Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Season 1 Episode 5

The Long Lead Story

Aired Monday 10:00 PM Oct 16, 2006 on NBC

Episode Fan Reviews (20)

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  • "This is art, it is hard work And one friend said, too hard for me And the other said, if you will I will come again Because I found it hard I felt honoured" -from Howard Barker's The Bite of the Night

    Can you imagine what the world would look like if all TV were this good? This smart? I mean, I realize it's naive to think that a single TV show could change the way people think about their world, but I'm confident that I'm not alone in wishing that life would have the good sense to imitate this art. I commend Aaron Sorkin, a man whose obvious talent with the pen (or the Mac, as it may be) I can only hope will challenge the big guns of mainstream television to realize that good writing is the path to creating compelling, three dimensional characters - not HDTV.

    Also worthy of my boundless praise is the amazing cast, who together deliver some of the juiciest, most brazen performances I've seen on mainstream television. Every look, every word, and every gesture comes together in a divine arrangement that is almost tangled, knarled and beautiful enough to be called authentic.

    "All this beauty... Aren't we lucky?" (Bernardo Bertolucci)
  • Danny's got street cred and Matt rocks our socks!

    This was another excellent episode of Studio 60. The continuing story with the reporter there following everyone's moves adds tension. I thought that the story line of the cast members trying to cover for the PA who told the story that she shouldn't have was well done; it showed the caring and concern that these people have for each other, yet it was done with humor as well... they were so totally useless in keeping secrets!

    Danny's street cred was a funny story line too, and it just makes the audience wonder exactly what he said to the aspiring writer to make him choose to go with Jordan's offer. And, of course, Matt and Harry... we can see the still burning embers of their relationship, and I'm sure that this story line will be dragged out... as it should be. They'll end up together, but not for a while!

    Overall, this was another great episode; fast-paced, funny, and interesting.
  • Finally a good episode!

    Just like Sports Night, another Aaron Sorkin show, it took Studio 60 a couple episodes to get into it. The first two or three episodes were painful to watch, because I knew it could be great. (I've recently been mourning the loss of Sports Night) Sorkin needed to get passed the network 'drama' and start working on character development. I wanted to see the people in the control booth, the writers, and the production team in action. The real behind-the-scenes of the sketch show. Last week, I got some of that action, and this week i got to know the characters. Christine Lahti's character is really bringing the best out of these cast members, even though I'm sure her story will crush some of them.
  • Street Cred

    I think that this episode should give Studio 60 street cred. It was def just a character building episode with the small twist at the end that sets up next weeks episode (The Wrap Party). But I continue to love this show and think it will just get better. I don\'t want to much focus to get on relationships though and they do seem to be going there. Matt and Harriet, Danny and Jordan and even Tom and Suzanne (The PA). But all good so far.
  • Matty\'s relationship with Harriet is exposed by the reporter lady. Jordan is throwing her weight around and doing so effectively. Danny has street cred and proves it. The rest of the cast banter lightly.

    Well this show is really investing in character development. Budding relationships take centerstage.

    Matt and Harriet:
    Long lost love is long but not lost apparently. Matt obviously wants her and vice versa. Kinda cliche unresolved love thing going on.

    Danny and Jordan:
    Well she surprises him once again! And then he surprises her back! They should just sleep together already. But otherwise I like this relationship best after Matt and Danny\'s.

    The Cast:
    Token black guy and the rest are like the light version of the main cast. I like the banter but it does go by too fast.

    Reporter Lady:
    Don\'t like her.
  • Matt & Harriet exposed!

    Again another great episode as a tabloid reporter exposes the relationship between Matt and Harriet as Jordan is passes on a reality tv show that nobody seems to watch. As
    Danny feels as though he has somethign to prove for the show. I am loving this show eachand every second as it will come around before you know it.
  • Curse you NBC promo department!

    Again, the NBC promo department ruins the end of an episode. Why do shows feel they have to advertise "and in the final seconds..." in order to draw in viewers? Is this some attempt to keep people from tuning away from the final moments of Studio 60 and flipping over to CSI: Miami to see whodunnit?

    This week, it's less about Matt and Danny and more about Harriet and Jordan. Jordan is coming under pressure to pick up a new reality show that will make the network a ton of cash but Jordan finds disgusting. She passes on the show, instead choosing to pursue a new drama that the young producer really wants to go to HBO. Jack is, of course, upset about this choice and wants the new show that will make a ton of cash for the network--who cares if it's a deplorable concept. You can really see Aaron Sorkin's view of reality TV coming through here. Also of interest is the fact that it seems that the young hot shot producer choosing between two networks is a thinly veiled allegory for the behind the scenes bidding that CBS and NBC had for Studio 60. Did NBC win because they got rid of the Fear Factor and while they have game shows, they don't have any of the worst examples of reality TV out there....

    Maybe I'm reading too much into it here..

