Sloan Sabbith, played by actress Olivia Munn, is fluent in Japanese. Munn is actually fluent in Japanese, as she spent her childhood living in Tokyo, Tokyo Metropolis, Japan, and graduated college with a minor in Japanese.
It is emphasized that MacKenzie McHale attended Cambridge and not Oxford. In reality, actress Emily Mortimer attended Oxford.
The last episode of the first season of all three of Aaron Sorkin's TV shows (The West Wing (1999), Sports Night (1998), and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip (2006), as well as the series finale of "The Newsroom" (2012) are entitled "What Kind of Day Has It Been?"
In season 3, Equatorial Kundu, the fictional country where 38 deaths occur, is the same fictional West African country used by Aaron Sorkin in the West Wing.
The character "Margaret 'Maggie' Jordan" was based on the real-life Margaret Judson, an MSNBC insider who started out as an NBC Page and worked her way up through the ranks in a real-life network newsroom. Judson was hand picked and eventually cast by Aaron Sorkin for the role of "Tess Westin." Judson also worked with the writing team as a special consultant.
After shooting the first couple of episodes of season 2, with Rosemarie Dewitt as Rebecca, the network's lawyer, Aaron Sorkin decided to rewrite the Genoa storyline and told so to HBO. The network agreed to do it, but clarifying that the season was then nine episodes, not 10. Dewitt was replaced by Marcia Gay Harden due to scheduling problems.
The role of MacKenzie McHale was initially offered to Marisa Tomei, but negotiations fell through.
Leona Lansing, portrayed by Jane Fonda, is a character (CEO of a media conglomerate) not unlike Ted Turner, Fonda's third husband, from 1991-2001. In the first episode in which Fonda's character appears, other characters have a conversation comparing the "Tea Party," circa 2010s, and "leftist radicals," circa 1960s, and one of the names mentioned as one of the leftist radicals is "Hayden," a reference to Tom Hayden, Fonda's second husband, from 1973-1989.
A young John Gallagher Jr. was featured in one episode of Aaron Sorkin's "The West Wing" as a high school boy named Tyler who helps Josh, Toby, and Donna catch up with the Bartlet campaign after they are left behind by the motorcade in Indiana.
The lobby and exterior of the ACN building is not a set; it is the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park (which is in front of HBO Head Office). The building is located on 6th Avenue between 42nd & 43rd streets. In certain scenes, Bryant Park can be spotted in the background.
There was another character in the pilot script that was meant to be in the series, his name was Steve. When Thomas Sadoski came to audition for the character of Don Keefer, Aaron Sorkin decided that Steve was no longer necessary to the plot and Sadoski's character, Don, could take on some of his properties. In the Newsroom panel at PaleyFest, Sorkin said that Sadoski "swallowed a character".
Jeff Daniels won his Leading Actor Emmy Award the night before he started filming Dumb and Dumber To (2014).
Aaron Sorkin has declared himself a fan of The Office and Parks and Recreation several times, and several actors from those shows appeared on The Newsroom, like B.J. Novak, Paul Lieberstein (director and producer on the last season), Natalie Morales, Paul Schneider, Kelen Coleman, and Alison Becker.
In the Newsroom panel at PaleyFest, Aaron Sorkin revealed that the character of Sloan Sabbith was meant to be a smaller character initially, but he made her more relevant to the story.
The cable network ACN is fictional, but many of the news stories being covered in the broadcast are based on actual past news events.
Guest star Grace Gummer says her character graduated from Vassar College. Gummer, in fact, graduated from Vassar in real life, as did her mother, Meryl Streep.
Emily Mortimer appears to be wearing the same necklace in every episode except one.
In addition to having multiple actors from the Office guest star, both shows have a main character named Jim H.
Jeff Daniels appeared on Broadway in God of Carnage where he starred alongside Marcia Gay Harden and Hope Davis, both of whom make guest appearances in the series.
When playing the 'Guess Who' game, the details of Christian Bale arise as the subject of the game. One of the players states "Christian Bale. Batman. English". Christian Bale is in fact Welsh, but born to English parents.
In the episode "5/1" of the first season there are two references to Sorkin's other show "The West Wing." The first is when they say that the crisis is not "a smallpox vial dropped in the middle of Times Square," referencing Josh Lyman when he is saying that the end of the world will be caused by some "test tube [of smallpox] with an eroding rubber cap" rather than a nuclear war. The second is when Will is saying that "we've never really decided how to spell Gaddafi," referencing the Pilot episode of The West Wing when Leo McGarry expresses his frustration at the mispelling of 'Gaddafi' in a newspaper crossword.
In The Newsroom (2012)'s fictional "universe," which Aaron Sorkin has created, ACN stands for Atlantis Cable Network. There is a real life ACN in Canada which provides Internet and telephone services, and there was an ACN cable network in the USA at one time. It was "America's Collectibles Network" and sold everything from knives and watches to cosmetics and jewelry. In 2002, "America's Collectible Network" changed its name to Jewelry Television. Seen in approximately 80 million homes, they still use the ACN name legally and on signage at their broadcast location in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.