With all the hype and publicity, there's no way to spin 2.1 million viewers into anything other than a disappointment.
As Deadline points out, "Newsroom" did better than "Luck" and "Treme," which both premiered to 1.1 million viewers, but less than "Game of Thrones," which premiered to 2.1 million and way less than "Boardwalk Empire" which landed 4.8 million. When you consider the star and brand power of creator Aaron Sorkin, this should've been closer to a "Boardwalk Empire" type triumph.
Reviews, though, especially from the very same elite media types "Newsroom" is eager to influence with its message that bias is a good thing, have been mostly embarrassing.
Sorkin has the talent to fix the show's problems and HBO would be smart to give him the time. But will viewers hang in to see if things improve?
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC