Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 18, 2006 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (42)

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  • With the need for NBC to find new, great shows, Studio 60 gains your intrest and keeps you locked into the final seconds of it's well written, greatly acted pilot.

    As soon as I could get my hands on the Pilot for "Studio 60" I jumped at it and began to get into it. I saw the trailers and it caught my eye, so I gave it a chance. Wow. I found something to watch on Monday nights.

    The basis of the show is about Studio 60...A dieing sketch-comedy show on the NBS network. The Exex Producer at the time the pilot begins, played by the great Judd Hirsch, had his last letdown by the show as they cut a sketch rendered "too controversial" for the network by on the executives. This causes an on-air meltdown and the loss of his job. When the new network president Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) hears about it, she knows she has to do something fast...Just want she needs to start making her mark on the network.

    On the other side of the plot, Matt (Matthew Perry) and Danny (Bradley Whitford) are at an award show where topics of conversation, like why Matt and his girlfriend broke up of the national anthem?

    Before long, Jordan tracks down Danny and informs she knows about his failed health tests and trys to blackmail him into the job. The viewer discovers that Matt and Danny used to work for the show four years previous, but were fired by the network, or as the net execs say..."quit". Matt finally agrees to take the job and convices Danny to do it aswell. As everyone believes they can save thr show...except for one network chairman, Jack Rudolph played by Steven Weber.

    All-in-all, the show is solid and has an amazing cast. The scenes with Amanda Peet, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are superb. The chemistry between the three is great and Matthew Perry's performance was a personal favourite. It shouldn't have nothing to worry about except maybe the night it's on. Monday's kill shows...It's a fact. If it gets beyond the scheduling...Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip will glow once again...and maybe even help out another network besides the made-up NBS.

    - Ryan
  • If you have some time on Monday, September 18th at 10:00 p.m. watch - it won’t kill you.

    The Brief: The new Aaron Sorkin, Tommy! Schlamme! hour long drama about the ‘five minutes’ before and after the camera roles on a twenty year old sketch comedy show. (Additional thoughts below the fold.)

    I thoroughly enjoyed the pilot. Having never seen Network, the opening rant by Wes hit home and clearly establishes the idea Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip - the show within a show – has for sometime failed to deliver the humorous social comedy necessary to make such a sketch comedy show relevant. The subsequent introduction of the main characters effectively places each set of characters into their macro-role within the series.

    As the “voice” of the network, Jack Rudolph and Jordan McDeere offer contradictory views of the network coin. Rudolph, played with a muted entitled cynicism by Steven Webber, butts heads with McDeere’s balls-to-the-wall willingness to reach further than comfortable. Amanda Peet gives McDeere a sparkling naiveté that seems counter-intuitive for a woman who has worked her way into a network presidency in ten or twelve years. I’m looking forward to finding out what’s behind the façade as Peet settles into the role.

    Half-way through the episode Sorkin introduces us to the ‘star power’ of the show - namely the pair that would become the Head Writer and Executive Producer of the sketch comedy show. Taking over as Head Writer Matt Albie, as played by Matthew Perry, dances between the tightly wound neurotic and cold-hearted cynic, but leaves you questioning when you’ll see what’s between the extremes. In balancing out Matt’s extremes, Bradley Whitford gives us an subdued Danny Tripp. Amazingly, in the hands of Sorkin, Perry and Whitford this friendship solidifies in your mind within minutes of introduction. (If you need a reason to watch the pilot - and look beyond Sorkin’s tendency for loving soapboxes, this thing of beauty would be it.)

    Also introduced are Cal, the control room director played by Timothy Busfield and the headlining cast for the show within the show - Harriet Hayes, Simon Stiles, and Tom Jeter played by Sarah Paulson, D.L. Hughley and Nathan Corddry respectively. The pilot gives us an extend glimpse of Hayes, but Styles and Jeter remain unknown beyond their importance. Unseen, and oft alluded to are the ‘bad’ writers Ricky and Ronny who apparently have problems finding funny jokes with two hands and a flashlight.) The rant establishes one of the through themes I hope the series addresses – power, who has it, and what happens when someone looses it. The relationship between Matt and Danny continues Sorkin’s illumination of male friendship. The set is beautiful in a how does it all work and/or fit together kind of way. The attention to small details makes it fun to re-watch (i.e. Matt exiting the half-cab by stepping through the non-existent front while Danny opens the car door and the cast-cameos in costume). While some have commented that the banter doesn’t really flow and some of the actors have yet to find their Sorkin legs, I have faith that soon the banter will flow and we’ll believe that everyone thinks that fast. All in all, the pilot makes me happy.

