Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 11

The Christmas Show

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Dec 04, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
433 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

With a holiday show on the horizon, Matt is determined to bring the Christmas spirit to Studio 60. Which works romantic wonders for him. Meanwhile, Danny has to confront his true feelings for Jordan.

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  • PITCH PERFECT! NBS gets slapped with a $73 million fine because a soldier says the F-word when an RPG explodes over his head on a live news broadcast. Is this the beginning of a war between the FCC and NBS? Read the review to find out!moreless

    Now this is the reason that I watch this show. I'm writing this review having not seen this episode since it aired on December 4, 2006 which is almost 2 months ago and this monologue by Wilson White is still etched into my mind. There's a live NBS news broadcast where a reporter is talking to a soldier and an RPG explodes above their heads and they say the F-word. Now the FCC wants to fine NBS for every affiliate that aired it for a total of $73 million in fines. Take a look at what Wilson White has to say when Jack Rudolph tells him about this:

    Wilson White: I won't pay a 73 million dollar fine, I won't pay a 73 cent fine, I won't time delay the news, and I won't say, "I'm sorry." I no longer recognize the authority of the FCC in this matter. I’m going to have be ordered by a federal judge, and when they come to get my transmitter they better send a group a hell of lot more scary than the Foundation for Friendly Families or whatever the hell they are. Let those guys embed themselves with 2nd marine division for a while; they'll rejigger their sense of what’s obscene. Jack, this is the one I have been waiting for my whole life. You are the chairman of the National Broadcasting System; that's why I wanted my grandchildren to meet you. That was so good I literally jumped out of my seat and screamed for joy. You can literally hear the thunder of warhorses rumbling in this episode. The FCC declares war on free speech and decides to take the first battle to NBS. Only NBS decides to fight back!!! How will it end?! Well we're up to episode s01e13 so far and it looks like it all hinges on whether Tom Jeter can convince Kim Tao not to give up the viola. You think that sounds weird or boring? Oh no. Oh so terribly no my friend. You couldn't be further from the truth. Watch this episode because along with the pilot and s01e13, it's one of the best episodes of the series so far with one of the best monologues of any series I have ever seen. That's right folks! I'm putting this monologue up there with the President's Independence Day speech in the movie Independence Day and the like. After 2 months, it still stands out. Watch this episode. Trust me. You're gonna like what you see ;)moreless
  • This episode dealt with several issues, including FCC restrictions and the use of New Orleans musicians.

    This show epitomizes everything good about TV. Aaron Sorkin was gone too long and was sorely missed. Hopefully, network producers and executives saw this episode and maybe will fight for the right things on TV, instead of bowing down under threat of censorship. But, as a resident of Louisiana, it was especially satisfying to see Louisiana musicians included, reminding everyone that while Louisiana has come along in rebounding from the 2 major hurricanes we suffered just over a year ago, people still need to be reminded of what has to be done. When we have a President who couldn't even mention us in his State of the Union address, while concentrating on a war which no one except him believes we should be in or that American lives should still be sacrificed for his own personal views, it's a long road and Aaron Sorkin did a masterful job of reminding America of what needs to be taken care of. I hope Mr. Sorkin will be around for awhile because TV truly needs people of his talent and foresight, to keep fighting the battles that need to be fought, and who refuse to step down or give in.moreless
  • This is the one of the top pieces of Aaron Sorkin ever.

    The writing in this episode is 100% Sorkinian. Best one since 'Noel' from 'The West Wing'.

    Here we see politics, humor, romance, friendship, all come together in a unique blend. I have watched this episode over and over, and each time I laugh and cry.

    Sorkin manages, once again, to strike out at the very structure of US society, by creating an example of how the system works against it self, and how powerhungry bureaucrats could very likely take the words of the law more important than the spirit of the law, and use the law to further their own personal agendas.

    A picture of typical US standards: If you can drag them to court and get money, then do it. At all cost, be it even common sense.

    Very nice demonstration Mr. Sorkin.

  • This was just a great episode.

    And another great episode of Studio 60 goes by... this one continues with the high standards that the show has previously set. They did a Christmas episode, made it funny and touching all at the same time, and worked in the Katrina victims' plight as well.

    That was the part of the episode I liked best, actually; the Katrina victims, who are being forgotten as time goes on. The show managed to bring them quietly to the forefront again, and do it in a way that maintained dignity for the musicians; the scene where they played was beautiful, especially when the snow began to fall.

    Overall, this was not the standard "feel good" episode, while it ~did~ make me feel good!moreless
  • I guess I am really in the minority on this one.

    I thought this was one of the weakest episodes so far. Don\'t get me wrong... I am the BIGGEST fan of this show and watch religiously every Monday. But this episode felt... contrived. To me. It felt like an episode that was written for people who don\'t like this show. The banter was okay. As a non-believer I was not offended at all by the anti-Christmas talk around the office... but it just felt forced to me. The Nazi-Santa... Was that funny to someone? I don\'t know. I guess I have just seen that \"nazi-salute\" gag done a few hundred times.

