The Newsroom (2012–2014)
2 user 3 critic

What Kind of Day Has It Been 

The team looks forward as they mourn the loss of a coworker.


Alan Poul


Aaron Sorkin (created by), Aaron Sorkin | 2 more credits »




Episode credited cast:
Jeff Daniels ... Will McAvoy
Emily Mortimer ... MacKenzie McHale
John Gallagher Jr. ... Jim Harper
Alison Pill ... Maggie Jordan
Thomas Sadoski ... Don Keefer
Dev Patel ... Neal Sampat
Olivia Munn ... Sloan Sabbith
Sam Waterston ... Charlie Skinner
B.J. Novak ... Lucas Pruit
Adina Porter ... Kendra James
Jane Fonda ... Leona Lansing
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jon Bass ... Bree Dorrit
Christina Blevins ... Funeral Guest
Rootie J. Boyd Rootie J. Boyd ... Ticket Taker (as Rootie Boyd)
John F. Carpenter ... Herb Wilson


The events that led to the inception of 'News Night 2.0' are explained, as Charlie tries to convince MacKenzie in accepting a TV role. Sloan and Don recount the events that led to Charlie's heart attack, both accusing themselves of contributing to his death. Maggie and Jim continue to face questions about their relationship, whilst Will and ACN staff have trouble keeping a secret. Written by Peter Iannazzo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis




TV-MA | See all certifications »






Release Date:

14 December 2014 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HBO Entertainment See more »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Did You Know?


The song performed by Will McAvoy (Jeff Daniels), Jim Harper (John Gallagher Jr.) and Bo (Jared Prokop) at the end of the episode is "That's How I Got To Memphis" by Tom T. Hall. It is heard earlier when Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston) is listening to Hall's 1969 recording of it because, as he explains to McAvoy, his grandson, Bo, likes it. Hall also wrote "Harper Valley P.T.A.", which was a major international hit single for country singer Jeannie C. Riley in 1968. See more »


(at around 34 mins) There is a laptop with a YouTube video titled "Schumacher Breaks Record", but the F1 cars in the video are the Ferrari of Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost, and the McLaren of Ayrton Senna from the 1990 season. At that time Michael Shumacher wasn't racing in F1 yet. See more »


Neal Sampat: You embarrass me. It took me a long time to build ACN Digital. I was laughed at by the people in this newsroom. People I respect and respect what I did around here, but I built this into a tool that gathered, expanded on and disseminated information that's useful. I kept telling my colleagues and my bosses that the internet is user sensitive just like most things and I watched from a thousand miles away while you proved that. You embarrass me.
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Crazy Credits

Silent end credits. See more »


References Avatar (2009) See more »


That's How I Got to Memphis
Performed by Tom T. Hall
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Sorkin's swan song is really a writing clinic
3 January 2015 | by A_Different_DrummerSee all my reviews

One's fantasies are not merely a function of one's upbringing and temperament, but also one's age.

My current fantasy (will kindly spare you the earlier versions) would be to see Sorkin and Moffat co-write something. Each is arguably among the best writers of our generation, if not actually THE best. To see them work together would be something.

This episode hit all the right notes but lacked the emotional punch of episode 5 because, to match that, Sorkin would ACTUALLY HAVE TO COME TO YOUR HOME AND WALLOP YOU IN PERSON.

Oddly, it reminded me of the EMBER ISLAND episode of THE LAST AIRBENDER, an animated series which (justifiably) had aspirations far above its station. In that 'sode, one of the best of the series, the writers took a timeout to have the main characters attend a local play where their own story (ie, the story of the main characters, their legend) was being acted out on stage by amateurs.

In the time of Shakespeare, that device was a "play within a play" and the extensive use of flashbacks here (made possible by modern tech) achieves essentially the same effect.

If you are fan of the series (probably the only reason you would be reading this, methinks) then the effect is mesmerizing. You watch these snippets and you realize that Sorkin and his team IN BARELY THREE SHORT (very short!) seasons have made these characters feel like family.

Your family.

You will hear a lot of fans tell you a lot of reasons why this episode is brilliant (or not brilliant, as the case may be) but I humbly suggest that the real power of this one lies is its ability to remind the viewer, to bring to the surface, to underscore, how potent, how powerful, this production has been.

And it has.

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