Speculative docudrama presented mostly as a realistic news report in the days leading up to a Cold War-turns-hot nuclear exchange. Occasionally the broadcast's interrupted by brief scenes of the journalists' private lives, which are much weaker and betray Looking Glass's TV movie production values. (The shoddy non-diegetic music really breaks the "you are there" illusion, too.) But mostly this is dead serious, faux-professional, muted, and exceptionally bleak.
Experts (including Newt Gingrich, playing himself) pop up to analyze the accelerating string of events, but neither they nor the journalists can affect a single thing. One brave reporter gets a potentially world-changing scoop... but her boss's strict ethics and the lightning-fast news cycle soon render it moot. The overwhelming sensation induced here is one of helplessness in the face of history. The ending's ambiguous, but by then the countdown is over. We know exactly what's coming.