    My biggest complaint of the show was Jack Rudolphs character. Suddenly... out of the blue he is going to fight the good fight? There is NO WAY (based on what we have seen of this character so far) that he would roll up his sleeves and resign over ethical conflicts. This guy is all business. I didn\'t buy it for a second.

    The best part of the episode (in my opinion) was the end. I thought that Danny\'s romantic venting was touching. Although I thought that it was way out of left field, too. I mean. They could have used the previous episodes to lead us into it ... a little maybe. Between Danny\'s newfound emotions and Jack\'s newfound moral center, I felt like maybe I missed an episode or two. I think it was just convenience on the part of the writer (s).

    Don\'t know... maybe I am asking too much. I still love the show... I will just be hoping the rest of the episodes don\'t leave me feeling like this one did. A 10 out of 10 show.

    A 6 out of 10 episode.moreless
Kevin Tyrone Eubanks

Kevin Tyrone Eubanks


Guest Star

Scott Lawrence

Scott Lawrence

NBS Legal Counsel

Guest Star

Ben Bode

Ben Bode


Guest Star

Merritt Wever

Merritt Wever


Recurring Role

Edward Asner

Edward Asner

Wilson White

Recurring Role

Columbus Short

Columbus Short

Darius Hawthorne

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • The storyline regarding the explosion of an RPG was probably inspired by a similar event that happened to ABC News reporter Bob Woodruff. In January, 2006, Woodruff was embedded with an Iraqi patrol in Baghdad; while Woodruff was taping a report from a tank turret, an IED went off. Woodruff was critically injured, and in a coma for over a month. The incident was the first time a US news anchor had been injured in a war.

    • The theme of this episode is the FCC new indecency rules. During a live news coverage in Afghanistan, an RPG flew over and exploded close to an NBS journalist and the soldier she was interviewing. The soldier uttered the F-word. The FCC wants to fine NBS and all its affiliates 73 millions dollars because of this utterance.

      In a recent hearing in front of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, the lawyer for the FCC explained that news (live or not) are exempted from the rule.
      This means that this specific scenario would not warrant any action by the FCC under current regulations.

    • In the "To Catch a Predator" sketch, it is broad daylight outside the window on the set, yet "Chris Hansen" accuses Santa of visiting a little girl "in the middle of the night."

    • A sign displaying "Miss Claus Turns My Nose On!" can be seen in the background after Matt kisses Harriet.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Jordan: (to Jack's secretary) How's his mood?
      Jack: (Yelling inside his office) Son of a holy bitch!
      Jordan: Never mind.
      Jack: Son of a holy godforsaken bitch!

    • Matt: We are going to deck the halls with boughs of holly. I want to hear sketch ideas with Santa and Rudolph and chestnuts and burning logs.
      Darius: We could set the tree on-
      Matt: Shut up.

    • Harriet: I need to see Danny.
      Matt: About what?
      Harriet: About a private conversation between me and Danny!
      Matt: I'm an executive producer too!
      Harriet: Yeah, but I need to speak to the one who's important!

    • Matt: Danny, you're caring more about other people than you usually do.
      Danny: You're the one who just said 'what's she gonna do about the upfronts'.
      Matt: Mine was an idle question, then I moved on to other things in my head.
      Danny: So was mine.
      Matt: No it wasn't, it was genuine interest.
      Danny: In case you haven't noticed, she's doing a good job.
      Matt: And there- you just defended her.
      Danny: What's wrong with that?
      Matt: For starters no one's attacking her!
      Danny: Go write!

    • Matt: (To Harriet) No matter what I've always been your biggest fan.

    • (after discussing the virgin birth and having Andy say it doesn't refer to Mary)
      Matt: And you're getting this on?
      Andy: Virginbirthsdebunked
      Matt: Okay-
      Andy: .org

    • Simon: What'd you need?
      Matt: Any Christmas ideas you might have.
      Tom: There's no such thing as the star of Bethlehem.
      Simon: Jesus was born in North Africa! How come in paintings it always looks like he's one of the Bee Gees?
      Matt: Alright, Christmas ideas that don't shreak of meanness.
      Simon: Hey, your people stole Jesus from my people.

    • Matt: They calculated number of homes with children and the average weight of two presents per child.
      Danny: What did they come up with?
      Matt: He'd need 214,200 reindeer pulling the sleigh weighing 321,000 tons at 3,000 times the speed of sound

    • Matt: Where did you go?
      Danny: I went to a place called say it, say it, say it. I said it, okay?
      Matt: Okay.
      Danny: Okay.
      Matt: You were right you know.
      Danny: About what?
      Matt: We do live here now.
      Danny: Merry Christmas.
      Matt: Merry Christmas.

    • Wilson White: I won't pay a 73 million dollar fine, I won't pay a 73 cent fine, I won't time delay the news, and I won't say, "I'm sorry." I no longer recognize the authority of the FCC in this matter. I'm going to have be ordered by a federal judge, and when they come to get my transmitter they better send a group a hell of lot more scary than the Foundation for Friendly Families or whatever the hell they are. Let those guys embed themselves with 2nd marine division for a while; they'll rejigger their sense of what's obscene. Jack, this is the one I have been waiting for my whole life. You are the chairman of the National Broadcasting System; that's why I wanted my grandchildren to meet you.

