Thursday, November 30, 2006

Midseason and more!

A few things. For starters, NBC has announced it's midseason schedule and it looks like there's no plan to move "Studio 60"'s timeslot, something most seem to agree it needs. Obviously "Heroes" is currently NBC's number one scripted show and that would cause one to consider it a great lead-in for whatever reason it hasn't been working. Considering "Friday Night Lights" fared worse in that timeslot than "Studio 60" (although, admittedly, not significantly worse) I think the problem is likely with the competition shown by the inexplicably popular "CSI: Miami" (Maybe it's just me but I... don't get the appeal. I mean, Emily Procter, sure. But the rest of it? Yikes.)

The lack of movement suggests one of two contradictory things.
  1. NBC is satisfied with "Studio 60"'s status as of now as one of the top shows on network primetime for high-income viewers (an advertisement boon.) and thus they don't feel a change is necessary. This is, obviously, good news.
  2. NBC is no longer investing itself too much in "Studio 60", and so not going to bother to rearrange their schedule on something they don't plan to have around much longer. This would be bad news.

I think it's got to be one or the other, and since we're not privy to ratings breakdowns besides the overalls it's hard for us to tell. At any rate, "Studio 60" is expected to be replaced (for a while) in March with the new crime family drama "The Black Donnellys" which will have a 13-episode mini-season. From everything I've heard the new show is a good one, which is nice and all but not something you necessarilly want if it's in anyway "Studio 60"'s competition. After "The Black Donnelly"'s finishes up it's short season, "Studio 60" will finish off it's as well.

I think when looking at the possibilities for "Studio 60"'s survival it's important to compare it against what else NBC has going on. This autumn five new shows debuted on NBC. Comedies "20 Good Years" and "30 Rock" and dramas "Kidnapped", "Friday Night Lights" and "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" itself. New shows tend to be judged against each other rather than with the veterans (and it's not as if NBC has too many of those in the first place). "20 Good Years" and "Kidnapped" are both gone, and "30 Rock"'s anemic ratings strongly suggest it will soon be replaced with one of the midseason sitcoms in the Must-See TV Thursday block (As "My Name is Earl", "The Office" and "Scrubs" aren't being cancelled any time soon.) "Friday Night Lights" has, like "Studio 60", been renewed for the whole season but their ratings are worse than "Studio 60"'s and while less expensive to produce it also is unlikely to garner any award attention and I'm going to go out on a limb and say a drama about Southern highschoolers isn't sitting pretty in the high-income ratings bracket. We'll have to see how the midseason shows do, but I think we're definitely not at "desperately worry about Studio 60's future" time yet.

In other news, we have some information on episode 1-11, "The Return" (Can I just say, that Sorkin hasn't really been rocking the creative names this year? Only three episodes haven't been in the form of "The ______" I mean, c'mon this is the guy who's titled his episodes things like "Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail" and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?")

According to Wikipedia (Yeah, I cite Wikipedia. Wanna fight about it?) The episode synopsis stands thus "When an old cast member returns to host, Matt has to write for a whole new person. Meanwhile, a cast member had [sic] to deal with the past." This doesn't sound like the most eloquently written synopsis I've ever read so we'll just see. Anyways, it's supposed to air a week from Monday (Ironically, closer to Christmas than next week's "The Christmas Story") so we'll have to see.

ETA: Well, looks like Wikipedia let me down this time. While the next episode after "The Christmas Story" may indeed be "The Return" (Who knows?) it will not be the following week, it won't even be in 2006. It's looking as if "Studio 60" will be having what a lot of shows this season are having: a Fall Finale. So "Studio 60" will likely return sometime in January after a lil hiatus.

I was thinking that for the Return episode, it would be hilarious if Steve Carrell of the office returned as a former Studio 60 cast member that will host. Steve is an NBC star so it be easy to use him if scheduling permitted. Plus, he is hilarious and having him and Matt Perry work together would be really funny.
I'd love to see Steve Carrell involved in Studio 60 in some regard. "Studio 60" and "The Office" are basically my two favorite shows on right now. Unfortunately I think the return is coming up soon enough that if Steve had been cast we'd have heard something about it by now.
Mat Leblanc is available, he could come in as a former cast member to host Studio 60...what about Cortney here we go..a love triangle for Mathew Perry. Hey, it was a sue me.
I'd rather not see any former Friends or West Wingers show up YET. Maybe next season (cross your fingers). However, NBC could use many of its current starts to cross over - like Howie Mandell did.

Steve Carrell & the Early guy, Jamie Presley, John Stamos, the Law & Order cast ....
50 bucks says its Josh Malina

any takers?
Is "The Early Guy" Jason Lee from "My Name Is Earl"?

Anyways, I don't think it's Malina yet because he was just in an article where he said he hasn't been tapped to do any Studio 60 work yet, but he's got ideas for who his character could be that he's suggested to Sorkin. He's doing stuff on Numb3rs now.
All I have to say is thank God the network is smart enough to keep this show. This is a great great program. The perfect people were picked for these parts. I don't think that it would have worked as well with different actors. They seem to fit the characters skin so well. If NBC ever cancels this show I will be disenchanted. There are alot of negative comments on other blogs about connection to Sorkin's other hit show, but to me, that shows that he is doing everything right. Better to have the two extremes of love and hate than indifference.
My son mentioned the rumors of Studio 6 possible cancelation and I was so sad. I have never been hooked by any series, I don’t watch much TV but Studio 6 was one I was looking forward to and then got completely hooked on. It’s the only intelligent thing on network television. It’s brilliant and I would love to think that the viewing masses get it but as we know they don’t. Please don’t take it away or Heroes (my son hooked me there), they are both smart, fun entertainment. I think entertainment is supposed to be fun...right?!
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