<p>Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Jeff Daniels as Will McAvoy in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

'The Newsroom' star Jeff Daniels on cable news, movies vs. TV, and working with Aaron Sorkin

What made the movie veteran want to do a series for the first time?
Jeff Daniels hasn't led a predictable career. He's done blockbusters ("Speed") and indies ("The Squid and the Whale"), has done highbrow ("The Purple Rose of Cairo") and lowbrow ("Dumb & Dumber"), mature Oscar winners ("Terms of Endearment")  and unapologetic kiddie fare ("101 Dalmations"). The one thing he hasn’t done much of until now is television. He did a few episodic guest appearances as a new actor, did a voice cameo on "Frasier" once, and has done a couple of historical TV-movie and miniseries projects for cable, but has largely kept himself on the big screen.
 
That changes on Sunday night at 10 on HBO, when Daniels takes the lead role in Aaron Sorkin's new drama "The Newsroom."He plays Will McAvoy, a cable news anchor whose reputation is built on not expressing an opinion or offending anyone — until one day he just can't take it anymore and explodes with a long, loud and very public monologue about everything that's gone wrong with America and the news media that covers it. After that, Will is encouraged by new producer (and ex-girlfriend) Mackenzie MacHale (Emily Mortimer) to take a more substantive, opinionated take on the news, ratings be damned.
 
I spoke with Daniels about what his own take on the news media, the adjustments that come with doing television, and what it was like to be a rookie actor standing on a cliff in Hawaii with Jack Lord.
 
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<p>&quot;Wilfred&quot;&nbsp;stars Jason Gann and Elijah Wood.</p>

"Wilfred" stars Jason Gann and Elijah Wood.

Credit: FX

Reminder: 'Wilfred' is back tonight at 10:30

FX is airing a 'sneak preview' of the man-and-dog comedy a week before other Thursday premieres

I had no plans to write anything in advance of the return of FX's "Wilfred" tonight at 10:30, since I already have a review of the first episode ready to go at 11. But then I realized that, like me, many of you may be surprised to realize that A)FX is airing a new "Wilfred" episode a week before its other heavily-promoted premieres ("Anger Management," "Louie," Russell Brand's talk show), and B)FX is airing this new episode outside of the usual 10 p.m. "Wilfred" timeslot. 

I go into some speculation as to why that is in my review of the episode — which FX is referring to as a "sneak preview," even though, story-wise, it picks up after the events of last season's finale, and before the events of next week's episode — but for those of you who don't follow me on Twitter but like the show, consider this a public service to reduce the number of "But I didn't know it was back yet!" comments tonight.

Here's a trailer for this "sneak preview" — which I've been reminded is already up on Hulu (but please refrain from any plot-specific comments until tonight's post goes up) — including a glimpse of guest star Robin Williams:

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<p>Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in &quot;Game of Thrones.&quot;</p>

Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in "Game of Thrones."

Credit: HBO

If I had an Emmy ballot 2012: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

Performances from 'Game of Thrones,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'Mad Men' and more

Time for part 4 of our look at the Emmy nominations process for 2012. As always, Fienberg and I are going to approach things in two ways. I'll pretend that I have an Emmy ballot and make my picks for the six actors or shows I would put on my ballot, while Dan will rank the potential nominees from most likely to least. And, as always, we are working off of the actual Emmy ballot, so we can't consider people who didn't submit themselves, nor can we reassign anyone to a more suitable or easier category.

Having covered the drama supporting actors last time, we move onto Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. Dan's predictions are here, and my preferences are coming right up...

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<p>The late, great Fatty Arbuckle was part of CBS' fantastic &quot;Dancing on the Stars&quot;&nbsp;press release.</p>

The late, great Fatty Arbuckle was part of CBS' fantastic "Dancing on the Stars" press release.

Outstanding Achievement in Fake Press Releases: CBS announces 'Dancing on the Stars'

The network lost the legal battle over ABC's 'Glass House,' but it won the comedy war

I've been largely ignoring the legal battle between CBS and ABC over the premiere of the latter network's reality show "The Glass House," which the former network insists is a complete rip-off of "Big Brother," and sued to keep it off the air. After all, every successful TV show that's ever existed has been cloned a half dozen times over, and why should we get up in arms over "Big Brother," of all the shows being imitated? 

CBS lost the legal battle, but won the war when "Glass House" tanked in its Monday premiere, and now they've won the battle for the last — and certainly best — word with this press release, a marvel of snark and cattiness. Many press releases are easy to laugh at; this is one of the few I've ever seen that I heartily laughed with: 

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<p>Bruce Campbell from &quot;Burn Notice.&quot;</p>

Bruce Campbell from "Burn Notice."

Credit: USA

HitFix First Look: Bruce Campbell meets John C. McGinley on 'Burn Notice'

How will Sam Axe and Dr. Cox get along?

I'm not doing weekly coverage of "Burn Noticethis season, but I'm still watching and enjoying the show, and particularly still enjoying the interplay between the actors. With Fi off in prison for now that puts even more of an emphasis on Bruce Campbell and how Sam and Mike (and Sam and Jesse) get along, so what better man to introduce a clip from tomorrow night's episode than Campbell himself? 

Of particular interest to me was the appearance of guest star John C. McGinley, playing Michael's new CIA handler. I haven't seen much of McGinley since "Scrubs" ended — outside of a couple of State Farm commercials that I assume he did to pay the bills — and I'm glad to have the former Dr. Cox back on my TV and interacting with the likes of Campbell and Donovan. 