    • Matt: I hate Los Angeles like everybody else.

    • Matt: What?
      Danny: Nothing.
      Matt: Say it.
      Danny: Nothing.
      Matt: Just say it outloud.
      Danny: Nothing.
      Matt: Ok.

    • Doctor: There is a small chance we can determine the sex on ultrasound. Are you interested?
      Jordan: No. Yes! No. Yes! No!
      Danny: She'll take yes. And, by the way, Doc, if you don't detect any maleness on the first pass, don't necessarily assume it's a girl. The biological father is only a fraction of a man to begin with.

    • Matt: Hello.
      Harriet: Hello.
      Matt: How's Luke?
      Harriet: Good.
      Matt: Lucas?
      Harriet: Good.
      Matt: Lunch with Luke?
      Harriet: What is your problem?
      Matt: It's Luke.

    • (At the OBGYN)
      Danny: Why won't you tell me who the father is?
      Jordan: You don't know him.
      Danny: I don't want to know him.
      Jordan: How do you know?
      Danny: Cause if he was someone I wanted to know he'd be here.
      Jordan: What makes you think I told him?
      Danny: Because I do know you.

    • Jordan: Can I sit in on the meeting?
      Jack: No. How'd you get past my secretary?
      Jordan: By telling her I was invited to sit in on the meeting.

    • Matt: Danny, why were you at the doctor?
      Danny: I wanted to be.

    • Matt: (Referring to the falling coconut "snow".) It's a winter wonderland.
      Cal: And then later you can make pina coladas.

    • Tommy: See, Lucy, I'm sort of an astronomy buff.
      Simon: Loser. The word is loser.

    • Matt: I'm the miracle on the Sunset Strip and you are, ya know, two other guys.

    • Danny: (coming from behind the screen) We're havin' a baby!
      Jordan: No, I'm having a baby.
      Danny: Relax, you'll be involved!

    • Danny: (To Jordan who has just taken an enormous bite out of a sandwich) I've been married twice before and I'm a recovering cocaine addict. And I know that's no woman's dream of a man, or of a father. Nonetheless, I believe I'm falling in love with you. If you want to run, I understand. But you better get a good head start, because I'm coming for you, Jordan.

    • Matt: How is it I'm Jewish, and I'm the only one with Christmas spirit? Come to think of it, how is it I'm in the only Jew in a comedy writer's room?

    • Matt: (Looking at a Santa statue on stage) What's he doing?
      Cal: There are gonna be reindeer up in the balcony. He's waving at them.
      Matt: He's giving the Nazi salute.
      Cal: Nah, he's waving at the reindeer.
      Matt: Why wouldn't the reindeer be with him?
      Cal: Well when you start to apply logic to Santa Claus, Matt-
      Matt: Alright, let's set logistics aside. He's saying 'Heil Hitler'.
      Cal: I think you're reading too much into it.
      Matt: He's giving the Nazi salute!
      Cal: Well now that you've said it that's all I can see.
      Matt: It's all anybody can see.
      Cal: Yeah, he's got the crazy eyes too, doesn't he?
      Matt: Yeah.
      Cal: Let's get rid of demented Santa Claus!

  • NOTES (7)

    • Music in this episode:

      Musicians from The Tipitina's Foundation

      Troy Andrews - Trumpet
      Kirk Joseph - Sousaphone
      Roderick Paulin - Saxophone
      Frederick Shepherd - Saxophone
      Stephen Walker - Trombone
      Mervin Campbell - Trumpet
      Bob French - Drums

    • For these first 11 episodes, Sarah Paulson (Harriet) was nominated for the 2007 Golden Globe Award for Best Performance By An Actress In A Supporting Role In A Series, Mini-Series Or Motion Picture Made For Television. Also, she and Amanda Peet (Jordan) were both nominated for the 2006 Satellite Award for Outstanding Actress In A Drama Series.

    • For these first 11 episodes, both Matthew Perry (Matt) and Bradley Whitford (Danny) were nominated for the 2006 Satellite Award for Outstanding Actor In A Drama Series.

    • For these first 11 episodes, the show won the 2006 Broadcasting And Cable Pool for Best Overall New Program.

    • Edward Asner is credited as special guest star.

    • Matthew Perry does the "Previously on Studio 60" voiceover.

    • In this episode that originally aired Dec 4 2006, Matt has Cal get rid of a Santa Claus statue that looked like it was giving the Hitler Nazi salute. As it so happens two days earlier on Dec 2, a German chain of stores called Rossmann's destroyed shipments of wooden Santa's that customers felt were giving the stiff armed salute.


    • Suzanne: I called K-Earth 101. I told them that Matthew Albie wants to hear some Perry Como.

      K-Earth 101 (KRTH, 101.1 FM) is an actual radio station in the Los Angeles area. Their playlist consists of "oldies" music, generally from 1964 to 1979.