'Studio 60': Still kickin' after all these weeks

Flash! Studio 60 is sucking. But exactly how much is it sucking? This is what everyone’s buzzing about. This and THE CULTURE WARS, of course. Oh, and RACE RELATIONS. (Did I miss anything IMPORTANT? If so, please send suggestions on the back of a Crash DVD.)

Fox News (in the person of less-than-oracular Roger Friedman) preemptively announced the show’s cancellation, and got a pop on the wrist from its old adversary, reality. Kevin Reilly, president of the network, says he’s 100% behind the show — that’s probably not exactly true, either, but he’s sure putting his money where his mouth is: Studio 60‘s on every Monday during November sweeps. Meanwhile, as media vultures split hairs and NBC honcho Jeff Zucker decides how many Strindberg references can dance on the pin of his head, YOUR BROTHER IS STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF AFGHANISTAN.

(Sorry. Sometimes I need to throw in some righteous Red State indignation to show you how very "authentic" this blog is.)

The debate: Studio 60 temporarily ceded its timeslot to the also-struggling Friday Night Lights, which pulled down bigger numbers. However, FNL’s18-49’s didn’t hit Sorkinite heights. So the question is: Do you wantfewer, richer viewers, or more of everybody? Gold plating or a solidfoundation? NBC says Studio 60 has a future as long as it stays above a 3 share. (To put this in perspective: A 3 share is what’s left on the kleenex when NCIS blows its nose.)

Me, I’m hoping NBC’stelling the truth, and the show sticks around for more than 16 eps. Myweek feels empty without it. I’ve come to love watching Aaron Sorkinchew with his mouth open. Sometimes, bad art illuminates more than goodart. With Sorkin and Studio 60, the culture wars aren’t so muchlimned as caricatured, and I see, more clearly than ever, "why theyhate us." Don’t give up now, NBC: Don’t cancel this show. Not beforeSarah Paulson does her spot-on impression of Aristophanes hosting Larry King Live in the 9th circle of Dante’s Inferno (written by Studio 60′s one black writer, of whom everyone is VERY PROUD).

PS: How hard is Tina Fey trying to contain herself here? Mmmm, barely concealed contempt. In an age of open contempt, it’s a real breath of fresh air.


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  • Ep Sato

    Studio 60 is still on tv? I guess in the same way that Rick Santorum is still technically in the Senate.
    And this is rhetorical, but wouldn’t FNL pulled more viewers on Tuesday with a fresh episode? Tuesday’s was a rerun of Monday’s, so a lot of folk might have tuned out.

  • Mozz

    Wow, one of the episodes describe how Jordan and Danny wrestle over Budget Cuts… unlike TNT, apparently, NBC doesn’t know drama, cause that has to be the most boring description in the history of episodic television.

  • Oops I didn’t do it

    I really like Studio 60 and was bummed to see that it wasn’t on the lineup yesterday. So I took time out to catch up on Harry Potter in anticipation of the new film. Oh well, it seems intelligent television isn’t what this country wants. (aside from sci-fi and quirky cop dramas – I love CSI and L&O franchise and I hear Battlestar Galactica is kickin’ major . . . oops)

  • tyler

    They need to keep it Heroes then FNL, because…dang.
    And if not that, then just please please please plain keep FNL!

  • mike

    Every hour we get to have Studio 60 on the air is one less hour of one the Law & Orders or Deal or No Deal. Thank you Keven Reilly. This week anyway.

  • Sven

    Tina Fey is just jealous. She couldn’t write at Sorkin’s worst level on her best day. So having to watch a well written (and performed) show like Studio 60 must drive her crazy. She has Alec Baldwin going for her, and nothing else. Poor Alec…

  • lola

    I really *want* to watch FNL but it just looks so depressing. Still, I watched the first episode, and it was done well. I was going to wait for the DVD, but I guess I should sit my a$$ on the couch so that there’ll even be a DVD.
    p.s. Scott, I love your hatred for Studio 60. It’s too funny.

