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October 13, 2015

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Looking at the 2006 upfronts with 20/20 hindsight

by Joel Keller, posted May 7th 2007 2:03PM
the nineWe're about a week away from the upfronts, the annual back-patting festivals the broadcast networks hold to introduce their new fall schedules. TV Squad will be ready, providing you, the loyal reader, with coverage of who's in, who's out, and what's new on the five broadcast networks (yes, I'm counting the CW as a full broadcast network, even though it's looking like it'll air mostly reality shows next year).

So, it seems to be a good time to look back at our coverage of last year's upfronts, to see what was considered news, which shows became hits, which shows never aired, and which pilots looked promising but mostly ended up causing each network piles of money, bad press, and misery.

Click on the network name to see to our coverage of that network's 2006 upfront:

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Studio 60's sets are being dismantled

by Joel Keller, posted May 7th 2007 11:40AM
Studio 60If anyone has any glimmer of hope that Studio 60 was coming back, this piece of news should squelch out that glimmer and leave a tiny piece of coal in its place:

According to Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, the show's sets are being dismantled on the Warner Brothers soundstage where it was being shot. So, even though NBC hasn't officially cancelled the show yet, it's a pretty sure bet that the show will be on the "Out" list when the Peacock makes their upfront presentation on May 14. It makes sense; why would WB take down the sets the week before the upfront if it had any hope that the show was coming back?

Anyway, as Bob mentioned, NBC will air the remainder of S60's only season starting on May 24. Here's hoping that Aaron Sorkin's next series does better. Maybe he should go back to the government for material; anyone ready for a show called Department of Energy?

[via Pop Candy]

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Studio 60 returns May 24

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 27th 2007 4:02PM

Studio 60You knew I'd be the one to tell you this news, right?

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip returns to the NBC schedule on May 24, presumably to just run the rest of the episodes they have filmed. Hopefully they knew they were ending early while filming so they can end the show in a good way.

By the way, May 24 is a Thursday. The show will air at 10pm in the slot currently occupied by ER. I wonder what would have happened to the show if it had originally been in this slot, or maybe an hour earlier. Oh well. I guess the best way to think of it now is as a long miniseries, one that will have around 22 episodes and a conclusion.

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Six great depictions of writers on TV

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 10th 2007 11:01AM

Sally, Buddy, and Rob

Welcome to TV Squad Lists (formerly 'The Five'), a feature where each blogger has a chance to list his or her own rundown of things in television that stand out from the rest, both good and bad.

TV usually gets the writing profession wrong. I've never understood why, since shows and characters are written by writers themselves. Maybe they think they have to dumb it down for the general audience. That's why you have writers like Jessica Fletcher, who just sits down at the typewriter and the words come out fine and she mails it off to her publisher. This happens all the time on television. And have you ever noticed that when you hear the writing that a writer character has done on a show it's almost always terrible? Why is that?

After the jump are six writer characters on TV that were done correctly.

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Here's why 30 Rock was renewed and Studio 60 won't be

by Bob Sassone, posted Apr 5th 2007 5:20PM

30 RockAnd please, this isn't a post about "quality" or "that show sucks!"

Actually, it comes down to this: 30 Rock is owned by NBC and Studio 60 is owned by Warner Brothers. That's one of the many interesting bits of info in Lisa de Moraes' Washington Post column. I mean, that has to be the reason.

As de Moraes points out, it can't be because 30 Rock got better ratings than Studio 60, because Studio 60 got better ratings. It can't be because 30 Rock got a higher rating in the all-important 18 to 49 demo, because Studio 60 had higher ratings there, too. And it can't be because 30 Rock gets the upscale viewers that networks and advertisers like, because Studio 60 was just as good if not better there, too. And I don't think it's because Studio 60 is more expensive than 30 Rock, though that might tie into the whole ownership thing.

It is funny to see Kevin Reilly not really talk about Studio 60, a show he was "really behind" and greenlighted for a whole season. The way he talks now, 30 Rock is the centerpiece to NBC's entire future.

