Well, if you've been wondering about what those sketches mapped out by Matt Albie, Harriet Hayes and others might look like, the Employee of the Month sketch comedy troupe in Los Angeles is trying to provide a theoretical glimpse. They've taken the snippets of "Crazy Christians," "Nancy Grace" and others from the fictional show and expanded them to full length form. Check out "Employee of the Month Celebrates The Comedy of Studio 60" starting Friday the 17th.
If any of our LA readers go see this be sure to send in reports.
Here's a quote from Sorkin that is interesting, especially since it addresses something that is often talked about here in our comments section:
An NBC spokesman says that not only is the show not canceled, it is actually profitable, and last week's ratings were up from the week before. The network likes the show, and they are going over the ratings numbers, but it looks like the show would be moved to a different time slot instead of just canceled outright.
One thing the article says that I don't agree with is this: if Friday Night Lights got great ratings last night (haven't seen the numbers yet), that could spell trouble for Studio 60. But that's not true. CSI: Miami was a repeat last night, so you would expect whatever NBC had in the time slot to do well, or better. Though if the numbers aren't great...now that would be interesting, and might prove it's a time slot thing and not the show itself.
[via TV Tattle]
Update: Friday Night Lights got its best ratings yet.
I thought it was just me.
I've tried to get into Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip like I did with Aaron Sorkin's two other network creations . . . The West Wing and Sports Night. I wanted to like Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford in their roles as the saviors of a long-running, comedy sketch show. I really did. But, there's just something missing; a last piece of the puzzle that would make this show very enjoyable. However, I thought I was the only one who felt that way.
Fortunately, I'm not. Not only do many of you feel the same way, but we also have Robert Bianco, USA Today's television critic, in our court as well.
(S01E04) Unlike many people, I like the Harriet Hayes character. And I like the way that Sarah Paulson is playing her. It's a distinctive performance: very precise in her delivery, graceful, even when she's yelling about something or irritated. And she's a very religious person, but one that's on a late night show doing satire. I don't see anything wrong with what she's doing or how she's written. I actually find the way she acts really believable. I know people like Harriet Hayes.
Having said that, I didn't really enjoy the opening scene of this show. I thought that (for the most part) Matt and Harriet had made up an episode or two ago. And I thought the argument (Matt's upset that Harriet gets a signed bat from a pitcher) was a little too forced, and I thought the Matt and Harriet love plot was going to take over the entire show. But then something happened in this episode, around the 19 minute mark, like something snapped and the episode started to soar, started to click, and showed how dramatic the backstage goings on at a TV show can be.
When I was a struggling writer who lived from paycheck to paycheck (when I had a paycheck), I signed up to do a lot of focus groups. They were easy, they paid $75, and all you had to do was sit around for an hour or two with a bunch of other people and talk about a product or a service. The thing is, and anyone who has gone to a focus group will admit this if they're being honest, is that they are filled with liars. Including me. They talk to you on the phone and ask you a bunch of questions about the focus group they're having, to see if they need you. Do you like Austrailian wine? Sure, I drink it all the time! Are you allergic to anything? Yup, I'm allergic to peanuts! Do you have kids? Oh yeah, I have five!
Anything for the $75.
- Best Week Ever has video of Clay Aiken's appearance on Good Morning America today.
- Another great post from Ken Levine, this time shattering the dreams of men everywhere (including me).
- Radar asks about the new CW: does the merger of two mediocre networks add up to one good one?
- I didn't catch this during the debut, but Studio 60 creators Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme kept a live blog the other night (read from bottom to top, of course). Funny cameo from Nate Cordrry. (And check out Defaker.)
(S01E01) OK, I'm going to make a bold statement here, so I hope you're sitting down. I assume you are because you're in front of a computer, but if you're standing for some reason, please, sit down.
All set? OK, here goes: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is the best new show of the fall.
