Tonight's episode of The Newsroom, "The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn," will be a strong contrast to last week's "5/1." While that episode focused on the need to quickly break important news (the death of Osama Bin Laden), tonight's episode will focus more on the need to not break unimportant, sensational news: namly, the Casey Anthony trial and Anthony Weiner's Twitter mistake.
If it's an episode about Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels) refusing to report what he doesn't deem to be news, you can certainly expect plenty of the Aaron Sorkin-style preachiness that you either love or detest (I'm a fan). But what you can also expect from "The Blackout Part 1" is a guest appearance from former Parks & Recreation star Paul Schneider.
The actor appeared on the first two seasons of the exceptional NBC sitcom as city planner Mark Brendanawicz before leaving the series to appear in films such as Water for Elephants and The Flowers of War. This month, he appeared in the romantic comedy The Babymakers alongside Newsroom star Olivia Munn (pictured). Perhaps she's who convinced him to guest on The Newsroom.
Schneider will play Brian Brenner, a writer hired by Will to write an all-access profile. Brenner's a bit of a strange choice, though: he is, after all, the guy who Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer) cheated on Will with. And, according to recent trailers aired for the episode, he kind of wants her back.
In addition to that little melodramatic triangle, "The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn" will also feature the return of Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing, the CEO of ACN's parent company who has been trying to orchestrate a reason to fire Will all season long. With the ratings drop caused by the refusal to air the Casey Anthony/Anthony Weiner stories, she might just have found her reason. But Charlie (the always excellent Sam Waterson) might just have a little bit of leverage over her, this time: his NSA informant has informed him of a News-of-the-World esque scandal for which Lansing might just be responsible.
It sounds like an exciting episode, doesn't it? Check it out tonight at 10/9c on HBO.