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Yes, Studio 60 is still filming

by Bob Sassone, posted Mar 29th 2007 2:24PM

Studio 60...of course, the second part of that headline should probably be "...but it probably won't be renewed."

There have been rumors going around that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had stopped production, but that's not the case. In fact, they just finished filming episode 19 earlier this week, and filming of episode 20 started earlier today. So it looks like they'll film the full 22 for the season, but after that...well, they'll probably burn off the episodes during the summer and the show will not see a second season. That's Ray Richmond's take on it, and I agree with him.

Which is really too bad, because...well, for all the reasons I've mentioned several times here at the site before. And it's too bad that NBC abandoned the show, even though other shows that have premiered since Studio 60 was put on hiatus haven't done any better in the ratings. It would have been really nice to see what the show could have done in another time slot, another night. But I guess we'll have to be happy with a one season DVD set, hopefully with extras.

[via TV Tattle]

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The reason I'm rooting for Studio 60

by Richard Keller, posted Mar 13th 2007 10:32AM

Here's rooting for Matt PerryIf you are avid readers of TV Squad you know that Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is taking a little break. Okay, it may be taking a long break. All right, the next time we see it may be on the Brilliant But Cancelled website! Regardless of whether or not it returns to the NBC schedule (which is should, since it does have a full order) I am still rooting for the show. Not because of Aaron Sorkin, or the subject matter, or even for the walk-and-talks. I am rooting for Studio 60 to succeed due to one cast member . . . Sarah Paulson as Harriet Hayes.

Oh, wait a minute. That's for my 'The reason I'm NOT rooting for Studio 60' post. Who I meant to mention was Matt Perry as Matt Albie. Well, also Bradley Whitford as Danny Tripp, Amanda Peet as Jordan McDeere, D.L. Hughley as Simon Stiles, and pretty much everyone else on the cast except Harriet Hayes. But, mostly I'm rooting for Matt Perry.

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What are rich people watching on television?

by Anna Johns, posted Mar 8th 2007 10:43AM
scrubsImagine this: you're sitting on your leather sofa with a glass of Joseph Phelps 2001 Insignia wine in one hand and a remote control in the other. You look at your 80-inch plasma television. What's on the screen? Scrubs.

A media group analyzed Nielsen ratings by income and determined that affluent American television viewers prefer to watch ABC and NBC. And they don't watch reality television. Instead, the highest-rated television shows among America's wealthier viewers are The Office, 30 Rock, What About Brian, Lost, Friday Night Lights, Desperate Housewives, Grey's Anatomy, and Studio 60. Besides DH and Grey's, those are all shows that receive mediocre ratings.

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A baby girl for Studio 60's Amanda Peet

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 24th 2007 10:04AM
amanda peetStudio 60 actress Amanda Peet gave birth to a baby girl this week. According to People magazine, the baby's name is Frances Pen. She weighed in at 6 pounds. 10 ounces. The father is Peet's husband and Troy screenwriter, David Benioff.

Amanda first announced her pregnancy on Letterman last fall. Her pregnancy has been written pretty predominantly into the script for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. NBC recently replaced Studio 60 with The Black Donnellys on Monday nights and a return date for Studio 60 is unknown.

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I'm almost sorry to see Studio 60 go... almost.

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 20th 2007 1:32PM

As much as I've complained, bitched, moaned, and complained (yes, I said "complained" twice... that's how much I did it) about Studio 60, I never stopped watching the show.

The reasons why I did so changed over time. For a while, I thought I was "rubbernecking;" I just couldn't resist seeing what train wreck Aaron Sorkin wrote for himself each week, and then couldn't wait to get on to TV Squad and other sites to see the critics and the commenters ravage the episode. Then, for a while, I thought I was watching the show out of the hope that such a talented group of writers and actors could get their act together long enough to run off a streak of quality episodes. Finally, I thought I was watching merely for the fact that there was nothing else to watch on Mondays at 10, and I figured I could just watch it while I wrote my review for How I Met Your Mother.

