Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
There was no shortage of truly great TV shows this decade -- but there was no dearth of really bad TV, either.
From talking babies and singing-and-dancing casino moguls to ill-conceived celebrity ventures into reality programming and scripted fare ... and whatever category you want to put the inexplicably enduring 'According to Jim' in, here are our picks for the worst TV the networks offered up to us in the last 10 years.
As previously reported, Rachel Bilson is also slated for a guest spot on a January episode, but before that, Joanna Garcia will appear on the December 7 episode as a former college buddy of Ted's. Peet isn't necessarily known for her comedic roles – or appearing much on television for that matter, but has recently done both as a guest spot on Comedy Central's 'Important Things With Demetri Martin.' Her last major television stint was in 2006, she played Jordan McDeere on the short lived Aaron Sorkin drama, 'Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.'
I agree with most of the critics that the series took a drop in quality in Season 5. With the departure of Sorkin, the characters began to make decisions that seemed inconsistent with the first four seasons (I'll write more about that in a separate article). Seasons 6 and 7 saw an upswing in quality, mostly due to the change in the whole premise of the show (making it about the Presidential Election rather than the Presidency).
The West Wing was a very deep and intelligent program and probably better than we deserve. Next up: Aaron Sorkin's other television contributions, Sports Night and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
His last show utilizing this concept, Studio 60, didn't fare so well and was cancelled after a single season. However, this program concept would also incorporate the discussion of politics, which Sorkin excels at, as proven in The West Wing. We may have a winner here.
Sorkin is certainly a multi-talented writer. He's written movies and plays as well as television. I believe he can make this sort of program work. I even confess to liking an earlier incarnation of this concept, Al Franken's Lateline.
So what do you think? Do you welcome a return by Sorkin to television or is his reputation overblown?
The premise is the same: Trevor Pierce claims to be Cupid, exiled from Mt. Olympus, and he needs to find true love for 100 couples before he is allowed back home. After Trevor is arrested for one of his stunts and sent to a psychological hospital, singles self-help guru Dr. Claire McCrae is assigned to keep track of him as he makes his way in the outside world. This time around, the show is set in the fast paced and cynical world of New York, complete with all the modern touches of dating in the late '00s (Maybe Cupid will have a Twitter account).
I spoke to the stars of the new Cupid last week. While I was on the phone, I asked Paulson about what happened on her previous series, Studio 60. I got a pretty interesting response...
The success of Slumdog Millionaire and Frost/Nixon recently inspired me to assess the ten best movies about television. TV has been a fertile source of entertainment for filmmakers. The TV turf is also a popular setting for TV shows, and there have been some all-time great shows about the tube. Here are nine that I think warrant special recognition -- in no special order.
1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show
It all started at WJM-TV in Minneapolis. The Mary Tyler Moore Show was the perfect sitcom blend of home and work, and work happened to be the local TV news team. As Mary Richards, the associate producer, Mary Tyler Moore was the single girl America loved because she was real, funny, gorgeous and lovable. At work, the news was mangled nightly by Ted Baxter, the quintessential news reader anchorman who loved every dulcet tone of his voice and had no idea what he was reporting. In perfect irony, when the show came to an end, most everyone at WJM -- Lou Grant, Murray Slaughter, Sue Anne Nivens, Mary -- were fired. Only Ted was spared!
It'll be a single-camera style comedy, telling the story of a veteran, once legendary police detective who has fallen on hard times. He's then paired up with a younger up-and-comer, a straight shooter, played by Malco.
This sounds like a somewhat familiar formula, so what will make or break this project is the chemistry and comic fireworks between the principals.
Well, that's how a lot of actors in Hollywood must be feeling about actor Steven Weber -- "I'll have what he's having!" -- because he's been on a hot streak going from role to role to role, TV series to TV series. The latest is his landing a juicy part on Desperate Housewives.
The former Wings star will be playing Julie's lover, her college professor who's a serial monogamist, having been married three times. Susan, reportedly, is going to freak out about her daughter getting serious with a guy who's old enough to be her father.
This role is being slated for just one episode, so far, but you never know. He could turn out to be Susan's son-in-law down the road.
The network is honoring some iconic names in music as well. Legendary R&B crooner Al Green will receive BET's Lifetime Achievement Award. Celebrated producer / arranger / composer Quincy Jones is set for BET's Humanitarian Award for his work in the Listen Up, a charity which connects youth with music, technology and culture.
Steven Weber's a really good actor, and NBC must like him a lot. He's going to star in a new sitcom for the network called Zip.
The comedy is about a guy named Trip Stringer (only on TV can someone have a name like that) who is broke and lives in Beverly Hills and always tries to come up with get rich quick schemes with the help of friends. Hopefully this won't be another Knights of Prosperity.
I almost didn't want to review this DVD set. Did I really want to go back into those murky waters again and bring up all those old disagreements? But here we go...
Actually, the DVD set for Studio 60 is much like the TV series itself. It starts out brilliantly and then as it goes on it starts to get worse and worse. But then it ends nicely!
Pretty standard packaging, just a regular box containing three plastic holders housing two DVDs each. The artwork on each plastic holder is fairly interesting. Instead of a large pic on the front and the info on the inside, all the episode info is on the front and back of each individual holder, including pics from episodes and promotional pics.
When one of our favorite TV shows goes off the air, it always brings sadness. However, many times, the silver lining in the cancellation is the birth of a spinoff. Sometimes it can be a great thing (Frasier) and sometimes the results can be less than ideal (The Art of Being Nick). Last month's spin-off ideas were so popular, I decided to make this a regular post. Here are some more spinoff ideas that I would love to see.
The Sherwood-Forrest Report
After the retirement of veteran newswoman Murphy Brown, Corky Sherwood-Forrest and her husband Will Forrest become the hosts of a new show on Court TV. Corky is the moderator while Will provides legal expertise along with a rotating team of guest legal scholars (Marcia Cross, Star Jones, Greta Van Susteren).
A Q&A panel at TCA isn't complete unless a star or two is asked about his/her personal life -- either directly or indirectly. Andy Samberg deftly deflected an inquiry about his being associated romantically with ex-SNL host Natalie Portman.
Then, it was on to questions about the show...
Let me take a look at my trusty calendar. Okay, tomorrow I take the kids to the doctor. On Thursday I get that bikini wax. Friday? Well, I do the same think as I do every Friday -- try to take over the world (Snarf!). Now, for next week . . .
Sweet Niblets! Next week (July 19th, to be exact) they announce the nominees for the 59th Emmy awards to honor achievements for what has gone on previously rather than what is going on now. Which is opposite of the Golden Globes or the SAG awards, which honor achievements that are going on both presently and in the past. Wait, let me read that again . . . yep, that makes sense!
So, in preparation for the television wonk's biggest night of the year I have asked the humongous staff over here at TV Squad to give me a hand in picking out who will be the likely nominees and winners in the Best Actor/Actress/Drama/Comedy categories. Of course, your opinions may differ. But, hey, what fun would it be if we picked the same things you did?
What do you do? How do you really stick it to NBC?
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