Monday, February 19, 2007

The End

In case you have not heard yet, tonights airing of "Studio 60" is likely to be the last. The mid-season replacement has been pushed up to next week. While many have speculated as to whether this is or isn't the end, I think the post immediately below this one speaks to network reasoning more than anything else can.

That said, I intend for this blog to continue on in some incarnation or another. I daresay that this is not the last we shall hear about "60", but I can almost say without reservation that it is not the last we will hear from Aaron Sorkin.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

"Friday Night Slaughter" Slaughtered

In ratings posts I've typically made statements like: "... tied for worst rating yet", or something to that effect. It's silly, but I've found that raw numbers from Nielsen feel obscure and arbitrary for those of us outside of the confines of Los Angeles or Burbank. They are necessary, however, because they are essentially the only numbers that matter in LA and Burbank.

That said, the "60" entry on Wikipedia has a very comprehensive ratings section in which the context of last nights rating of a 4.3/7 could not be any more clear. It was the worst rating thus far of "Studio 60", and, with 6.5 million viewers, had less than half of the audience of the series' premiere.

"Friday Night Slaughter" Reaction

- Brad Templeton discusses why the show's premise doesn't work. (Or how it was a lost opportunity)

- Jay Black thinks Perry was amazing, and that the show actually worked, but he's torn over the significance of Time Batale.

- Roger Catlin analyzes the flashback.

Monday, February 12, 2007

The Case Against Cancellation

Since the recent news of "60"'s open-ended hiatus, there's been little intreptation of the announcement as anything other than an ominous strike in a series of ominous stikes against the show. Therefore, this piece (entitled "Seven Reasons Why It's Not Cancelled") is notable if only for the contrarian approach:

1. network support. A few weeks ago, Sorkin said that, when Studio 60 was picked up for the additional nine episodes in late 2006, now NBC Universal President and CEO Jeff Zucker assured him of the show's future. Zucker told Sorkin that he wasn't focusing on the back nine episodes but more in terms of seasons two and three of the series.

2. Even more network support. At the recent Television Critics Association (TCA) press tour, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly vowed to stick with several quality freshman shows that have struggled to find a large audience -- including Friday Night Lights, 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Quite honestly, the network doesn't have a lot of other options.

The remaining reasons are predictable (the ideal demo, the ambiguity of the ratings #'s, even [gasp!] that NBC wouldn't dare cancel on Aaron Sorkin b/c he is, after all, Aaron Sorkin).
Network support is, in the end, the only route through which "60" can survive but it shouldn't be underestimated. I, like any other fan of the late, great "Arrested Development" can tell you, that critical network support, as well as a lack of other scheduling options to pursue, can buy a under-performing show two extra seasons (and an offer from boutique cable outlets like Showtime).

Obviously, "60" and "Arrested Development" differ greatly, most important of which being that "60" actually has a an average rating of at least 2-3 million more viewers (though declining) than "AD" did when it was cancelled.

"Friday Night Slaughter"

Tonight's new episode preview is brought to us from Studio60-Guide:
Matt (Matthew Perry) remembers how he and Harriet (Sarah Paulson) first met.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

"Harriet Dinner (2)" Ratings

Last night's ep. scored a 4.6/7.

"Harriet Dinner (2)" Reaction

- Wil Wheaton and Bob Sassone of TV Squad have major beef with Jeff Zucker. (Hey if "60" goes down, we're bringing him down, too)

- Liz of Glowy Box tells us: Aaron Sorkin hates black people. (or something like that)

- Jay Black of TV Squad is totally depressed that recent rumors mean that "60" will fade out in a wimper. That said, he loved Danny & Jordan.

- Alan Sepinwall hates that Sorkin doesn't care about what we care about.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Pre-Monday Roundup

- On tomorrow's "Harriet Dinner Part 2" we join Mr. Sorkin's fledgling romantic comedy in progress. Musical guest Natalie Cole will serenade Matt & Harriet at the Catholics in Media awards dinner (which is apparently uber-glamorous) while Danny & Jordan continue to search in vein for a cell phone signal (on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles). [Read more at S60 Guide]

- Tomorrow is the first of seven new episodes to air before the show is replaced in March by a new show - "The Black Donnelys" - but "60" is supposedly returning later in the season at a date yet to be announced. Hmmmm.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

"Harriet Dinner (1)" Ratings

Last night's ep. scored a 4.8 out of either 7 or 9. On a similar note, last week's rating were corrected to a 5.3/8 (originally reported at 4.8) proving that the Nielsen system is neither helpful, nor accurate. Yay for basing success in an entire industry on obscure measurement systems! Anyways, here is the ratings history as compiled at Wikipedia.

"Harriet Dinner (1)" Reaction

Needless to say, there hasn't been much. Stay tuned as new pieces will be added on top.

Gary Susman of Entertainment Weekly concludes that the Tom & Lucy pairing was the only relationship that approached comedy last night. Marv Wolfman hates that Tom had to lie to Lucy.

- Please read Mike Zimmer's review
(on a blog entitled Kegeratornation) if you you're of the mind that many a "60" criticism is over the top. And yes, if he seems insufferable even after he introduces himself as an "Ameteur TV Critic", then be prepared, it gets worse. Much worse.

TV Squad's Jay Black is unable to get past the onslaught of cliche: "Believe me, I used to be a high school teacher, it sucks when kids try to be ironic and post-modern in their poetry and it sucks when supposed TV geniuses try to do it on their television shows."Alex Epstein agrees.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Weekend Roundup

- Read about Monday's ep. "The Harriet Dinner (Part 1)" on Studio 60 Guide.

- The Emmys are considering a "dramedy" category, for which Variety says "60" would be eligible.

- Reuters writes that "60" is a hot commodity - for the music biz. The article says that we'll probably be seeing a lot more artists in the wake of Sting and Corinne Bailey Ray's successes on the show.