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The Newsroom: The Blackout, Part 1: Tragedy Porn

Will and Mac make the decision to not cover a pair of sensationalistic stories, causing 'News Night's ratings to nosedive. Will had hoped to moderate a Republican presidential debate on ACN, and must hurry to recapture the network's lost viewers. Meanwhile, Will considers potential writers for an in-depth profile on himself, Sloan is annoyed by the lack of coverage of the financial collapse, and Charlie learns the identity of an NSA whistle-blower.

Episode Info

Episode number: 1x8
Airdate: Sunday August 12th, 2012

Alternate Airdates:

UK (sky ATLANTIC) Aug 28, 2012

  • Currently 8.8/10
8.8/10 (8 Votes cast)
Guest Stars
Adina Porter
As Kendra James
Chris Chalk
As Gary Cooper
Chris Messina (1)
As Reese Lansing
David Krumholtz
As Dr. Jack Habib
Jane Fonda
As Leona Lansing
Paul Schneider (3)
As Brian Brenner
Stephen McKinley Henderson
As Solomon Hancock
Terry Crews
As Lonny Church

Co-Guest Stars
Alison Becker
As Sandy Whiddles
Charlie Weirauch
As Jake Watson
Chasty Ballesteros
As Tea
John F. Carpenter
As Herb Wilson
Margaret Judson
As Tess Westin
Thomas Matthews
As Martin Stallworth
Trieu Tran
As Joey Phan
Wynn Everett
As Tamara Hart
Martin Moran
As Ezra Schneider
Reggie De Leon
As Karaoke Singer #1
Yutopia Essex
As Karaoke Singer #2
Main Cast
Jeff Daniels
As Will McAvoy
Emily Mortimer
As Mackenzie MacHale
John Gallagher, Jr.
As Jim Harper
Alison Pill
As Maggie Jordan
Thomas Sadoski
As Don Keefer
Dev Patel
As Neal Sampat
Olivia Munn
As Sloan Sabbith
Sam Waterston
As Charlie Skinner


The episode begins and Will is shown chatting with a potential magazine profiler about how he wants the changes at News Night documented. He is dismissive of the writer who once wrote for Newsweek and now runs a blog. The writer, Brian, is insulted that Will basically wants him to audition for the job of writing about him. The writer want to know what Will is prepared to talk about: his childhood, his Republicanism, his personal life. They in the end arrive at a common ground. Meanwhile, Will is shown going to a meeting with Reese, Charlie and Mac. It's May 27, 2011 and Reese is dressing them down for not reporting on Casey Anthony. They took a big ratings hit because of it, from second to fifth place. ..

Read the full recap
Episode Notes
U.S. viewers: 1.84 million

Episode Quotes
Mackenzie: (to Sloan) Look, I'll do my best to find you the time you need for the story. We just need to hope there's no new piece of nonsense I have to jam into my 22 minutes of Short Attention Span Theater.
Jim: Anthony Weiner accidentally tweeted a picture of his groin to 40,000 followers.

Other Episode Crew

CreatorAaron Sorkin
Executive ProducerAlan Poul  |  Scott Rudin  |  Aaron Sorkin
Co-Executive ProducerDenis Biggs  |  Paul Redford  |  Greg Mottola
Co-ProducerChristine Larson-nitzsche  |  Dauri Chase  |  Eli Bush  |  Lauren Lohman
Associate ProducerSarah Rath
Production DesignerJeff Schoen
EditorRob Seidenglanz
CastingNancy M. Perkins  |  Francine Maisler
Unit Production ManagerChristine Larson-nitzsche
First Assistant DirectorKenneth Roth (1)
Second Assistant DirectorZach Hunt
MusicAlex Wurman
Director of PhotographyTodd McMullen
Production SupervisorJulie Camino
Main Title ThemeThomas Newman
Warning: The Newsroom season 1 episode 8 guide may contain spoilers
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