D. L. Hughley discusses why Studio 60 failed
Hughley says that despite the pilot being some of the "most well written television" that he had ever seen, the show "became too aware" and started "taking [itself] too seriously". Hughley compared the drama to a "number one draft pick" that "crumpled under the weight of expectations".
I find the interview interesting for three reasons...
1) His analysis is pretty pedestrian in the sense that if you read any blog while the show was running, you'd find about four million comments saying the same thing. What sets it apart, then, is not what he's saying but that he's saying it as someone who was a main cast member on the show. Either he was a) reading the blogs or b) thinking the same thing that everyone else was thinking.
It makes me curious what the prevailing mood on the set was. Did all of the cast members feel that way? When Nathan Corddry got the script where his brother was captured in Iraq, did he put it down and turn to Sarah Paulson and say with a sly smirk, "I thought we signed up for a look at a comedy show, not The West Wing lite" only to have her reply with, "at least you have something interesting to do, the whole world hates me and I'm stuck trying to foist a Holly Hunter impression on Bradley while the love of his life might be dying!"
2) It's amazing to me that this show still holds interest for people so long after it's been dead and buried. What is it that keeps people coming back to Studio 60? Is it the arrogance (perceived or otherwise) of Sorkin? The expense to put the show together? The giant Emmy-heavy cast? The expectations set by the pilot? The unquestionable super-awesomeness that is Busfield? What?
3) The interview was contentious as hell (more so, even, than my interview with Taylor Hicks from a few months back). White interviewer Sean O'Neal kept pressing Hughley as to whether or not he feels bad for perpetuating racial stereotypes on his new show S.O.B. or in his repeated comments regarding the (ahem) attractiveness of the Rutgers Girl's Basketball team. Go ahead and read the last third of it and tell me if it doesn't read like the two of them were talking through very strained smiles.