- The Newsroom
show_name = The Newsroom
caption = Third season cast of The Newsroom
camera = Single-camera
runtime = approx. 22 minutes
Ken Finkleman, Jan Peter Meyboom
Ken Finkleman Peter Keleghan Karen Hines
num_episodes = 32
website = http://www.thenewsroom.ca
imdb_id = 0115291
tv_com_id = 4082|
"The Newsroom" is an award winning Canadian television
comedyseries which ran on CBC Televisionin the 1996- 1997, 2003- 2004and 2004- 2005seasons. A two-hour television movie, "Escape from the Newsroom", aired in 2002.
United States, "The Newsroom" airs on PBSstations across the country.
Set in the
newsroomof a television station (never officially named, but clearly based on the CBC itself), the show — which was similar to such earlier series as the British " Drop the Dead Donkey" and the Australian "Frontline" — mined a dark vein of comedy from the political machinations and the sheer incompetence of the people involved in producing the nightly news.
The original 13 episodes were meant as a short run - no multiseason series was planned, and became one of the most critically acclaimed programs in recent Canadian history. Following the end of "The Newsroom", Finkleman produced three different short-run series for the CBC, "
More Tears", " Foolish Heart" and " Foreign Objects", all of which included Findlay as a linking character. (A Findlay-like character with a different surname had also appeared in Finkleman's pre-"Newsroom" series " Married Life".)
However, none of these subsequent series were as well-received by the public or by critics, and the CBC began to seek a new set of "Newsroom" episodes. "
Escape from the Newsroom", which included a fourth wall-breaking plot digression in which the characters directly addressed the idea of reviving the series, was meant partly as a sarcastic response to that request. However, Finkleman ultimately agreed to produce 13 new episodes, which aired in the winter of 2004. The last four episodes of the second season were shot as a mockumentary.
A third season of "The Newsroom" aired on CBC beginning
February 14, 2005. All three seasons and "Escape from the Newsroom" are available on DVD.
Ken Finklemanstarred as executive producerGeorge Findlay, a venal, petty man who cared only about his sex life, his lunch orders and his personal image within the network's bureaucracy. Findlay was exceptionally intelligent, but self-absorbed and utterly unconcerned about anything besides himself.
In the third season episode "One Dumb Idea", Karen offers her idea on a character based on Findlay for a
sitcomidea he was trying to come up with, saying, "I think if you're gonna go for reality, or, sorry, for "verisimilitude", I think your character should be deceitful and self-serving. Basically, pathologicallyambitious and actually lacking in any real humanity." In other words, a sociopath.
Findlay apparently suffers from
constipation, hinted at by his obsession with branmuffins, fibreproducts and doctor appointments for procedures including a colonoscopy.
He constantly avoids talking to his mother who is always calling him at work. Telling people to tell her he is in a meeting or on vacation, he even went so far as to have an
internget the telephone number to the show changed. When asked why he refused to talk to her he replies, "Talk to her? You're missing the point. The point is, this place is too cheap to get me an assistant. If I had an assistant, "she" could talk to my mother. But because this place is so god damn cheap, my mother has no one to talk to." Findlay does, however, have a close relationship with his BMWdealer, often calling him about small problems with his "$40,000 German car."
Peter Keleghanstarred as Jim Walcott, the similarly shallow but far less intelligent anchorman. Walcott is often told by the others that he is smart, but Findlay always refers to him as an idiotwhen he is not around. He lives alone with his cat and has been charged with sexual harassmentseveral times, including an incident when he offered sexual favours to an underagegirl in return for a ride in a helicopter.
In the final episode of the first season, "The Campaign", Walcott, along with other staff of the newsroom, go into
politics. Walcott is running as a Liberal for the provincial government of Ontario. He is asked by a reporter from "The Star" if he is in favour of eliminating child povertyin Canada, to which he responds confusedly, "this is a provincial election."
During a fundraising party he mishears a woman he his talking to about
abortion, thinking she said, "the decision should be between the woman, her doctor and her "dog"." After "listening to [their] polls", the campaign team decides it best for Walcott to be pro-life, and at a pro-life rally he falls victim to a slip of the tongueby saying, "I believe life begins at " masturbation"." Walcott's attempts to garner additional support include making appearances with his ex-wife and a disabledperson, both of whom are represented by agents demanding more money per appearance.
During a campaign speech, Walcott is shot and ends up in a
comawith a bullet lodged in his brain. While watching the results of the electionon the news, the campaign team celebrates its win just as Walcott dies in the hospital bed beside them.
In "Escape from the Newsroom", Walcott returns to his job as news anchor. His "death" was clarified as a two-year coma. Walcott offers
Atom Egoyana story idea about "a news anchor, who's shot in the head, is in a coma for two years, but survives with a bullet lodged in his brain, and then struggles to return to his news desk." After Egoyan says to Walcott that he read about the same thing happening to Walcott, Walcott seems surprised and says, "yeah, there is a parallel there somewhere."
Karen Hinesappeared as segment producer Karen Mitchell, who was the news department's rare example of intelligence and professionalism. Karen seems to be the only one who takes journalistic integrityseriously, while the others try to find ways to boost ratings by glamourizing news stories with sensationalism.
