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JUL
19
2 YEARS

HBO's 'The Newsroom' Overhauls Writing Staff for Season 2

Creator Aaron Sorkin has replaced many of the writers on the cable news drama for Season 2.

Newsroom Jeff Daniels Aaron Sorkin Inset - H 2012
Melissa Moseley/HBO; John Russo/HBO
"The Newsroom's" Jeff Daniels and Aaron Sorkin

HBO's The Newsroom is cleaning house for its recently announced second season.

According to HBO, the Aaron Sorkin drama set behind the scenes of a cable news network is replacing about half of its writing staff, though one source close to the show tells The Hollywood Reporter that everyone on the show's writing staff except for Corinne Kinsbury has been let go. News of the shakeup was first reported by The Daily.

STORY: 'The Newsroom's' Aaron Sorkin on Idealism, Keith Olbermann and His Private Screening for the Media Elite

"Every year each show reassesses the needs of its writing staffs. This process is nothing out of the ordinary," HBO said in a statement to THR

Sorkin (The West Wing) has a heavy hand in every episode of the series, with three out of the first four installments credited to him alone. Episode 3 was penned by former MTV News anchor Gideon Yago, who was let go in the purge.

The heavily-hyped series starring Jeff Daniels was expected to be another critical darling from the Oscar-winning Sorkin (The Social Network). But as the reviews began to trickle in in mid-June, it became clear that the drama had fallen short of the critical community's hopes, drawing a metacritic score of 57 out of 100.

Among the more scathing reviews was one in the Wall Street Journal, which said: "It's clear that Mr. Sorkin's main interest in The Newsroom runs to concerns other than characters and storytelling." Similarly negative was a New Yorker piece, which stated that, "The Newsroom treats the audience as though we were extremely stupid."

The Hollywood Reporter's Tim Goodman was more positive, praising what the show delivers: "pure Sorkin," noting that "you can take that any which way you want, depending on your thoughts about Sorkin."

The network renewed Newsroom on July 2. The drama bowed June 24 to 2.1 million viewers -- behind only Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones among HBO's drama launches since 2008.

The Newsroom airs Sundays at 10 p.m. on HBO.