We Attend Paleyfest 2013 with Piers Morgan & Cast of The Newsroom

By Steve VanWinkle | HBO Series: The Newsroom | Mar 5, 2013

The 30th anniversary of the Paleyfest held by the Paley Center for Media in Los Angeles kicked off Friday, March 1st. Paleyfest is an annual event held for two weeks, and it brings a lot of the actors and producers of some of television’s biggest shows to a live audience. The audience usually get treated with new, yet to be seen episodes or clips, and a live interaction with their favorite stars. I had the honor of attending three of the shows at Paleyfest; Walking Dead, Arrow and The Newsroom. I have been to past Paleyfest events and have become very fond of this organization. I have come to the conclusion that The Newsroom panel was by far one of the best. If you did not or could not be there do not worry, they event was sponsored by Hulu Plus and if you have an account you can watch the entire panel there.

A Conversation With the Cast and Crew of Newsroom (Hulu Plus)

2013 03 03 09.23.55 300x200The actors on the panel included all your favorites from The Newsroom cast, including Neal (Dev Patel), Don (Thomas Sadoski), Maggie (Alison Pill), Jim (John Gallagher Jr), Charlie (Sam Waterston), Mackenzie (Emily Mortimer), Will (Jeff Daniels), and Sloan (Olivia Munn). The panel also included the very talented and hardworking executive producer Alan Poul and creator Aaron Sorkin. The night was mediated by Piers Morgan. Who, by my opinion, was desperately trying to compare himself to Will McAvoy and talked almost as much about The Newsroom as he did about his own news show. There was even a twilight zone moment where Aaron was asking Piers about his show. I forgot what panel I got tickets for, I thought this was The Newsroom.

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Everyone on the panel was smart, charming, funny and informative. I think I came out of this with a bigger sense of pride that their will be more smart-entertaining television. With the world craving dumbed down shows like Honey boo boo and the late Jersey Shore, it is surprising I can still hold that opinion. Aaron Sorkin has the power to make you feel smarter just for watching his show. It is very evident that smarter people are drawn to The Newsroom. I base this solely on types of questions asked from the audience; there could be some selective biases in the test. If you have time to watch the entire show on Hulu Plus and compare that to the types of questions asked during Walking Dead from two nights before, there is a stark contrast. Even the audiences attempt of humor was brilliant. At one point a women in the front has a chance to ask a question. and as if I was re-watching the first episode she asks, “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” A loud roar of laughter and applause then people nearby held up hand drawn signs with, “It’s not, but it could be”. Aaron and others on the panel gave the little act a standing ovation.

Everyone on the panel was smart, charming, funny and informative. I think I came out of this with a bigger sense of pride that their will be more smart-entertaining television. With the world craving dumbed down shows like Honey boo boo and the late Jersey Shore, it is surprising I can still hold that opinion. Aaron Sorkin has the power to make you feel smarter just for watching his show. It is very evident that smarter people are drawn to The Newsroom. I base this solely on types of questions asked from the audience; there could be some selective biases in the test. If you have time to watch the entire show on Hulu Plus and compare that to the types of questions asked during Walking Dead from two nights before, there is a stark contrast. Even the audiences attempt of humor was brilliant. At one point a women in the front has a chance to ask a question, and as if I was re-watching the first episode she asks, “Why is America the greatest country in the world?” A loud roar of laughter and applause then people nearby held up hand drawn signs with, “It’s not, but it could be”. Aaron and others on the panel gave the little act a standing ovation.

2013 03 03 20.52.13 300x225There was one person I was probably most impressed with by the end of the night, and they totally turned my impression of them around, Olivia Munn. For the longest time I never really cared that much about her. She was very beautiful and she is funny, example Attack of the Show, but so are a lot of other women on television. I felt like she was garnishing too much attention on being the “funny-hot-girl” that I gave her none of my attention. Now I understand why so many people like her. She is deeply devoted to her fans. So much so that when Piers Morgan asked her a question from twitter, she knew the person who asked it based solely on a wacky twitter handle. But that was not the only thing… Famously at this Paleyfest event, once the Panel is over the audience rushes the stage and desperately scream for pictures and autographs. In all the panels I have attended nobody stayed as long as Olivia Munn. She signed every, book, pamphlet, ticket, napkin that was held out to her. She took a picture with every person who wanted one, and even a second if it didn’t come out good. She shook hands and had brief conversations with anyone. She is the humblest person on television I have had the honor of meeting, strike that, the humblest person I have ever met.

All in all it was an amazing evening and I could not be more thrilled for The Newsroom to come back to television.

Thanks for filing that report, Steve!

We also reported on some of the other quotes that went down at Paleyfest here.


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  • Darene

    I crave intelligent television and The Newsroom seems to satisfy my needs. i wish Will was a real person. The American tv audience needs someone who enlighten and educate them as Will does on the show. American tv in dumping down the viewers. Maybe that is the point. If you can keep the people poor and uneducated and afraid, you can do anything.

  • http://hbowatch.com/ Jacob Klein

    Really awesome that you got to see this, man!
    Thanks for reporting. Really jealous that you were that close to Olivia Munn.





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