Karen is apt to point out the ignorant
prejudicesof most of the staff, as they in turn tease her for not being able to find a date. Findlay suspects her of being a lesbianafter she is featured in a feministmagazine as one of ten women in the news who make a difference. He "connects the dots" of her different personality traits to arrive at this conclusion, including observations of her not being able to sustain a male-female relationship, the fact that she knows the editor of a women's magazine, and that she is aggressive, argumentative, sure of herself and moralistic. Karen, however, is not a lesbian, as this only illustrates Findlay's way of thinking.
When offering her suggestion on characters profiles for Findlay's sitcom idea, after ridiculing Findlay (see above) she went on to describe a character based on herself that should be "highly intelligent and attractive in an unconventional way, with very strong legs from the years and years of
yogaand running that she has had to do to keep her sanity in a toxicpsychic environment that is 'the newsroom', and basically far too busy doing her job to get involved in your stupidity or, I'm sorry, your character's stupidity."
Each season had a different supporting cast of newswriters, reporters, producers and network bureaucrats. The 1996 season one cast included
Jeremy Hotzand Mark Farrellas Findlay's two " yes men" segment producers, Tanya Allenas Audrey the intern, David Hubandas Bruce the weatherguy, Julie Khaneras Findlay's boss Sidney, Nancy Beattyas Nancy, Findlay's other boss and David Galeas the entertainment reporter.
The 2004 season two cast included Matt Watts as Matt and
Jody Racicotas Alex who replaced Jeremy and Mark as Findlay's "yes men" segment producers. Douglas Bell played Allen, a writer, hypochondriacand Harvardgraduate who often stutters. Holly Lewisplayed Claire and Alberta Watsonplayed Susan. Tom McCamusalso appeared in one of the 2004 episodes as a newswriter who informed Findlay of his own terminal illness, to Findlay's lack of concern; his character died at the end of the episode.
In 2005, the season three additions to the cast included
Shaughnessy Bishop-Stallas Jason, who replaced Alex as segment producer, Kristin Boothas Nora and Sarah Strangeas Susan Murdoch, Findlay's boss. Jeremy Hotzreturned to the cast for the first episode when Findlay rehired his character and then fired him later that episode.
The show also included guest appearances by a number of public figures, including
David Cronenberg, Bob Rae, Hugh Segal, Naomi Klein, Daniel Richler, Angelo Mosca, Linda McQuaig, Cynthia Daleand Noam Chomsky, playing themselves in interviews on the newscast.
* Season 1 (1996-1997)
# The Walking Shoe Incident
# Dinner at Eight
# Deeper, Deeper
# The Kevorkian Joke
# A Bad Day
# Petty Tyranny
# Dis and Dat
# The Meltdown Part I
# The Meltdown Part II
# The Meltdown Part III
# The Campaign
* "Escape from the Newsroom" (2002) (movie)
* Season 2 (2004)
# America, America
# Death 1, George 0
# Pushy, Moneygrubbing, Cosmopolitan Racist
# An Enormous Waste of TIme
# Anchors Away
# One of Us
# Never Read Symptoms
# The Fifty
# Slow Leak
# Reality Stikes
# The British Accent
# Say Cheese
# The Second Coming
* Season 3 (2005)
# One Dumb Idea
# Dial 'G' for Gristle
# Latent Homosexual Tendencies
# Baghdad Bound
# Learning to Fly
DGC Craft Award
* 2005 - Outstanding Achievement in Direction - Television Series -
Ken Finkleman- (For episode "Baghdad Bound")
* 2005 - Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing - Television Series -
Tom Bjelic, Allan Fung(For episode "Learning To Fly")
DGC Team Award
* 2005 - Outstanding Team Achievement in a Television Series - Comedy (For episode "Baghdad Bound")
* 1997-98 - Best Director - Variety, Comedy or Performing Arts Program or Series -
Ken Finkleman(For episode "Meltdown, Part 3")
* 1997-98 - Best Performance - Comedy Program or Series -
Jeremy Hotz, Ken Finkleman, Mark Farrell, Peter Keleghan, Tanya Allen(For episode "The Campaign")
* 1997-98 - Best Photography - Comedy, Variety, Performing Arts Program or Series -
* 1997-98 - Best Picture Editing - Comedy, Variety, Performing Arts Program or Series -
* 1997-98 - Best Writing - Comedy or Variety Program or Series -
Ken Finkleman(For episode "The Campaign")
* 2005 - Best Writing - Comedy or Variety Program or Series -
Ken Finkleman- (For episode "Baghdad Bound")
International Emmy Awards
* 2005 - Best Comedy (Canada)
* 1997 - Bronze Rose, Sitcom.
San Francisco International Film Festival
* 1997 - Silver Spire, Television - Comedy -
Ken Finkleman(For episode "Walking Shoe Incident")
* 1997 -
* 1998 -
Ken Finkleman(For episode "Meltdown Part III")
*imdb title|id=0377233|title=The Newsroom
* [http://www.thenewsroom.ca/ Season III Website]
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