Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 2

The Cold Open

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Sep 25, 2006 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
447 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Now that they're on board, Matt and Danny try not to crumble under the pressure of putting on their first big show, where the stakes are outrageously high. Also high are the number of complaints the network is getting over the "Crazy Christians" sketch, which Jordan defends to Jack.moreless

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  • This is a wonderful show with the heart and soul of The West Wing. This is truly MUST SEE TV!

    I can't think of anything bad to say about this episode. As many of you know from reading my other reviews, I will tear into an episode. I loved every minute and didn't find too many moments where my attention drifted. It left me with renewed energy and an interest in the show.

    I loved the walk and talks, how characters play off each other, the developing conflicts, etc. I loved how the show is willing to discuss standing up to those many people fear. Remember “we have nothing to fear but fear itself.” The 20% coward fee is priceless. I can't wait till the episode next week.

    The episode sparked my imagination in an impossible way. It would be cool if there was a real comedy show on the weekends that followed the shows discussed on this series. I found myself wanting to see the episode they were planning. Think about it! An entire comedy show done as an opera / musical show.

    As I said, my imagination in this case isn't possible. After all we have Saturday Night Live a tired old show, oops, maybe. Well anyway, maybe a skit about Studio 60 replacing SNL or from a different perspective a skit about a SNL make-over. On the other hand, a SNL show all in song would be very cool to watch - especially to Gilbert and Sullivan (though not necessarily).moreless
  • Sorkin at his best. Great characters, good storyline.

    This episode is Sorkin at his best. He establishes his characters and their quirks at the onset and plays on them from the beginning. The chemistry between Danny and Matt is obvious as well as Jordan's obvious determination to change television as we know it. The behind the scenes work is fascinating since not everyone sees exactly how much work goes into a TV show, especially a live one. The actors do a good job of showing their characters under a tremendous amount of pressure to succeed under the heightened media coverage and public scrutiny. I believe this episode establishes a story line and character relationships slightly better than the pilot did. I am slightly behind in the series and am downloading the episodes on iTunes, but I'm excited to see what is to come.moreless
  • Incredibly well written. This episode definitely did not disappoint.

    Being a huge Sorkin fan, I was not disappointed at all with this episode. The dialogue was amazing which is what I've come to expect from him. I love the development of the relationship between Matt and Danny and can't wait to see what the other characters will continue to contribute. I'm very excited about the rest of the season. I hope it continues to be as amazing as it was during this episode.moreless
  • Well its getting better,

    well i really like matthew perry and Bradley Whitford. Two really good actors. Then we have Amanda Peet witch is good as well. Im betting it will only get better from now on. its a good and new show, that shows that not all shows must be off dead bodies.
  • Starting to develop

    It\'s pretty obvious already that the Matt/Danny relationship is the pivotal centre of this series, everyone else currently just floats around them. This show will survive if everyone can deliver their dialogue at Bradley Whitford\'s level - although he\'s had 7yrs of practice so a bit of a headstart. I like Matthew Perry much more in this than in any of his post Friends projects.

    The dialogue is the key to Studio 60\'s success, just as it was to West Wing\'s, and if Sorkin comes up with the goods then we\'ll have another winner on our hands. Too early to tell yet if the support cast will remain just that, or if they develop into an ensemble cast. Will continue to tune in.

    Great musical number!moreless
Wendy Phillips

Wendy Phillips


Guest Star

Margaret Easley

Margaret Easley

Constance Gower

Guest Star

John Mauceri

John Mauceri


Guest Star

Ayda Field

Ayda Field

Jeannie Whatley

Recurring Role

Simon Helberg

Simon Helberg

Alex Dwyer

Recurring Role

Diana-Maria Riva

Diana-Maria Riva

Lilly Rodriguez

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Harriet said that Matt dated Marlo Thomas. She and Matthew Perry had worked together in "Friends".

    • The lyrics for the song are as follows:

      Studio 60 Cast:
      We'll be the very model of a modern network tv show
      Each time that we walk into this august and famous studio
      We're starting out from scratch after a run of 20 years and so
      We hope that you don't mind that our producer was caught doing blow.

      They hope that you don't mind that their producer was caught doing blow
      They hope that you don't mind that their producer was caught doing blow
      They hope that you don't mind that their producer was caught doing lots of blow!