  • Aaron

    The one thing about Studio 60, which I gave up on during its second episode: it pulls in a very upper class audience, an audience that big advertisers like. My parents and their wealthy siblings love the show (even if they’re out of the 18-49 demo) because of how “it asks important questions.” While the audience may be small, it’s pretty targeted, and it’s a lucrative target at that.

  • Ellipsian

    I’m pullin’ for all three shows (“Studio”, “Rock” & “FNL”). I don’t think “Studio” has hit its stride yet and I wanna be there when it does (heck, IT wants to be there when it does). And “Rock” & Fey have brought me more LOL moments this season than almost any other show–which I concede isn’t saying much in this, the Age of Dead Sitcoms, but still. Finally, “FNL” is bringing the good drama just as much as any show this year, which is high praise, coming from a football total non-fan.
    Steady as she goes, NBC–just give ‘em some breathing room.

  • Oscar, BuddyTV

    It’s so cool to hate Studio 60, isn’t it? Just like Crash. Shows that take on issues (subtle or not) are in a no-win situation. Leave it alone and stop trying to be cool by hating Studio 60. There are way worse shows to make fun of out there.

  • claudenorth

    I’m still scratching my head over the praise lavished on STUDIO 60 and 30 ROCK. I haven’t found either one to be “brilliant.” Granted, I tend not to like hour-long dramas (they always seem to drag, as opposed to feature-length films), so that could explain my resistance to STUDIO 60. As far as sitcoms go, I thought that ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT was brilliant, and 30 ROCK is definitely no AD.

  • Doubleh

    I just don’t see why everyone thinks Studio 60 is so bad. I was never a fan of the West Wing so perhaps I’m just not Sorkin worn. I still think the cast is great and I want to know what happens with the Christian comedienne and Matthew Perry’s romance, if Amanda Peet can pull off her new job, and if the new Black writer will be any good.

  • Phil

    I really like STUDIO 60. Yes, its a bit wordy at times, but its also like nothing else on television, regardless of the endless comparisons to 30 ROCK, thats a comedy, where STUDIO is a drama about a comedy sketch show.
    I really hope NBC sticks by STUDIO, but if they wanna try and reach a larger audience then perhaps they should consider more familiar guest artists to perform on the show. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Sting is a legend, but he’d be more likely to attract older folks. I mean for the first time in quite a while, there are plenty of pop/rock songs in Billboard’s top 10. Land an appearance from Snow Patrol, The Fray or the Killers. I’m sure any of these acts would help attribute the ever coveted 18-34 demo. I saw the Fray in concert here Friday night & was stunned to discover the show was sold out for weeks beforehand. If NBC TRULY wants to stick by the show and save it, it doesn’t mean compromising its ethics, it just means using all of the outlets they have available. I respect the highbrow risk of having Sting appear to promote his new album playing the lute, but seriously, did it lure in any more viewers or help his disc on the charts?? NAH, DON’T THINK SO.
    Finally, I’m content with the diversity of gay characters currently populating the network dramas, but really, not one gay actor on STUDIO? It DOES take place in West Hollywood afterall….Just a thought?

  • Laura

    My parents are big Sorkin fans going way back but I always find his work to be talky, boring, and self-important–and I have 2 degrees. Anyway, I pretend that I enjoy the show when I’m around them (Me? I’d rather watch a L&O, House, or Grey’s Anatomy then Studio 60 any day of the week.)but I’ll be glad when NBC ulitmately cancels this show. It’ll be one less hour I will waste my time and my eyes on. I do hope that Matthew Perry finds a another show that is worthy of his talent. He’s still the coolest.

  • Stacey

    But how accurate is that Friday Night Lights rating for Monday? Considering it was against a CSI Miami RERUN. You would think a new product (episode) would get more viewers than a product (episode) already seen at least once. Now if STUDIO had been a new one, against a CSI Miami RERUN… I wonder the result? But anyway, I am glad NBC is standing behind Studio 60 at least for the next little while. And really, why outright cancel before they try a new timeslot. It an excellent show that needs to smooth out some of its kinks. But I love the show, I would miss it!

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