    So, if you have some time on Monday, September 18th at 10:00 p.m. watch - it won’t kill you.
  • I have a funny feeling im gonna love this show

    that rant at the start was brilliant
    it was not as some people say a mental breakdown.
    It was the desperate plea of a man
    who sees television becoming increasingly
    vapid,crass and worthless.

    while at the same time network types
    turn his show into bland ,inoffensive shadow of what it should be because they dont want to offend anyone.

    the acting and script was great
    the plot was okay
    the central characters had genuine chemistry

    i cetainly look for to the rest of the series

    until the network sexes it up with
    teenage nympho robot murderers
  • Very exciting start for what is no doubt to be NBC\'s next big things.

    Great writing. Every line of dialogue meshes perfectly with the characters. Great actors. Matthew Perry is really just the funniest guy on tv rigth now. Amanda Peet is great as well giving what could have been a poor helpless character some strength that creates a character who can objectivly view the events around her. Great premise. This setup could not be truer of SNL, and the way that they incorporate real life celebrities (Felicity Huffman) into the show is great. ANd the writers don\'t take there audeience to be seven year olds. Trust me. Watch the show. You wont be dissapointed.
  • A good start for the series.

    Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip was aired in Canada on Sunday, September 17th, one day before the US Network airing. I saw it and really enjoyed it.

    The show seems to have a lot going for it, and it's not just the cast; there are already some intriguing story lines, and conflicts set up that can last the entire season and provide fodder for the writers. It has humor and character conflict, as well as the interesting prospect of seeing actors deal with the show within a show concept. The pilot kept me riveted, and threw in some curve balls to keep the audience guessing. I liked the way that it started out with Chandler (Matt? Danny?) looking like he was the alcohol/drug dependent one, but that's not the case at all. It was a catchy beginning that kept me hooked.
  • A sign of great things to come

    Yes, finally Aaron Sorkin\'s back where he belongs, turning tv into tv.
    Can see a great partnership between Mathew Perry & Bradley Whitford (both great actors). Amanda Peet was also very slick.
    The show did start off a bit crazy and slow in a way as all i cared for was seeing Mathew Perry back on tv, with Bradley Whitford (my fave in West Wing). Trust me they didn\'t dissapoint, although all the spoilers over the internet did ruin the experience for me!
    I think this show will be my favourite after a few more episodes and i will be as hooked unto it as i was with the west wing, house, prison break & lost.
  • Is it only me, or is that "classification" line just annoying? I run with pilot episode as it is. I love Matthew Perry and The West Wing. So this is a match made in heaven to me...

    I love Matthew Perry and The West Wing. So this is a match made in heaven to me. I can start off with that and no one will read this now as it's tainted. A fan will never say anything bad. More than that my favorite character in West Wing is Bradley. So yes, again. It's just a dream come true. But as always when you put all major forces in one place the "stuff that probably is censored might" really hit the fan. I had great expectations for this one. I have been reading about it. I have seen the trailers and I like (can't say love regarding guys too many times) the cast. As I started to watch the show I didn't really get the feeling that I was hoping for. Then Peet stormed in and was kinda funny with the "seven funny things" remark. And then, it just happened. Matthew Perry entered and turned on his way of acting that made Chandler (the guy that didn't have sex in the porn based upon the hit show) the star of Friends.

    He just delivers the lines so sharp, so smooth, so fast that if he just can keep this up the show will be a must see. Then combined with Bradley who is equally as fast with comments and delivers them without trying to be funny.

    I think it's going to take a few more episodes to get hooked totally. But I do think that this will be one of the best reasons for having a tv this fall.
  • Things are looking up for NBC this year and this was definately a great way to kick off the season....

    As a big SNL fan, I’ve been anticipating both “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” and “30 Rock” a lot. I saw ‘Studio 60’ for the first time almost two months ago and tonight’s premiere is the fourth time I’ve seen it. I haven’t watched a Sorkin show before but I liked what I saw and this is definitely something I’ll be looking forward to every Monday night.