Turns out it was all three reasons. And, now that The Black Donnellys is taking S60's place starting next week, I'm going to miss the show a little bit.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: 4am Miracle

by Jay Black, posted Feb 20th 2007 7:02AM
Is this the last review? Check back on a date TBD...(S01E16) I knew all week that this might be the last Studio 60 we'd ever see on NBC, so I had two really clever opening lines prepared. If this week's episode was terrible, I'd open up with: "Not with a bang, but with a whimper." If it was really good, I was going to open with, "Not with a whimper, but with a bang!"

I think it's obvious why I get paid the big blogging bucks.

So which line did I decide to go with? The answer after the jump...

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Will tonight be the end of Studio 60?

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 19th 2007 7:00PM

I almost didn't write this, because I'm really just inviting every person who hates me or hates Studio 60 (or the many people who seem to have a part-time job hating me and Studio 60) to just jump into the comments section and tell me why the show was bad and why I'm a terrible, terrible human being for even liking it. But then I decided, what the hell. In fact, let me help you with your comments. Cut and paste as you desire:

1. No one cares about what's going on behind the scenes of a late night comedy show
2. Sarah Paulson isn't funny.
3. The show isn't funny.
4. Sorkin is too preachy!
5. There's no chemistry between Paulson and Perry, and they focus on the Matt/Harriet plot too much.
6. Amanda Peet isn't believable/too young/too pretty to be a network exec.
7. You suck Sassone!

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Aaron Sorkin meet Jay Mohr

by Richard Keller, posted Feb 19th 2007 10:01AM

Did Aaron Sorking take one of Jay Mohr's memories for Studio 60?Something isn't right in Sorkinland. In last Monday's episode, Matt Albie and Andy Mackinaw are feeling nostalgic. In a scene early in the show Andy asks Matt if he remembers his first office . . . the one that was so small that you could write on both walls if you reached your arms out with pencils in your hands. Matt mentioned that was his second office, and that his first was actually the floor in the middle of the hallway.

Now, the reason methinks something is afoot is because I just finished reading Gasping For Airtime, the excellent Jay Mohr autobiography that chronicles his two year stint on Saturday Night Live in the mid-1990's. In this book he talks about the dressing room that he had during his second season on the show. . . the one that was so small that he could take a pencil in each hand, stretch his arms out, and write on the walls. He also mentioned a conversation he had with SNL alum Mike Myers about his first office. It turns out that it was on the floor in the middle of the hallway.


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Tina Fey totally slams Aaron Sorkin

by Anna Johns, posted Feb 14th 2007 11:33AM
tina feyThe gossipers over at New York Daily News have a great tidbit about Tina Fey dissing Aaron Sorkin at a recent event. She reportedly told the crowd at the Writers Guild Awards, "I hear Aaron Sorkin is in Los Angeles wearing the same dress- but longer, and not funny."

As the kids on That '70s Show would say, "Oooooh! BURN! BURN!"

Tina Fey was probably just being funny, but the girl definitely has earned the right to gloat. While 30 Rock and Studio 60 are both behind-the-scenes of sketch comedy shows, Fey's show prevails. 30 Rock is getting funnier and funnier, while Studio 60 is getting worse and worse. I stopped caring about Matt and Harriet in the second episode of Studio 60. And I can't wait to see Alec Baldwin each Thursday night!

[Via TV Tattle]

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Friday Night Slaughter

by Jay Black, posted Feb 13th 2007 12:42AM
Now a great twist would be if _all_ of the character's names were anagrams...(S01E15) Tim Batale = Matt Albie.

Dave I. Bradey = Very Bad Idea.

I watch TV with the closed captioning on (my mother-in-law is deaf so my wife is used to it and besides, it's helping me learn how to read) so it was fairly easy picking up on the anagram.

What wasn't so easy was figuring out what purpose the Tim Batale plot device actually served...

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