13 January 2014 3:22 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

Is HBO cleaning house, and perhaps sweeping away dead or underperforming weight? Just one week after the cable network announced the upcoming fifth season of “Boardwalk Empire” would be its last—news which surprised many of its fans—HBO announced that Aaron Sorkin’s troubled drama “The Newsroom” would also end (read: be canceled, gently) after its upcoming final season.The bulletin about “The Newsroom” is perhaps not a total surprise given that the show was never fully embraced by either audiences or critics. In fact, the latter were harsh toward the show and its vacillating tone of comedy and drama, though the series picked up Emmys nonethless. “The Newsroom” seemed to pick up critical notices in season two, but ratings never improved significantly and it appears that HBO is cutting out the fat and focusing on proven winners; “Boardwalk Empire” finished one of its finest seasons, but ratings have been flat at best. »

- Edward Davis

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Aaron Sorkin
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