    The show opens with Studio 60 (a.k.a. SNL in LA, complete with it’s own Don Pardo-Herb Shelton) celebrating its 20th anniversary. The executive producer Wes Mendell (a.k.a. Lorne Michaels played by Judd Hirsch) has just had a sketch that was funny and killed at the dress rehearsal cut by the network censor. Wes is at his wits end as “funny is in short supply at the show these days”. He is forced to replace the sketch with “Peripheral Vision Man” a stand-by sketch that was never funny, yet the current writers Ricky and Ron keep writing it anyway. Wes also has to deal with this week’s guest host (the lovely Felicity Huffman, who I would love to host the real SNL even though I’ve given up on DH) who is concerned about problems with her monologue that were revealed with the test audience during dress rehearsal. Wes admits to Felicity that the monologue wasn’t funny and there was just no time to fix it. The show’s cold opening begins with Tom Jeter (Nathan Corddry one of the 3 main stars) as President Bush. Wes has had enough and walks on stage, has the cast and crew exit and begins a rant against Hollywood and the entertainment industry (I won’t transcribe the whole thing but there are some notable references to wanting to the next Donald Trump, eating worms for money and a war that comes complete with its own theme music). In the control, the network censor has his own standoff with control room head Cal (Timothy Busfield) who refuses to turn Wes off until he says something he isn’t allowed. He lets Wes’s rant run for 53 seconds, endangering his job. Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet), the new president of NBS, now has quite a problem on her hands. Her boss Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber) promptly fires Wes. Jordan wants to bring back Matt Albie (Matthew Perry) and Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford) to write and produce the show. The problem is Jack fired them 4 years ago and doesn’t want to admit to being wrong and they don’t particularly care to come back. Matt has just won a WGA award and he and Danny are set to start a new movie, not to mention he just broke up with Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson) another one of the “Big 3”. There is a problem though. Danny recently failed a drug test and due to a previous stint in rehab, he can’t get insured as a director for 18 months. Jordan knows this and succeeds in getting the two back to try and save the show. Neither of them have much trust in them but to show her faith, she tells them to open with the cut sketch, “Crazy Christians” that Matt wrote 4 years ago before they were originally fired.

    The Actors/Characters

    I’ll start with Matthew Perry as Matt Albie. I was a big Friends fan and Perry was a major factor in my early interest in this show. Matt is similar to Chandler in terms of being funny but different enough to not being constantly compared to each other. I’m not familiar with Whitford but I did like him as Danny. I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by Amanda Peet. I recently read she was pregnant and while they should definitely not write it in, I wouldn’t mind seeing a relationship between her and Matt developing eventually. They had more chemistry to me than he did with Sarah Paulson. She received the most airtime out of the 3 main Studio 60 actors due to her relationship with Matt but their scenes together were actually a low point of the episode for me. I did enjoy her scenes at the club for the show’s wrap party with D.L. Hughley (Simon Stiles) and Nathan Corddry. I was a bit hesitant after hearing of D.L.’s casting but I liked his character from his limited airtime and looking forward to see further development of Simon and Tom in future episodes. Timothy Busfield, Steven Weber and Judd Hirsch played their parts perfectly.

    Reading my review again, the show seems like a lot of information thrown at you all at once but the way Sorkin develops everything plays perfectly. I think the main problem this show will face is the fact that it is more drama than comedy (which some people might not expect due to its obvious take off of SNL) but there are plenty of funny moments and the humor is smart. I expect this show to be a hit and it will be a real shame if it isn’t.
  • Aaron Sorkin is at it again

    Once again aaron sorkin and tommy schlamme are at it again with an incredible pilot episode. No one writes better fast paced stories than aaron and no one directs them better than tommy. the show is a mixture of aaron\'s under appreciated sitcom sports night that detailed the behind the scenes goings on of a cable sports show. and the west wing which really needs no explanation. and it brings together one of the best ensemble casts I\'ve ever seen.

    the big three
    Mathew Perry: Friends
    Bradley Whitford: The West Wing
    Amanda Peet: The Whole 9/10 Yards

    The Old Pros
    Steven Weber:Wings
    Ed Asner:Mary Tyler Moore
    Judd Hirsh: Taxi There are more cast members I could mention. D.L Hughley, Timothy Busfield, Sara Paulson, and that guy in the capitol one commercials. This show is the next great dramedy written by aaron sorkin who already gave us a sneak peak at the shows second season finalle. should the two new writers stay and write the show or should they go make a movie once danny tripp is clean for eightteen months.

    Those who refused to watch the west wing because of the politics are deeply misguided. that show wasn\'t about politics it was about people. and no one writes people better than aaron.

    30 Rock doesn\'t stand a chance. Sorry tina
  • Aaron Sorkin does it again.

    So after watching CSI: Miami's cliffhanger last May, I had a hard time deciding whether or not to continue with CBS or start anew with NBC's new drama.

    The pilot starts out as the Studio 60 is about to go live on the air where Nate Corddry's character is George W. Bush. Next thing you know, Judd Hirsch, who plays Wes, storms on the scene and goes into a tirade, similar to the one on "Network" all those years ago. Wes would ultimately get fired and replaced by Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford's characters, Matt and Danny.