    Meanwhile, we find out more about Harriet's background. We find out where she came from and interestingly enough, we see that her star and Matt's are tied together in terms of their rise to the top. Matt upped his game to try and impress Harriet, which he admits to Martha O'Dell late in the game. Hearing about Harriet's life and why she went into comedy and how she reconciles what she does with her faith was some fascinatng stuff. I have to admit I like the character of Harriet a good deal and she may be my favorite on the show. (OK, Jack is really my favorite but Harriet is a close second).

    Of course, Gilmore Girls fans probably tuned in to see Lauren Graham on the show...yeah, blink and you miss her. She's in one sketch and is a total non-factor to the show. Maybe we'll get more of her next week when she's supposed to come back.

    Personally, I enjoyed this one a good bit. It was better than last week's episode, but it's no where nearly as good as the first two. I like that we're trying to explore the other characters in the universe, but I wish we could see more of Timothy Busfield's character, besides just running the boards.
  • Another very good installment of what is quickly becoming a must-watch on my weekly schedule.

    Was this the best episode so far? I don't know if I'll go that far, but I did enjoy it very much. I really enjoyed the way we were able to delve into the pasts of Harriet and Matt without going into some ridiculous flashback sequence via the reporter's questions. Too often showes rely on mundane "remember when" montages to give a character's history. Last night, we were able to enjoy a flashback that was every bit as revealing while at the same time being treated as if we are intelligent enough to follow along without pictures. Very refreshing. I loved Sting's appearance on the show. He is by far one of the greatest singers of his generation, and I'm always amazed at how he stretches himself musically. The dialogue at the end of the show between Matt and Harriet was very well done. It showed us all that there are obvious feelings still there, simmering just below the surface. Having "Fields of Gold" playing beneath the discussion only served to add to the emotional reparte. I'm anxious to see where things go when the reporter returns.
  • While some bits come off a tad arrogant, the great character development makes it click.

    I touched on this a bit in the forum but I feel some parts of the show are Sorkin being a bit high and mighty. There's calling Studio 60 a major cultural thing (despite the fact we've yet to see any sketches that are funnier in a way SNL isn't). And that bit of the reporter saying that the show is what brings red and blue states together is a bit much too. Hopefully, that can fade.

    Because the characters really work. Having the reporter act as a exposition device seemed bad but it worked great as we got to know more about Harriet and her past with Matt. I am hoping we get some flashback episodes showing more of them and how they developed. I was hoping for more of Lauren Graham, a true comic delight but it was interesting to see more of how the backstage parts of the show work and what goes into creating it. True, it'd be better if the sketches were funnier but this is the strength of the show and it works it well.

    I also liked how they're finally showing that Jordan handles more than one show with NBS. The part of her refusing a reality show on moral grounds was a bit unrealistic but I liked the part of her trying to woo the writer and Danny gets him with one sentance. But Jack is good too with his reminding Jordan of the quote from a coach who hasn't won a playoff game in nine years. Overall, very good character moments that overwhelm the haughtiness the show can take. Keep that up and it can rebound more and really click like it should.
  • A mediocre episode with a smattering of beautifully poetic moments

    The previous episode was an example of strong, consistent storytelling, delivering on the promises made in the pilot and demonstrating why the series should survive. While this episode doesn’t quite live up to the same challenge, it offers a number of poetic and even beautiful moments, all in what seems to be a transitional episode as the long-term character elements build.

    Having introduced a reporter with full access in the previous episode, the logical next step would be an episode focusing on the reporter doing her job. And in fact, a large measure of this episode is exactly that. The result is an interesting perspective. On the one hand, Martha is the perfect example of a “gateway character”. The audience gets to discover the ins and outs of the Studio 60 world through the eyes of a character with similar goals. On the other hand, Martha is still something of an insider, and so her perspective is not quite mundane enough to mesh with the perceptions of the casual viewer.

    The positives outweigh the negatives, though that determination is realistically subjective. I found that Martha’s desire for a story, however self-interested at times, had the necessary effect of peeling back the layers of the story. In particular, there was a lot more about the relationship between Matt and Harriet, and it’s a deeply romantic story. A lot of outside factors could have played into it, but the writers chose to focus on specific aspects, and it worked well.

    I’ve been a little annoyed with the constant use of musical montages to end the show, and I thought the lack of one in the previous episode was another strength in the storytelling. Too often, the musical montage is a cheat, a way of ending an episode without writing a final scene with proper denouement. Quite often, songs are chosen for mood, as if the emotional resolution is good enough and context is unnecessary. This episode ended with a song with relevant lyrics and dialogue that gave it context. It was, quite simply, poetic.

    Another strength of the episode was the subplot involving Jordan. While the series is centered on Studio 60, Jordan’s decisions regarding the sketch comedy need to have the proper context. Her responsibility is for the entire network, and we finally get to see her in action. Her decision to scuttle a no-brainer reality show for a more literate series may be another example of Sorkin wish fulfilliment, but it clearly defines Jordan’s thought process and her commitment to elevating the medium. Touching back on Wes and his on-air diatribe was another appreciated grace note.

