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Posts Tagged ‘Jane Fonda’

‘Newsroom’ Gets a Season Three

Real newsman Brian Williams has returned to the anchor chair, so has fake newsman Jon Stewart. And now, we’ve learned real fake newsman Will McAvoy will be returning to the real fake “News Night.”

Jeff Daniels Tweeted the news that HBO’s “Newsroom” is getting a third season.

When last we left “Newsroom” (mid-way through season 2) Atlantis World Media boss, the exquisitely named Leona Lansing (played exquisitely by Jane Fonda) refused to allow McAvoy, his EP and news division president to resign after having to retract a report about “Operation Genoa.” The report claimed U.S. troops used sarin gas. (Oddly current given the situation in Syria). The producer of the report was fired for making a deceptive edit. (That’s happened too, for real).

If that storyline sounds familiar to some longtime tvnewsers, that’s by design. “Operation Genoa” is based on real events that engulfed CNN in 1998. Recall, Operation Tailwind.

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Jane Fonda: ‘Newsroom’ Character ‘Rupert Murdoch that’s been marinated in a little Ted Turner’

Actress Jane Fonda is a guest on tomorrow’s edition of “Katie,” and among other things she talks to Katie Couric about her character on the HBO series “The Newsroom.” Fonda plays Leona Lansing, the CEO of Atlantis World Media, the parent company of Atlantis Cable News. Fonda, of course, was once married to Ted Turner, the founder of CNN.

WATCH:

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Will a TV Show About the News be More Compelling Than the Real Thing?

I admire Aaron Sorkin, but he gives me a headache. By the time his characters finish a monologue, I’m ready for a nap.

Sorkin’s latest work, “The Newsroom,” which debuts Sunday on HBO, is no exception. In the pilot’s opening scene, set at a J-school panel, cable newsman Will McAvoy delivers a breathless tirade that, while eloquent, lasts longer than most network sitcoms.

In an homage to Paddy Chayefsky’s “Network,” McAvoy, played by Jeff Daniels, explodes when the moderator goads him into answering a student question about why America is the greatest country on earth. It’s not, he says, and here’s why.

Citing reams of statistics that someone in his line of work could not possibly know – another Sorkin trademark — McAvoy ends on a hopeful note. The speech will change the direction of his career from a bland ‘Jay Leno’ to a take-no-prisoners anchor of the Old School, like Murrow, Cronkite and Brinkley.

Images of those very men are in “Newsroom’s” opening montage, along with those of Dan Rather and legendary producer Don Hewitt. They are Sorkin’s heroes, he says. To that end, the underlying message of “Newsroom” is that it’s not too late to create a civil, intelligent newscast they would have been proud of.

News junkies will not be able to resist this show, despite the fact that some of the plotlines are ridiculous and that Sorkin writes like he’s getting paid by the word. Programs about the TV news business are rare. The last good one, Sorkin’s “Sports Night,” ended 12 years ago.

Sorkin reportedly based “Sports Night” on Keith Olbermann, but he’s denied that Olbermann was his muse for McAvoy.

Please. McAvoy is wicked smart, totally self-involved, highly temperamental and loathed by his staff. “I’m not the easiest guy to work for,” he tells his boss, Charlie Skinner (Sam Waterston), news division president at fictional network ACN. Skinner has a short fuse and drinks a lot.

It pains me to say this, but Waterston, one of my favorite actors, is a tad old for the role. He punches out his lines like every breath will be his last. Daniels, on the other hand, is in his element,

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Introducing ‘Atlantis Cable News,’ The Cable News Channel On Aaron Sorkin’s ‘The Newsroom’

Say hello to “Atlantis Cable News,” or “ACN” for short.

ACN is the fictional cable news channel at the heart of Aaron Sorkin‘s upcoming HBO drama “The Newsroom,” slated to debut this Summer.

A source close to the show tells TVNewser that HBO is leaning towards launching the series on Sunday, June 24th, most likely after vampire drama “True Blood.”

Atlantis Cable News exists in Sorkin’s universe as part of a media conglomerate, Atlantis World Media, led by CEO Leona Lansing, played by Jane Fonda.

The program may exist in Sorkin’s universe, but that universe shares many similarities with our own. When “The Newsroom” debuts, episodes will focus around actual recent news events. The original pilot script for the program (you can read the first page here) was about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, and one episode currently in development is about the death of Osama bin Laden, our source says.

Sorkin’s original script had the main character Will McCallister (Jeff Daniels) host his program “News Night” at a network called “UBS,” an overt reference to the classic film “Network” which was set at a channel with the same name. Sorkin and HBO have decided to move away from that homage for when the program finally launches.

We are told that one of the reasons for the change from UBS to ACN is the ability to “own,” the name, and create accompanying materials like merchandise and websites.

ACN may be fictional, but it will have a very real presence on the Web, according to someone close to the production. HBO has already secured atlantiscablenews.com and www.atantisworldmedia.com, and is expected to build out pages on both websites. Right now a visit to www.atlantiscablenews.com reveals a blank page, except for the words “I don’t think you should be looking at this page,” but that will change later this year.

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Jane Fonda Joining Sorkin’s HBO Series ‘Newsroom’

HBO has cast Jane Fonda in its upcoming cable news series from Aaron Sorkin, currently titled “The Newsroom.”

According to TV Line’s Michael Ausiello, Fonda “will play Leona Lansing, the CEO of cable news network’s parent company. She’s a titan and her corporate concerns often conflict with the reporting of the news outlet she owns.”

As Ausiello notes, Fonda’s character sounds suspiciously like CNN founder Ted Turner, someone she would know a thing or two about. Fonda was married to Turner from 1991-2001.

Amanpour, Crowley, Maddow Honored

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and Candy Crowley and MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow are among the honorees of the Women’s Media Center’s first annual WMC Media Awards.

The ceremony will be held June 17 at the Sackler Foundation in New York. WMC was founded in 2005 by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan.

More in the press release after the jump..

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The Ticker: O’Brien, Claman, Fonda…

> CNN’s Soledad O’Brien reports for the one-hour documentary, “CNN Presents: One Crime at a Time,” premiering Saturday November 22 at 8pmET. The special looks at the “crime, corruption and bureaucracy” of New Orleans.

> FBN anchor Liz Claman appeared today at the ContentNext’s Future of Business Media conference. She spoke on a panel about “Finance as Breaking News.”

> Jane Fonda was at the 60 Minutes offices today in New York. She talked to Morley Safer for an upcoming segment on the CBS News show.