    All in all, this show was a hit!
  • He's back... and I will be, as well!

    Well, the wait is over. And Aaron Sorkin has, in the words of Steven Webber's character, "hit one out of the park".

    No one expected the beginning and it did seem like the rant of Judd Hirsch was a bit of a lift from "Network" but hey... imitation is the sincerest form of flattery! It was just a device to set the stage.

    What I really liked was how Sorkin held back with Josh and Chandler... I mean, Matt and Danny. He saved something and didn't telegraph the punch. And the shot of the empty table at the WGA awards was priceless.

    With Matthew Perry's wit and Bradley Whitford's dry sarcasm, I think this is going to work. Amanda Peet brings something new to the table. And if the cameo performances continue all season, I can't wait to see who shows up next. Huffman as a paean to "Sports Night" was great. Now when will Richard Schiff and Alison Janney appear?

    Actually, it is very possible that the series is going to be the spirit of how SNL fell apart and failed to reinvent itself. And I hope the show keeps the gutsball attitude it came out with tonight.

    It's got me already. I'll be back next week. What about you?
  • An excellent pilot episode that lived up to its media hype!

    Tonight, Studio 60 lived up to all of the expectations placed on it. While initally I was upset for its blatant parody of SNL, my dissatisfaction was very short lived. To take actors like Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford, who both recently ended roles on popular TV shows, and put them in such compelling roles is a risky move. While I watched, I never once thought of either as their unrelated characters. Perry proved himself as an actor with more than simple comedic timing. His performance was so real... so inherently human, that I never once thought him to be anyone else but Matt Albie. The pilot was riviting, and flowed with the sense of a show that will make it for a least one season.
    I do worry about how long it will last, though. Shows with high quality, intelligent levels of writing are cancelled due to a lack of an audience. (Arrested Development, The Beast, The Days) My hope is that Studio 60, like the fictional show it is set around, will strive to keep the "12 year old moron boy" humor away from its scripts. It's wonderful to have some intelligent, funny, inspiring shows on Monday prime time!

    Only a week until the second episode. Thank goodness.
  • A wonderful beginning but can Sorkin keep it up?

    I very much enjoyed the pilot of Studio 60. It was witty, fast-paced, had hallway montages -- in other words, it was a relocated West Wing. It will take awhile for me to stop thinking of Bradley Whitford as \"Josh\" since it merely seems that his West Wing character has gone Hollywood. This was definitely great television and I\'ll keep watching.

    I\'m not convinced that the show can keep up such a stellar quality. With such a premise, it seems like they might run out of non-hokey things to keep the episodes rolling. Also, I saw a news item that Amanda Peet is pregnant. This was a storyline in the making. I almost wondered if Sorkin asked her about her plans for motherhood before hiring just so there could be a \"can a female exec have children and not be a liability?\" plotline. The witty banter will get me to tune in but I\'m just keeping my fingers crossed that Sorkin knew what he was doing when he created this set-up. Afterall, we\'ll gladly listen to his clever diatribes against Hollywood for a little while but it will get old if the show can\'t find other juicy material.
  • If NBC has been in a slump in the past few years, then Studio 60 looks to be a resounding step in the right direction.

    The pilot episode of Studio 60 was just another fantastic example of the talented team of Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme. The on-screen pair of Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford personify the the writer director team that is Sorkin-Schlamme. From the very begining, the show echoed much of the things that made The West Wing great. The lead in to the opening drew me in right away, and being a huge West Wing fan, I had become accustomed to Sorkin's writing style. Because of this, while watching the opening teaser for Studio 60, I half expected the West Wing openning credits to roll. The cast is terrific, full of querky characters, and an interesting back story that is only hinted at in the pilot, which left me wanting to know more about them. The relationships, and wet the apitite while not seeming like there is a lot of baggage to bog down the characters. Right from the start, Steven Webber does a great job of getting the viewer to not like him, and from the little interaction that there was, Matthew Perry looks to be perfect to play his foil.

    If NBC has been in a slump in the past few years, then Studio 60 looks to be a resounding step in the right direction. I think that this show deffinitly lives up to the hype, and that it has deffinite potential. I'm not sure if it will replace West Wing as my all time favorite show, but as I said before, it deffinitly has potential.
  • Loved it, loved it, //loved it//!

    There wasn't a moment of this production that didn't make me fall in love with television all over again, and [i]damn you[/i] NBC for adding yet another tjaddiction to your lineup.

