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MacAlright. To give us a crash course in how best to exploit this tragedy and to erase all boundaries of what should be used as entertainment, I've elicited the help of a master of the dark arts
DonI understand I'm needed?

The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn is the 8th episode of Season 1 on HBO series The Newsroom.


The ratings for News Night are in freefall after it blows off a pair of top stories. It forces Will McAvoy and MacKenzie McHale to find a way to bring enough viewers back to justify ACN's quest to air a Republican debate. Will considers writers for an all-access profile, Sloan is upset by the lack of coverage of an emerging big financial story and Charlie learns the identity of NSA employee 'Late for Dinner'. Takes place between Friday, May 27, 2011 and Wednesday, June 1, 2011.


Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy
Emily Mortimer as MacKenzie McHale
John Gallagher, Jr. as Jim Harper
Alison Pill as Maggie Jordan
Thomas Sadoski as Don Keefer
Dev Patel as Neal Sampat
Olivia Munn as Sloan Sabbith
and Sam Waterston as Charlie Skinner

Guest starring

Chris Messina as Reese Lansing
David Krumholtz as Dr. Jack Habib
Terry Crews as Lonny Church
Paul Schneider as Brian Brenner
Stephen McKinley Henderson as Solomon Hancock
Adina Porter as Kendra James
Chris Chalk as Gary Cooper
and Jane Fonda as Leona Lansing


Margaret Judson as Tess Westin
Wynn Everett as Tamara Hart
Thomas Matthews as Martin Smallworth
John F. Carpenter as Herb Wilson
Trieu Tran as Joey Phan
Charlie Weirauch as Jake Watson
Alison Becker as Sandy Whiddles
Martin Moran as Ezra Schneider
Chasty Ballesteros as Tea
Reggie De Leon as Karaoke Singer #1
Yutopia Essex as Karaoke Singer #2



Opening credits

  1. Francine Maisler &
  2. Nancy Perkins - Casting
  3. Jeff Schoen - Production Designer
  4. Rob Seidenglanz - Editor
  5. Todd McMullen - Director of Photography
  6. Alex Wurman - Music
  7. Thomas Newman - Main title theme
  8. Lauren Lohman - Co-producer
  9. Eli Bush - Co-producer
  10. Dauri Chase - Co-producer
  11. Christine Larson-Nitzsche - Co-producer
  12. Paul Redford - Co-Executive Producer
  13. Greg Mottola - Co-Executive Producer
  14. Denis Biggs - Co-Executive Producer
  15. Aaron Sorkin - Creator
  16. Aaron Sorkin - Writer
  17. Lesli Linka Glatter - Director

Closing credits

  1. Alan Poul - Executive Producer
  2. Scott Rudin - Executive Producer
  3. Aaron Sorkin - Executive Producer
  4. Sarah Rath - Associate Producer
  5. Christine Larson-Nitzsche - Unit Production Manager
  6. Kenneth B. Roth - First Assistant Director
  7. Zach Hunt - Second Assistant Director
  8. Julie Camino - Production Supervisor
  9. Hope Hanafin - Costume Designer
  10. David Handelman - Story Editor
  11. Ian Reichbach - Story Editor
  12. Brendan Fehily - Staff Writer
  13. Cinque Henderson - Staff Writer
  14. Amy Rice - Staff Writer
  15. Gideon Yago - Staff Writer
  16. Evyen J. Klean - Music Supervisor

Allusions and Outside References[]


  • The episode drew 1.84 million US viewers when it was first broadcast by HBO.
  • First appearances of Brian Brenner and Solomon Hancock (first seen, voice heard in earlier episodes)



The Newsroom
#101 "We Just Decided To" #106 "Bullies"
#102 "News Night 2.0" #107 "5/1"
#103 "The 112th Congress" #108 "The Blackout Part I: Tragedy Porn"
#104 "I'll Try to Fix You" #109 "The Blackout Part II: Mock Debate"
#105 "Amen" #110 "The Greater Fool"