Studio 60 getting the axe?

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The curtain is closing on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

The expensive NBC drama about a fictional late-night comedy show, from West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin, was the most buzzed-about new show of the fall season, but it hasn't lived up to the hype. The show's premiere was mediocre, earning 13.4 million viewers and coming in second in its time slot against CSI: Miami, and the series has since dipped to third in its time period, with 7.7 million viewers.

Studio 60's low numbers are made worse by the fact that its lead-in is new hit Heroes, the highest-rated new show of the fall season. Heroes earned 14.3 million viewers last week.

The peacock ordered three more scripts for Studio 60, but that doesn't mean they will make it to air. Fox News' Roger Friedman says cast members are already telling friends the show is ending.

NBC has had a tough time this season, with several high-profile expensive shows failing to draw big ratings. Production on the action drama Kidnapped was wrapped and the show was moved from Wednesdays to Saturdays to run out its course, and football drama Friday Night Lights has languished in its Tuesday night spot despite receiving the best reviews of any show this season.

Studio 60's fate is ironic because one of the main storylines is the fight of network head Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) to have high-quality programming on the fictional NBS network. In the last episode, McDeere was taking the heat for passing on a lowbrow reality show, while at the same time, in the real world, NBC president Kevin Reilly said that his network planned on devoting the 8 p.m. prime-time hour to cheaper fare such as reality and game shows and less to sitcoms and dramas.

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