    Judd Hirsch was phenomenal, and his breakdown and rant were outstanding (and [i]so[/i] needed to be said). The "Network" references were handled perfectly (hell, the "network's" even [i]called[/i] "NBS") The tension in the production office was exquisite, Huffman was a delightful and perfectly-used shoutout to "Sports Night" (especially that moment when everyone was looking for her -- [i]nice[/i]) Peet is a complete joy and Whitford and Perry both found completely different voices for their characters [i]instantly[/i].

    Sorkin seems to be completely at home with a pair of hip, clever guys playing off a hot, impossibly brilliant woman. He structured this perfectly -- Whitford's cooling his heels for 18 months and both he and Perry can absolutely use the money.

    The "he's never not been there" moment was perfect. The tape was perfect. The sketch we didn't see ... I wonder if we'll get to. The sense that I get is we're going to be seeing [i]so much more[/i] backstage than frontstage in "Studio 60," but I'm sure we'll occasionally see some "intentional" comedy as well (although the whole thing is so perfectly written that it's intentionally "accidentally-on-purpose" funny throughout anyway).

    I loved the exgirlfriend (Sorkin dropped some nuance into her character from the very start -- a woman with spiritual priorities but not a zealot), I loved the story Sorkin put on their breakup (and Perry's harder line on her 700 Club appearance), I loved the glimpse we got of the hack writers and the goofy actor (I loved how she shut him down: "You had two lines to deliver and you stepped on one of them) and am [i]very[/i] much looking forward to seeing their interaction with Whitford and Perry.

    The money, the budget, the priorities, the funny, the presentation and delivery -- these are all places Sorkin has been before, but somehow ... also entirely new and better.

    Let there be a hit! :D
  • It's an excellent pilot episode and very exciting start for the series

    It's an excellent pilot episode and very exciting start for the series... the acting and script was great the plot was okay the characters had genuine chemistry, with an amazing cast. The scenes with Amanda Peet, Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford are superb. The chemistry between the three is great Matthew Perry really is the funniest guy on TV and a star that you expect some thing great from him...And here you go, I really enjoyed the pilot of Studio 60 but I think it's going to take a few more episodes to say if it’s the “show of the season”.
  • A good way to start.

    First impressions are always important so considering the buzz on Studio 60 it needed to live up to the hype. To do that for me, it has to draw me in, not just allow me to look in. In my opinion it did that, although I think there's going to have to be a little tweaking. The opening with Wes' rant was great. I've seen it before but the "Network" analogies on all the TV news broadcasts afterwards were a nice touch. The chemistry between the characters is great so far. The pilot may have been a bit rushed but all in all a good first effort. I definitely will continue to watch.
  • Nothing short of amazing.

    Oh, I expected this to be good. But it was GOOD. But it truly was an amazing start to what I believe will be an amazing show. Studio 60 has been hyped, certainly, but I think it lives up to it. This episode barely lagged for a minute. The dialogue was snappy, the characters were interesting, and I think that quite a few conflicts have been adequately set up. I'm interested to see how Danny's drug problem may color the show in the coming episodes, and how the Christianity conflict between Harriet and Matt plays out. Plus, I wonder how Jordan will act in crunch time, if she'll stick to her values of quality if her job really does get put on the line. Plus, Matt and Danny's first exit from Studio 60 was ambiguous, and I'm very curious to hear more about it.

    This is what a good drama should be. Interesting storylines, but still a little funny. Matthew Perry has always been excellent, and I know I'm going to love having him back on my television every week.

    Can you tell I'm excited about this show? Because I am.
  • I love this show!

    I loved this episode. I went in to this show thinking it would be ok but not great. I was so wrong. The actors were great and I was actually disappointed when the show ended. I wanted more and the show was an hour long. I hope this show stays the same and last just as long as his other show did.
  • Behind-the-scenes politics of television shows are sometimes more interesting than the shows themselves!

    This was the one new show that I was the most excited about. I'm a big West Wing/Sports Night fan. In fact, I was so excited about it, I was scared that it would disappoint.

    It didn't disappoint, although it's not a perfect show. Yet. I'm very excited that it has the potential to be a perfect show.

    It has an amazing cast! Although Bradley Whitford did remind me of Josh in a couple scenes, I still adore him so much, and I know that in a few episodes, I'll get past him playing a new character.

    Matthew Perry absolutely amazed me. There was not a bit of Chandler in his performance. He was great!

    Timothy Busfield, I also love him. He was also amazing as Cal.

    I wanted to cheer at Judd Hirsch's on-air rant. That rant was excellent, although I was glad that "Network" was acknowledged.

    The only cast members I had a problem with was the two women. They'll probably grow on me. I'm very willing to give them time.