      Studio 60 Men:
      Yes it's hard to be a player when at heart you've always had a hunch
      To bite the hand that feeds you is a scary way of doing much
      But still when we walk into this august and famous studio
      We'll be the very model of a modern network TV show!

      But still when they walk into this august and famous studio
      They'll be the very model of a modern network TV show!

      I am a Christian, tried and true, baptized at age eleven so
      Unlike the lib'rals, gays and Jews, I'm going straight to heaven.

      Studio 60 Ladies:
      But if you feel you've been cheated and our sordid content lets you down
      We'll happ'ly do the favor of an intellectual reach around!

      They'll happ'ly do the favor of an intellectual reach around
      They'll happ'ly do the favor of an intellectual reach around
      They'll happ'ly do the favor of a hundred-dollar hooker's reach around!

      Harriet (whispers):
      That wasn't the same thing we said.

      They'll happ'ly do the favor of a verbal euphamistic reach around!

      Studio 60 Cast:
      We know the evangelicals are lining up to tag our toe
      And then the corporations will not hesitate to pull their dough
      But still when we walk into this august and famous studio
      We'll be the very model of a modern network TV show!

      But still when they walk into this august and famous studio
      They'll be the very model of a modern network TV show!
      But still when they walk into this august and famous studio
      They'll be the very model of a modern network TV show!

    • When Matt and Danny search for an office, they mention that Lorne Michaels works in New York. This, along with a later explicit reference to "Saturday Night Live", make it clear that SNL still exists in the Studio 60 universe.

    • Guest Host: Mark Wahlberg

  • QUOTES (17)

    • (Danny phones the control booth)
      Danny: How's it lookin' back there?
      Cal: We got a problem.
      Danny: What?
      Cal: We blew a circuit and there was a small fire. The fire's out, but I'm only gonna have one camera for awhile.
      Danny: What the hell are you talking about; I was just --
      Cal: Nah! I'm just kidding; we're all set.
      Danny: You scared the hell out of me.
      Cal: Well it's a comedy show, dude; welcome back.

    • Matt: (to the writer's room) We're going to act, dress, talk, write and behave professionally.
      Harriet: (Bursting through the door) You are an adolescent, oversexed, whore monger with the sensitivity of a head of cabbage.
      Matt: (to the writer's room) And all that will begin in just a few minutes.

    • Matt: I'd rather sit in Lorne Michaels' office.
      Danny: Well... Lorne's office is in New York, and he's still using it. So you're gonna use this one.

    • Danny: Ricky and Ron
      Matt: Dick and Dick, I don't even know anybody on the writing staff anymore.

    • (To Matt)
      Harriet: If I slow danced with Danny your head would explode and you know it.

    • Danny: (after Jordan has made their introductions to the press) Stick around, okay, when we're done I'm going to need to choke you to death!
      Jordan: You bet!

    • Reporter: Jordan, can you describe the reaction of NBS executives Friday night when Wes described the network as "a candy-assed network" and "a greed-filled whorehouse of a network"?
      Jordan: Pleased and proud, as you can imagine. (audience laughter) Until we realized he wasn't talking about Fox, he was talking about us.

    • Harriet: My mom used to say, if Jesus is your copilot, you should trade seats.

    • Harriet: I want my body to look like yours.
      Jeannie: I want my talent to look like yours.

    • Danny: (quoting Jordan's earlier comments at the press conference) "They will return the show to its former glory and lead NBS to its thing, and quality is not anathema to profit, and if you don't believe me, tune in 11:30 Friday night"?
      Jordan: Did I get the time wrong?
      Danny: No. You raised the bar a little high, don't you think?
      Jordan: I raised the bar high?
      Danny: Yes.
      Jordan: Sorry. Clear it.

    • Matt: One of the things this show does is decide what's cool, and I've just decided it's no longer cool for grown men to dress as if they're in junior high school.

    • Harriet: I got a laugh at the table read when I asked for the butter in the dinner sketch. I didn't get it at the dress. What did I do wrong?
      Matt: You asked for the laugh.
      Harriet: What did I do at the table read?
      Matt: You asked for the butter.

    • Harriet Hayes: Sit down, write and give me a damn audience.

