Studio 60 gets a full season

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NBS studio chief Jordan McDeere will keep her job for a while--NBC announced it is giving Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip a full season order.

Last week, rumors circulated that the show would be canceled due to poor ratings--after premiering with a solid 13.4 million viewers, the show slipped to 7.8 million viewers as of last Monday. The expensive drama, from West Wing creators Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, stars Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitoford, and D.L. Hughley in the behind-the-scenes story of a Saturday Night Live-type sketch comedy show.

Peet stars as McDeere, the new head of the fictional network NBS, whose career is riding on the fortunes of the show-within-the-show.

"I am pleased to show our support for this outstanding and ambitious effort from executive producers Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme," said NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly in a statement. "From the start, they have delivered the superb show that we wanted. The critical support has been rock-solid and there is a passionate core audience. We can't wait for what's going to come in the remainder of the season."

Although the show doesn't get as many viewers as the network would like, the quality of those viewers appeals to NBC. Studio 60 snares upscale, college-educated viewers in households with $75,000-plus and $100,000-plus incomes.

"It's a bull's-eye at the core of our brand," Reilly told Daily Variety. "I love the talent onscreen and off, and I want to give it the full season to work it out and fully discover its audience."

With the Studio 60 pickup out of the way, Reilly will turn his attention to two other high-profile new shows that haven't met expectations: Tina Fey's 30 Rock--which also follows a fictional sketch comedy show--and football drama Friday Night Lights.

"They're shows I'm trying to figure out how to support and give a real chance at growing," Reilly said. "We're trying to put together a sensible [January] schedule that can hold together in the middle of American Idol season."

Next week, 30 Rock will move from its Wednesday spot to Thursdays as NBC fashions an all-comedy block on the night. Rock's fellow Wednesday night freshman, Twenty Good Years, has already been canceled.

Lights was given a special spot last week after NBC's hit Heroes and showed marked improvement. The show scored 8.3 million viewers, better than its previous episode's 6.3 million.

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