers, and what they should do. Reese wants to make him lead with BP because the audience wants it. Will says he wants the changes to his show, sincerely. He puts a little bug in his ear about how to keep the audience spike, and that conservatives watch news so it can't hurt to remind them that they don't hate him. Will is resistant since he wants to try it Mac's way since it is the more journalistic approach. We learn that Reese is not a fan of Mac, Will defends her as a journalist but Reese thinks he's still hung up.Jim tells Maggie that the Arizona governor bailed. He asks what happened on the call. She says it was by the book. It turns out that she dated the governor's press aide and she didn't tell him about it. They had a disastrous last date. She says she didn't inject her opinions into the call. She realizes he waited this long to bail in order to screw them. She asks him what to do. They call the bookers into an emergency meeting to get a replacement to defend the immigration bill. Mac freaks out, Jim takes the hit. They scramble to find someone and they're the opposite of what Mac wanted. She tells them to book them and have Will carry them. They're worried Will is going to fire them. Mac, again, defends Will as a good guy. She sends Will an email that says that people think he cheated on her and that she actually cheated on him and tore his heart out. She accidentally sends it to the entire staff. She tries to get people to delete the email. Will walks in aghast after the promise she made in his office. Someone accidentally forwards it to corporate.They fight in his office. And then she explains about the loss of the booking of the governor. She says she takes 98 percent of the responsibility of their break-up. She says he was in love right away and she didn't know she was in love with him until she slept with her ex-boyfriend and confirmed it. He asks why she told him. She said she couldn't have lived with it. He says he would've preferred if he hadn't told her.Will pulls aside a producer and tells her to put some Sarah Palin stuff in the mix and not tell Mac.In the control room Jim asks Mac if they went to Afghanistan because she cheated on Will. He points out he got shot in the ass. She tells him to be grateful that he wasn't facing the other way.Maggie says she was cheated on too and confesses to Will she messed up and can resign and go to 10. He says he doesn't want her to do that. She thanks him.The show begins and Will starts talking with the leader of a Hispanic rights organization about the immigration issue.Mac tries to talk to Will about the next segement, with the bad guests, and says it will be fine.Mac and Jim argue about him covering for Maggie and how he has a crush on her.Will talks with the three guests and it is more or less a debacle, the "academic" is a racist, the beauty pagaent contestant is an idiot, and the militia man talks about building a wall and Will does the best he can and then actively starts churning the debacle to piss off Mac who wants to dump out.Mac notices the extra Sarah Palin thing in the rundown and is annoyed. McAvoy defends Palin and it's embarrassing for all.Will goes to Charlie and personally apologizes for the unprofessional nature of the show. Charlie points out how many people got Mac's email, including people who run tabloid magazines. Charlie says he wishes Will had told him so he could make him feel better and sees that Will is still hurt. Charlie tells him to get it together and his meetings with Reese are over. Will says with all due respect he's the one sitting in the chair.Neil invites Jim for drinks and apps with the crew. Jim is in.Mac approaches Will at the elevator and asks if he's in or he's out. They fight over the Sarah Palin issue. They then fight over Sloane. They then fight over who is in charge. She is, she says unequivocally. And she admits they messed up but what he did was motivated from fear and that he needs to be a leader and the moral center of the show, the integrity. It's Friday, she tells him by Monday that she needs to know if he's in or out. He can't believe that he got chewed out by her on a day when she sent an email to everyone in the world essentially that she cheated on him.At the karaoke bar the young staff drinks and talks about an idealistic future with News Night 2.0.Don goes to talk to Maggie who is getting soused over her mistake. He asks her again to come to the 10 o'clock show. He says Will and Mac are going to fail. She says she wants to break up because he's clearly not supporting her. He agrees they should break up.Will's doorman tells him they know how to live with their neighbors here. Will is confused. And then Manny says "your show tonight."Will comes home to a muffin basket from his noisy upstairs neighbors. They say they'll pay or the damage.Maggie comes over to have a word with Jim about him covering for her. She doesn't want him to think she needs protecting. He says no one's yelling at her because everyone knows she feels terrible. She tells him she's going to make it work with Don. Neither of them know why. She also doesn't know why she's still being mean to him. Jim then yells at the staff as the "senior producer" because he feels like he has too.Will calls Neil at the bar and tells him to get the guy from Spokane and pay for a ticket for him to come to New York. He asks after Mac. Neil gives her the phone and she apologizes. Will says he's in and he'll see her on Monday. He admits he's still going to worry about the ratings and popularity and he says yes, but he's in.
Directed by Alex Graves Starring Jeff Daniels
, Emily Mortimer
, John Gallagher Jr.
, Alison Pill
, Thomas Sadoski
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