    Is it Monday yet?
  • Pompous, pretentious series NBC is getting all in a dither about.

    This is the typical overhyped, over-sophisticated and self-important production you can expect from the overblown Alan Sorkin.

    The motor-mouth blather was novel in The West Wing. Now it’s just plain old. Who wants to strain their necks trying to get the essence of a fast-paced conversation roaring past you? I would like to see the actors EMOTE not just be some stiff talking heads. The only actor who had any credibility was Steven Weber because somehow the directors couldn’t force him to engage in that signature ping pong talk that drones on through the show. He came across as a genuine human being and was well cast for the role.

    Regardless of frenzied fan reviews, Amanda Peet is poorly cast as the wonder child of a network. She’s loses credibility when she always seems to have a goofy smile on her face as if she’s in constant PR for a Miss America title. I know the writers wanted her to portray a network charmer (only because of the dialog Steven Weber gives) but it’s just not happening.

    The speech Hirsh gives at the beginning is ridiculously contrived. I had to listen to that speech several times on NBC’s streaming download to figure out what point was trying to be made. The whole thing was so schizophrenic it finally occurred to me the writers were just throwing all kinds of arguments out there because they HAD NONE. To say comedy writers aren’t given enough leeway in this day and age is laughable. If a show isn’t funny blame the lack of talent of the writers and stop railing against the network or censors or whoever the speech was directed at.

    And Mathew Perry—OMG what is he doing in front of the camera? The only redeeming quality he had was playing a punk guy on “Friends” who knew how to rip off one-liners. Now he’s in a dramatic role with zero appeal and we’re all supposed to sit back and marvel in awe at his acting skills. Pukarama, any actor could have taken that role.
  • A great pilot for a very entertaining series

    Let me get this out of the way, first and foremost: I thought this was one of the best pilots I’ve seen in a while. Sure, it felt more like a play than a true television episode, but that worked to its advantage. It got the point of the show across without resorting to a ton of exposition, and the dialogue had the inspired snap to it that only Aaron Sorkin seems to be able to pull off well.

    Sorkin seems to be channeling a little of his own aggressive issues with NBC into the story, but what were we expecting? Yes, he was effectively shoved out the door on “West Wing”, under less than perfect circumstances, and the network is touting this new show as the return of a favorite son to the airwaves. There are definite parallels there, but they manage not to be overly distracting.

    I went into this pilot absolutely unspoiled, because I wanted to get to know the characters as presented in the story. There are an awful lot of characters, and there’s a lot of ground still to be covered. I think it’s smart to have all of these characters buzzing around the periphery of the first episode, so when they step into the spotlight more, it’s not a jarring introduction. The pilot really focuses on a handful of characters, central to the ongoing dynamic.

    From a plot perspective, it had the same issues as every pilot. How does one introduce a world, characters, conflicts, and relationships within the space of 42 minutes and still tell a compelling story? Sorkin and Schlamme do it right. The “crisis” is simple enough for the audience to grasp, letting the necessary dynamics lead the characters into their natural introductory moments. All great in terms of mechanics, and if there are shades of “West Wing” politicking, it says more about the world of television networks than the limitations of the creative staff.

    From a character perspective, I’m still getting thing straight. I expect it will take a few episodes to really work out the dynamics. For instance, I still don’t have a firm grasp on Jack’s role from just the pilot, but it’s more than I’m still digesting that corporate structure as presented on the show. Jordan is indeed quite impressive, but I get the sense of an naïve optimism. Sorkin can note all her accomplishments in her introduction all he wants; it still seems like she’s begging for trouble. (Then again, backing a show or creative staff often gets a network president in trouble, so it might just be her disposition that’s throwing me off.)

    The main attractions, however, are Matt and Danny. I’ll be honest; for me, Bradley Whitford is the biggest draw to the show. I loved him as Josh Lyman and I find it interesting how he takes a similar line delivery and manages to portray a completely different personality. I’m curious to see if that will continue, or if it even matters. Giving him a drug addicted past is another possible Sorkin parallel, but he loves giving his characters a history to overcome, and dealing with addiction worked wonders with Leo on “West Wing”.

    Matt, however, is going to take some getting used to, but that’s a purely subjective observation. I really like how his character is completely distinct from the overwhelming shadow of Chandler Bing, but I’m not as much a Perry fan as a Whitford fan. What I found a little distracting, however, was the painkiller connection. It was bold to have Perry take on a role poking fun of someone loopy on painkillers, even for just one episode, but I found it a little distracting because of the “real world” connection. But despite that, I really like the dynamic between Matt and Danny, and that will be a lot of fun to watch.