And I say that even though I haven't yet seen the other show being touted as the best new show, ABC's The Nine. The tape is sitting to the left of me as I type this, so I'll be watching it soon (thanks ABC for sending me a tape instead of a DVD. What, is this 1999?). But I can't imagine that the show has the combination that Studio 60 has after two episodes. One is the obvious quality right out of the gate (creator, writer, director, cast, etc), and the other is this incredible, palpable feeling you get watching it that, even though everything doesn't work across the board, you know it could get even better. That the strong moments far, far outweigh the bad moments.
And it's straight out entertaining as hell.
I'll have a full review of the Studio 60 pilot after the show premieres this Monday (NBC, 10pm), but here's a sneak peek at what you can expect, and my first impressions.
I haven't seen all of the pilots yet. I've seen many of them, and Studio 60 stands so far above them it's almost like they have to say, "this isn't television, it's Studio 60," but HBO already snagged that tag line. Besides, there's nothing else on TV that's more TV than Studio 60, since it's set in the world of television.
Interesting piece over at The New York Times about the highly-anticipated new NBC show Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. There's been a lot of talk about how this is creator/writer Aaron Sorkin's most personal work yet, because it features a writer who had a relapse into cocaine use (Bradley Whitford), a former flame of Perry's character who is a devout Christian (Sorkin dated The West Wing's Kristin Chenoweth), and even features a powerful female network exec played by Amanda Peet (Jamie Tarses was an exec at both ABC and NBC at one point).
And Sorkin says...it's true! But he goes on to say that the truth is only in the basic setup of the show and some of the characters, not the actual episodes that follow. Hmmm...
The article also explains how Sorkin and his staff write each show, what the set is like (it's bigger than the West Wing set), how the fictional show-within-a-show comedy sketches will be incorporated into the plots, and what Sorkin is working on next.
(By the way, AOL has the exclusive premiere of Studio 60 and other NBC shows on its web site this week, and we'll have full coverage of the show, including an early review, coming soon. The show premieres Monday, September 18 at 10pm.)
By the time this post goes out the pilot episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip may have already been removed from the YouTube. However, you can't blame me for trying to inform the public, can you?
Before NBC previews Studio 60 to Netflix subscribers starting on August 5th you can view the pilot on YouTube for free. Of course, due to certain restrictions on the site, the pilot is split up into five parts. It looks like the widescreen version of the episode, but it seems to be smushed together to fit in the 4:3 box of the site.
I took a quick look at some of the scenes and it looks like it picks up steam about halfway through the show. Matthew Perry's character seems to have a bit of Chandler left over from his days on Friends. And, it seems to have all of the frantic energy that is trademark of an Aaron Sorkin production.
I'm only linking to the first part of the pilot here, boys and girls. You'll need to click under the 'Explore More Videos' section of the page to see all five parts.
[Thanks to Eugene for the tip]
Well, I know what I'm giving myself for Christmas this year.
Warner will release The West Wing: The Complete Series on DVD November 7. The set will include every single episode of the series (154 episodes) on 45 discs. The set will contain the same sets as the individual sets already released, but will also include a copy of the pilot script, including a special intro by creator/head writer Aaron Sorkin. The set will sell for around $300.
The set for the last season will also be released that day, separately, with bonus materials.
NATE [To Rob] Way to put on 40 pounds.
Oh, how I love the Corddry brothers. The most recent issue of Entertainment Weekly contains an interview with Rob and Nate (Nate and Rob). They discuss their comedy beginnings and how it was to have careers cross paths at The Daily Show. It's a rather brief read, but it offers some interesting information. For example, did you know Nate was taught stand-up by The Daily Show's Lewis Black?
Buy the issue on newsstands now (so you can bask in the full glory of the brothers' wonderful picture), or read the interview online and cope with a tiny version of the pic.
While Dan deals with that, Casey deals with a giant fly that is buzzing around the studio. Trouble is, no one else has seen the fly and they think Casey is going loony, which has to be frustrating when you not only know the fly exists but you have to deal with the woman you like dating some Gordon.
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