Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Described by some viewers as the Canadian equivalent to Larry David's Curb Your Enthusiasm or the British series The Office, The Newsroom was the brainchild of satirist Ken Finkelman, who also starred as George Findlay, the head of a newsroom in a fictional Toronto TV station. The sort of bottom-feeding shark that gives other bottom-feeding sharks a bad name, Findlay would do literally anything and stoop to any depth imaginable to achieve high ratings and hold on to his cushy job. George's co-workers included the station's terminally stupid anchorman, Jim Walcott (Peter Keleghan), and the disreputable-looking (and acting) trainee Audrey (Tanya Allen), not to mention a variety of neurotic news-segment producers and an ever-changing array of nominal bosses with whom George endlessly argued, and against whom he endlessly conspired. Also, the series featured a number of well-known Canadian personalities, ranging from newspaper columnists to hockey players, appearing as themselves (usually in a less-than-flattering light). Originally planned as a six-part miniseries and filmed in quasi-documentary fashion, the 30-minute The Newsroom made its CBC debut on October 21, 1996. An additional seven episodes were commissioned, the last of which aired on March 31, 1997 (these two "trial" seasons have since been telecast in the U.S. as a single 13-episode season by PBS). At that point, the restless Ken Finkelman moved on to three other series projects, in which the George Findlay character made sporadic appearances. Bowing to public demand in 2002, Finkelman somewhat reluctantly revived The Newsroom in the form of a devastatingly hilarious one-shot special. On January 12, 2004, The Newsroom returned on a weekly basis, with Finkelman and Peter Keleghan repeating their original roles.