    • (Danny and Matt look over Wes Mandell's old office.)
      Danny: This is new...
      (He goes over to the wall and turns on a clock which displays the exact amount of days, hours, minutes, and seconds until the next airtime.)
      Matt: Oh man... no wonder he went crazy. (Matt continues to stare at the clock as Danny calls a cast meeting in the basement) How does it know?
      Danny: How does it know what?
      Matt: Exactly how much time was left in the week.
      Danny: Yeah, it's a miracle of technology that we've developed an electric device that can count back from seven.
      Matt: (Still staring at the clock) But it was off....
      Danny: It uh... has a battery.
      Matt: So it always knows...
      Danny: Don't endow the thing with special powers, Matt, it's a clock, ok? Come on.

    • Jordan McDeere: And if the ratings go up, the sponsors that dropped out we'll welcome them right back in - at a 120% of the cost of the original ad buy. We're going to be the first network to charge a coward fee.
      Jack Rudolph: I hate spunk...

    • Veronica: Jordan, did you know about this when you hired him?
      Jordan McDeere: I can't remember, I was high at the time.

    • Reporter: What is the division between the work?
      Danny Tripp: Matt will do the work, I will take the credit.

  • NOTES (2)

  • ALLUSIONS (11)

    • The backwards-counting clock on Matt's office wall is labelled with the line, "Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana." This is a quote from Groucho Marx.

    • Jack: Jordan, I'm not sure that following Danny's rigorous honesty with a joke about being high was the way William Paley would've handled it.

      William S. Paley (1901-1990) was the head of CBS during its greatest years.

    • Matt: The man wrote for the Smothers Brothers. He wrote with Pryor, and he wrote with Cosby.

      The Smothers Brothers, Tom and Dick, were a humorous folk-singing duo who hosted a comedy variety hour in the 1960's.
      Richard Pryor was a stand-up comic, recording artist, actor and writer, who also wrote for movies and television.
      Bill Cosby also had a stand-up and recording career before becoming most famous for his successful TV sitcom The Cosby Show (1984-1992).

    • Matt: I'd rather sit in Lorne Michaels' office.

      Lorne Michaels is producer of Saturday Night Live.

    • Tom: It's like we've all spent the last five years living in a Roger Corman film called "Revenge of the Hack".

      Roger Corman directed a number of horror movies, including the original Little Shop of Horrors (1960).

    • Matt: I'm not Blackwell or anything, but holy cow, what the hell are you guys wearing?

      Fashion critic Richard Blackwell, known as "Mr. Blackwell", is best known for his annual "ten worst-dressed women of the year" awards.

    • Matt: Did you get hard confirmation from the Drudge Report?

      The Drudge Report is a news-related web site authored by Matt Drudge, who has been accused of bias and rumor-mongering.

    • Matt: You know who did the best frat humor of all time?
      Tom: Rudy Vallee.
      Cal: Groucho Marx.
      Danny: It was W.S. Gilbert.

      Rudy Vallee (1901-1986) was primarily known as a singer and movie star, not as a humorist.
      Groucho Marx (1890-1977) was possibly the best known of the Marx Brothers comedy team.
      W.S. Gilbert (1836–1911), with his musical collaborator Arthur Sullivan (1842–1900), wrote a series of satirical operettas which remain popular to this day, including The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado, and H.M.S. Pinafore.

    • Matt: What do we have that says "legacy of television"? Like Arturo Toscanini and the NBC Orchestra.

      Arturo Toscanini was a brilliant and highly-respected symphony orchestra conductor, who led the NBC Symphony Orchestra from 1937 to 1954, performing on both radio and television.

    • The cold opening song "We are the very model of a modern major network" is a direct parody of "I am the very model of a modern major general" from the Pirates of Penzance opera by Gilbert and Sullivan.

      This is a comic opera in 2 acts and opened in NYC on December 13th 1879 for an extended and successful run.

      This song is one of the most parodied songs in music.

    • In this episode, Jack says to Jordan "You know what, Mary? You've got spunk. I hate spunk." This is the famous line that Ed Asner said to Mary Tyler Moore on the Mary Tyler Moore show. Ed Asner appeared in the Studio 60 pilot episode as Wilson White.