    Perhaps the only way to wrap up my thoughts on this pilot, beyond delving into every character and every nuance that struck me as noteworthy, would be to describe how I felt after watching it. I wasn’t mildly hopeful, as I’ve been after dozens of pilots where the writers are just trying to get past the exposition as quickly as possible. It also wasn’t the kind of immediate home run that opened “West Wing”. But it’s very close, and I was definitely wishing for more when the hour was over.

    (As a sidenote: I also have a new podcast associated with my various reviews called “Velocity TV”. Current episodes cover “Studio 60”, so it might be something of interest. Go to if you want to listen!)
  • good - but not great (yet)

    well, it was a PILOT. so you have to expect a certain amount of posturing and presenting of characters. I loved the cameos but i guess my problem was with all the HYPE (and there was a ton of super hyped hype) for this show, i felt like i had already seen the episdoe before it even aired. I am very excited by the potential of this show - i already love the writer, director and cast. but this episode didn't light my fire. i'll keep watching as hopefully there will be much greater things to come. lastly, bradly whitford is awesome :)
  • Great first step.

    It is just one episode, and it was a fulling invested pilot from NBC, so I'm not surprised that it was good. But I happy to see some good programming on NBC again.

    The overall feel of the show was very West Wing to me. Not a bad thing, and maybe I'm wrong in this because I never really watched WW, but there was definitely a sense of quality throughtout the whole show. Perhaps there was just so many WW actors involved. Also, the pace and execution of the show was great. The dialog was tight, the moments between characters was great, the acting was what you come to expect. If Amanda Peet can continue to work this character like she did in the pilot, this show will be the hit of the fall.

    More over, I think NBC will have a huge following for this show, and let me explain why. Aaron Sorkin knows how to write good drama, West Wing is the best exammple. However, the problem with WW was always getting that younger demo to watch. They (including myself) really didn't care about the life of the president, younger gens wanted sitcoms and fast pace action, therefore they grew up watching Seinfeld, Friends, ER, etc.. However, those viewers from ten years ago are beginning to see the quality of a good "low-key" drama series. By "low-key" I mean not the 24's of the networks, but just good non-action excitement.

    This show looks to pull this off, using a context that appeals to the younger gens as they turn older. Fans of TV will be intereted a plot involving characters one a TV show, watch as business and network politics unfolds. Matt Perry only helps the matter, drawing in all the Friends fans from 10 years ago.

    I wasn't going to watch this series when I first heard about it. Looked "too grow up", Sorkin wasn't of any interest to me, too much hype, and I thought I just wanted action dramas. But, I can now was Sorkin can do with television, and using the story lines of a SNL-like show is right in my wheel-house, seeing myself as a television fan.

    I think NBC has a winner here... and I'm glad I jumped on the bandwagon.
  • Early promise shown in Aaron Sorkin's new drama...

    Finally Aaron Sorkin is back on the air! Having always enjoyed his work, and with the West Wing being the best show on TV for quite a few years (the ones he wrote), it would always be a challenge to come up with the goods again. It is difficult to assess the potential for a series based on a pilot. West Wing was initially conceived to be about the characters surrounding the Pres and not the CIC himself, but that's how the show evolved, not to mention a main character completely disappearing between series 1 and 2 (does anyone know what happened to Moira Kelly's character?!! At all??!!)

    So what do we know? The witty dialogue is there, but a few of the actors will need to sharpen up their delivery. The plot of show within a show should provide excellent opportunity for satire as well as good old office politics, and Sorkin is a master of both.

    Most of the actors have a good TV background. Probably the first time I ever saw Matthew Perry not playing 'the Chandler character' was on his guest appearances on WW, and hopefully he can lay that ghost to rest with S60. Bradley Whitford is always going to be superb, although this may just be a variation of his Josh Lyman WW character, we shall see. (not that I'd mind, he was definitely the star there!) Amanda Peet I hope will be more than eye-candy.

    As pilots go, I enjoyed it. Now we have to wait and see if it lives up to expectations
  • I hate to give a 10 to a Pilot because you have nowhere to go…but come on, it’s Aaron Sorkin

    The composer (Aaron Sorkin) has scored his music, the maestro (Tomas Schlamme) has raised his baton and the orchestra played beautify. Aaron and Tom should have their own network. I think TV has finally found it's "Brightness Knob" and turn it up to 11. And Steven Webber is back on Series Television "Hurrah" Are you getting where I'm going here…Yes I loved the Pilot.

    Aaron and Tom even managed to resurrect a little of Sports Night with the Control room scenes and Felicity Huffman as a walk on, wonderful. Not to say this is a revamp of that show or West Wing but defiantly Aaron doing what he does best, setting a stage, bringing out the characters (in all their dimensions) and telling a great, interesting, and compelling story.

