HBO renews ‘The Newsroom’ for third and final season

HBO announced that Aaron Sorkin’s “The Newsroom” has finally been renewed for a third season, which will go into production in the spring and air in the fall, and that this will be the show’s final season. This qualifies as a good news, bad news kind of day, though different segments of the show’s audience – some of whom thrill to the Sorkin-y dialogue and/or to his critique of the dire state of American politics and the media that covers the politicians, some of whom (yours truly included) who feel the show magnifies pretty much all of Sorkin’s worst instincts as a dramatist – will disagree on which piece is the good and which is the bad.

“The Newsroom” wasn’t the critical darling or smash hit HBO might have hoped for, but it won some awards (including Jeff Daniels’ stunning Emmy win over Bryan Cranston, Kevin Spacey, et al, back in September), and it put the channel in business with Sorkin, the prolific Emmy and Oscar-winning writer. All accounts of the wait for renewal suggested HBO would be eager to order a new season whenever Sorkin said yes, and that it was a matter of Sorkin both finding a hole in his schedule and deciding whether he still wanted the agita when he could be off writing screenplays.

By ordering only one more season, and by bringing in former “Office” showrunner Paul Lieberstein as an executive producer(*), HBO apparently made things easy enough for Sorkin to return, even though the second season finale sure felt like Sorkin taking care of all family business before he had to walk away. The fall window suggests it’ll be airing after another final HBO drama season, since “Boardwalk Empire” will be concluding then as well.

(*) Jim and Maggie on “The Newsroom” were so clearly modeled on Jim and Pam on “The Office” that it may feel like old home week for Lieberstein.

What does everybody else think? You glad to be getting more “Newsroom,” or would you rather HBO and Sorkin have moved on to other things by now?