As usual, "Burn Notice" airs Thursday night at 9 on USA.

<p>Thomas Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in &quot;The Newsroom.&quot;</p>

Thomas Sadoski, Sam Waterston and Jeff Daniels in "The Newsroom."

Credit: HBO

Review: Aaron Sorkin's 'The Newsroom' too sanctimonious for its own good

HitFix
C
Readers
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HBO drama at least features strong performances by Jeff Daniels and company
Having seen four different television series created by Aaron Sorkin — "Sports Night," "The West Wing," "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," and now "The Newsroom," a new HBO drama that premieres Sunday night at 10 — I feel I understand some of the man's core beliefs and guiding creative principles:
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<p>Ray Romano, seen here on &quot;Men of a Certain Age,&quot;&nbsp;will be doing a guest arc on &quot;Parenthood.&quot;</p>

Ray Romano, seen here on "Men of a Certain Age," will be doing a guest arc on "Parenthood."

Credit: NBC

Ray Romano to do 'Parenthood' guest arc

Can the sitcom star woo Lauren Graham away from Jason Ritter?

I was in the middle of writing a paragraph for an upcoming story about how "Parenthood" requires versatile actors to bridge the gap between its dramatic moments and its comic ones, and was citing Lauren Graham as an example of a castmember who exemplifies that versatility. And as I was writing it, news broke that she's about to get a chance to work opposite another actor who can work both silly and dark.

Ray Romano will do a guest arc in the NBC drama's upcoming fourth season, playing a photographer who befriends Graham's Sarah Braverman and complicates her relationship with Jason Ritter's Mark Cyr. When the third season ended, Sarah had accepted Mark's marriage proposal, but things in real life were more ambiguous because Ritter was starring in a medical drama pilot for "Parenthood" producer Jason Katims. That show wasn't picked up, but Sarah can apparently never have smooth sailing in her love life. (And often winds up next to men who aren't close to her in age: Romano's 10 years older, and Ritter 13 years younger.)

Romano is, of course, best known for starring in "Everybody Loves Raymond," but through two seasons of TNT's brilliant-but-canceled "Men of a Certain Age," he got to demonstrate some impressive (and, to many viewers, surprising) dramatic chops playing a self-destructive gambling addict, while still deftly handling any jokes thrown his way. I'm not sure I need more Sarah romantic drama, but I love the idea of Romano being part of a show like "Parenthood" for a while.

<p>Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop in &quot;Bunheads.&quot;</p>

Sutton Foster and Kelly Bishop in "Bunheads."

Credit: ABC Family

Review: 'Bunheads' - 'For Fanny'

Fanny plans a memorial, the girls play hooky, and Michelle finds a reason to stay

A review of last night's "Bunheads" coming up just as soon as I have a coupon to hire the Intrepid...

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<p>&quot;The Newsroom&quot;&nbsp;creator Aaron Sorkin.</p>

"The Newsroom" creator Aaron Sorkin.

Credit: HBO

'The Newsroom' creator Aaron Sorkin on Keith Olbermann and his return to TV

Why does the 'West Wing' vet want to tell stories set in the real world this time?

Aaron Sorkin loves television.

Though his career began as a playwright, though he has had a lot of success in writing for movies (including an Oscar for "The Social Network," a nominated script for "Moneyball" and an upcoming job writing a Steve Jobs biography), he keeps coming back to television — to write both for and about it.
 
His first series was the ABC dramedy "Sports Night," about a fictional rival to ESPN, the lives of the staff and what went into putting together a broadcast every night. His biggest TV hit, "The West Wing," wasn't about television — was, in fact, designed to show you the moments in between the moments that political junkies see on television — but his follow-up series, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," went back to the "Sports Night" model as it depicted life behind the scenes of a long-running sketch comedy show.
 
"Studio 60" suffered from a variety of problems and was gone after only a season, but Sorkin is once again revisiting his favorite medium and favorite subject matter with "The Newsroom," a new HBO drama that debuts on Sunday at 10 p.m.
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Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 135: 'The Newsroom,' 'Wilfred,' 'The Killing' & more

Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, episode 135: 'The Newsroom,' 'Wilfred,' 'The Killing' & more

Dan and Alan also break down the finales of 'Girls' and 'Veep,' and talk more about 'Buffy'

The

Lots of finale talk on this week's Firewall & Iceberg Podcast, as we break down the recent conclusions of "The Killing," "Girls" (and here's a link to the Allison Williams .gif we discuss during that segment) and "Veep," but before that we have to check in on "Wilfred" season 2, and also spend quite a while discussing our concerns about Aaron Sorkin's "The Newsroom."  Also, after a few weeks of duds, we get another good "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" episode to discuss.

The line-up: 

"Wilfred" (00:01:00 - 00:11:10)
"The Newsroom" (00:11:15 - 00:35:20)
"Veep" finale (00:35:25 - 00:43:00)
"Girls" finale (00:43:00 - 00:57:15)
"Killing" finale (00:57:15 - 01:19:50)
"Buffy" (01:20:10 - 01:30:35)
 
As always, you can subscribe to The Firewall & Iceberg Podcast over at the iTunes Store, where you can also rate us and comment on us. Or you can always follow our RSS Feed, download the MP3 file or stream it on Dan's blog.
 
And as always, feel free to e-mail us questions for the podcast.