    I was so looking forward to this Pilot, and surprisingly, without much fear I expected mild to moderate greatness, and was shocked to find real greatness. Amanda Peet played to her strength of directness, and fearlessness and what a face (Ahhh.) Steven Webber as an antagonist? what a great idea. Timothy Busfield, always a great choice as the every man with an edge. Even the choice of the Cast within a Cast for the mock show, with D.L. Hughley, Sarah Paulson and Nathan Corddry, very funny people, they could actually make the Studio 60 sketches as scenes with these people. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford, what else can I say but great chemistry right out of the gate, funny and serious, I think both of them will really get to stretch their talent with these characters.

    They entire cast looks right through the camera and right in your eyes and are instantly believable. No, much to my enjoyment, Josh, Chandler, Danny/Elliot, Brian, Alice, Layla and Darryl did not show up for this Pilot, only great performance from what I’m sure will become another great and memorable ensemble cast.

    Thank you Aaron and Tom…I’m so excited…:)

    P.S. Now all we have to do is get Joss Whedon of his butt to start writing again. Do ya hear me Joss? Do Ya, Come on, I Dare ya…;)
  • This pilot episode sets up very valuable plot elements, but I think that it did have its problems.

    I like most people was generally excited about seeing this new series, with such an amazing cast, how could it be anything buy perfect? But half way through the episode I have to admit that I was pretty bored. The stows premise is like a behind the scenes of SNL. Where you can see how things work and the various problems that can occur. Being such a huge fan of Friends I was extremely eager to see Matthew Perry back in the spot light, but he didn't show on screen til the episode was almost over. When he can on, his character added almost another layer to the show, and it was great to see him again. Although I do not think this was the best pilot, mainly for the fact that it was so slow paced, I do think that this show has great potential. So, I will stayed in tune and I hope that all of you reading this will follow suit.
  • Studio on the Sunset Strip. A lot of hype for one show that was good.

    I first heard about this show on the Tvs at best buy when I was buying a remote for one of my Tvs. I didn't know what it was I just knew that Matthew Perry was in it and I was gonna watch it once it came out on September 18. Which I did. I liked how many funny lines it had and enjoyed it dearly. I hope it continues to be as great as this one episode . Maybe it will do great in standings and hopefuly more sesons if it stays like it was *knocks on wood* .
  • This looks like a shining example of what to expect from the show as it progresses. But that may not be such a great thing.

    Although I enjoyed the pilot of this very promising show, I didn't instantly fall in love with it. There were some obvious problems that can easily be smoothed out by the 1st season's end. I'll just separate it into pros and cons:

    -- The first 5 minutes of the show. Wow. Definitely one of the most intense scenes I've ever seen on TV.

    -- A superb cast is what will definitely keep this show going strong.

    -- A very fast-paced look at what it takes to survive in the business.

    -- The characters are all pretty creative. I really enjoyed them all.

    Now the bad part of the review! ;D

    -- The show seemed a little too fast paced for my liking. It wasn't like missing an episode of LOST where you're scratching your head at the end of the season thinking, "Where'd that came from?".

    -- It seemed that the comedy in the show was pretty subtle. It was non-existent in most scenes but it was still there. I was thoroughly convinced that this show was a comedy...until I saw the 1st episode.

    -- The writing was smart and witty but when it was revealed that Matt (or maybe Danny, I'm not too sure) was using drugs, there wasn't enough drama. It felt a tad bit impersonal with each character's internal conflict.

    -- Referring back to my last con, Matthew Perry seemed to get most of the glory in the show. The other actors have the potential to be brilliant, but it felt too focused upon the "ex-Friend".

    Well there's my review. In summary, since I'm guessing you're too lazy to read all of that^, the show has a lot of potential to become a legend of our time, but for now it looks like they're still gonna have to work out the kinks.
  • It's funny that this TV show is basically about another TV show that needs help. However I believe, the actual TV show needs some help!

    Studio 60 was pretty promising. Aaron Sorkin, Matthew Perry, original idea. Yet... The beginning was brill 'jumped right in. But after the first few mins that was closed by the main title sequence.. the pacing dropped. Alot. The episode was trading water, idling, for soooo long. It was painful, boring. The ending wasnt much better either.

    I cant believe how much potential did the pilot have - and how the writers didnt use any of it.

    Good acting, good idea - Bad pacing, thus boring and painful. I just hope the upcoming episodes will be better. Good luck Studio 60 on the sunset strip!
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