Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 3

The Focus Group

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 02, 2006 on NBC

Episode Recap

The Focus Group

We zoom out to reveal a focus Group watching the end of the first episode of Studio 60 produced by Matt and Danny. The guy in charge starts off by asking the audience for something they didn't like, one member raises his hand and the camera zooms out to behind the two way mirror to reveal Jack and Jordan bickering over the audience member's opinion about restoration comedy.

Jordan disagrees with the current focus group and focus groups on the whole. Jack counters by saying there is important information that needs to get back to Matt and Danny. Jack gives focus data from New York, Atlantic, Columbus, Seattle and Phoenix to Jordan, Ron and Ricky to pass onto Matt and Danny. The only problem he has with the show is when the focus groups were asked how patriotic they think the show is, there is a 50/50 split right down the party line. Jordan asks "When did democrat or republican become a demograph we care about in the entertainment industry?" Jack replies with an answer about 9/11 and wants to make sure the guys know it. Jordan's is distracted as her mug shot has just appeared on the news channel behind Jack.

Opening Credits

The whole cast are rehearsing a sketch called "Science Shmience" in the Studio with Matt and Danny polishing, A few voices are thrown around including a Holly Hunter impression by Harriet when she talks to Matt. As the sketch progresses the lights turn off so Danny calls for Lunch.

Jordan explains her arrest to Jack and Shelly and wonders how the story got out as she was given a DEJ and the offence does not appear on her record.

Harriet lights some candles bought from a magic store for Simon and Tom. Ron and Ricky enter to talk to them about News 60 which Simon and Harriet will be co-presenting from now on. They are looking for Matt and Danny to give them the Focus Group information. Ron and Ricky are disgruntled that they won't be overseeing the News 60 section as Matt has given the responsibility to Tom.

Tom is reading the papers and surfing the net looking for news items for News 60, he reads out an article about a High School cancelling their planned show of "The Crucible" as "It cast's Christians in a bad light" They are replacing it with a Midsummer's Night dream, a more provocative play in their eyes. Harriet wants to drop the joke as she believes they are picking on Christians too much this week, as she makes her point, the lights flicker back on.

Ron and Ricky are waiting for Danny to arrive before they hand over the Focus Group Information to Matt, Danny tells them to throw it out, as he doesn't want the cast and crew to see it. Matt asks to see the answer to the Patriotic question. Matt is annoyed that Jack wanted him to see the answer and Danny tells him that it doesn't' matter as Jack is getting his wish because Matt is only taking 1 shot at Bush this week and then calls him a pussy boy. After the argument Matt asks for today's papers and copy of the Whitehouse brief.

The lights go out again and Cal informs Danny he's working on it, Danny proceeds into his office to find Jordan who wants to make sure that Matt and Danny don't give her any preferential treatment and they should make fun of her arrest. Danny asks what % of the audience they need to retain Friday Night to keep Jordan out of trouble, she says not to worry.

Camera Dress

Ron and Ricky pull Danny out of a dress rehearsal of "Science Shmience" to complain that they don't have a sketch on the air this week, they want to know what the problem is and when it's going to Stop. Danny tells them it was about a Quote Ron gave to the press about Matt 4 years ago, Ricky recites it – "Matt Alby certainly doesn't speak for the cast and crew of Studio 60 whose thoughts and prayers are with the brave men and women who lost their lives in September 11th" (implying Matt's thoughts weren't with them) Ricky says he can't be mad at them forever as Matt needs the other writers or he'll burn out

Jack and Shelly enter Jordan's office and ask her to sign a statement for the shareholders, Jack goes on to tell her that her ex-husband is shopping a book called "Confessions of a Network husband, my life with Jordan McDeere" – He's been taking items to the gossip columns to generate heat for the book, explaining how Jordan's drink driving arrest was splashed over the news. Jordan informs Jack it will be worth paying for as she went to sex clubs with him. As Jack leaves she asks what % of the audience Studio 60 needs to retain, he replies with 90%.

Matt's clock tells us there's 17 minutes till Showtime as Danny enters and asks Matt to forgive Ricky and Ron, Matt objects and asks Danny for the % retention rate. Matt tells Simon, Tom and Harriet that the Crucible school joke worked in Dress and the News had a good run, Harriet informs Matt they want to cut the joke because it's a small town and they shouldn't make fun of a community of bread makers, Matt relents and Harriet fills the gap with a Bear joke. Matt and Danny call for the Huddle before the show begins.

The show is compressed into a few glimpses of the sketches, the audience applauds each highly. The cast finish off the show with the good nights and we are panned into the after show party at a big hotel. Danny arrives and eyes Jordan waiting by the fax machine for the ratings. Harriet asks Matt about the focus Group and Matt realises that Danny put the Patriotic question to the focus group, as he realises he runs down the beach tackling Danny to the sand and asks him why. Danny tells him "because it worked, it's not going to be like last time, not like it was 4 years ago." They agree and trudge back to the hotel, Jack arrives and tells Jordan that S-60 retained 109% of last weeks audience, an elated Jordan runs off to tell the cast that it's the biggest night in 14 years, Matt is happy but sighs as he says "We know there's only one way the story can go from here" – As the Cast celebrate the ratings Matt leaves the hotel while the music finishes…Will you still love me tomorrow…