    For all the good elements, including some gorgeous direction in the more powerful romantic scenes, there were some drawbacks. The pacing was a bit slow again, in contrast to the near-perfect pace of the previous episode. While some scenes deserved the long and generous takes, like Sting’s performance or Martha’s conversations with Harriet, others felt plodding. The comedy sketches were once again groan-worthy, even if there’s the underlying hint that Matt is struggling because of his troubles with Harriet. If that were the case, though, the response from the Studio 60 audience should be reflecting that lack.

    (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!)
  • when matty met harriet

    This episode focus lies with harriet and matt (to be honest i never thought much op matthew perry as an actor chandler was so easy) using Martha O\'Dell\'s questions we unravel her youth and how she arrived at the show

    Als (unless your very blind) we see that matt still want harriet, badly. Sting does wat sting does and provides the background for a almost shakespear like balcony scene where matt and harriet almost kiss (you can see how desperate matt wants to) all in all a very good episode, gettin christine lahti in was a great idea
  • i feel really ambivalent about this show.

    the 1st 2 episodes were great but i don't really care about the characters. i don't care about harriet, or the p.a. or dl hughley or the others. matt & danny & jordan & jack r the only interesting characters & the fake sketches aren't funny either. i don't care about their personal lives, i want 2 c them work on sketches & have friction with management, that's interesting. if i want 2 listen 2 sting i'll put 1 of his cds on. i'm not going 2 watch it anymore.
  • Let Albie Be Albie

    First, a disclaimer: I want this show to succeed. I've been tracking it since it was first announced. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Sorkin fan. I own Sports Night, the first four seasons of The West Wing, and watch The American President and A Few Good Men on a regular basis. My criticisms of this episode aren't to be snobby or snide, but rather to see this show rise to level I know Sorkin is capable of.

    This week's episode was easily the weakest thus far. While I admit that the Matt/Harriet stuff hasn't been mind-blowing, this episode just gave it way too much attention and it died under the weight. A much stronger path would have been to have the supporting cast keep trying to cover like Simon and Tom were trying to do. West Wing fans should remember the series of unfortunate events where Leo asked Sam to cover for a reporter, Sam confused Kurdistan and Kazakistan, and then Donna left behind her underwear. That was subplot, that was hilarious, that was just damn fine televsion. Why couldn't they do something like that here?

    Also, the sketches aren't working. With Sports Night, it wasn't a big deal. Some will disagree, but if you've seen one episode of Sportscenter, you've seen them all. Only the numbers change. With The West Wing, legislation was always external. The laws went forth and we assume all went well with the world. But here, we're seeing the sketches and the sketches are bad. The Nic Cage: Couples Counselor was exactly the kind of sketch that shouldn't be praised. If Matt is such a brilliant writer, how come he's just taking an impression and trying to stretch it out? I'm hoping the show has a "Let Bartlet Be Bartlet" turning point where Matt realizes that his work has been subpar and changes everything up, but right now, the show lacks any forward momentum and it's lacking that divine spark of Sorkin's previous efforts. However, with the high-cost and low-ratings of the show, will the show even make it to this hypothetical turning point?
  • this episode was boring not much happened

    this episode mainly consistsof matt trying to win back his ex girlfriend
    some reporter comes and talks to harriet and ends up bringing up a llot of stuff about her life and whatever
    matt acts like he is over her
    lauren graham and sting guest star
    sting plays like half a song while lauren graham has like two lines if you blink you will miss her
    then at the end harriet talks to matt and it seems like its over for them and they are not getting back together

    i didn't see the commercial for next weeks episode but i really hope its better than this weeks
  • Uneventful in plot but strong character development makes for an interesting episode.

    Though nothing much happend plot-wise in this episode, it provided a real insight into the history of Matt and Harriet; a vital relationship in the show. Matt Perry is really great. The reporter was kind of a cheap way to get all the history out on the table and if you told me that was how it was going to unfold i would cringe. But the reporter was actually an interesting character and really made the story work.

    Also was it just me or was the whole point of episode really just to push thei until to end to make it look like Matt and Harriet were gunna get back together? They had me fooled particularly on the balcony scene. In my opinion, this episode only worked cos the strongest characters were the ones in focus. It'll be interesting how they incorporate the other characters in future episodes.
  • Character development and history are the words that best describe this well-written episode of the series.

    The use of Martha O'Dell as the ever-questing reporter worked it best magic this episode. Martha is hungry for the backstories of Harriet, Matt, and Danny. She uses her ability to read situation and emotion, and her seemingly genuine friendliness to get the questions out at just the right time. It makes for a very interesting version of story telling for character development. You get the questions answered while seeing the body language and emotion of the interviewee at the same time. Through the interviews this week, we get the deepest backstory on Harriet and Matt to date. Watching and hearing Harriet talk about her childhood, parents, and religious background comes across very sweet. The audience learns that Harriet started in comedy at the same time she was realizing her faith. She speaks warmly about her mother's support of her career and the loving foundation she gave her. Martha presses for more information on Harriet and Matt's past relationship, but Harriet is really trying to not tell her secrets. We also learn that Danny recruited Harriet, not Matt. This fact only makes Martha thirstier for more. In all, it was a great character building episode. Martha as the tool for discovery is interesting and comedic at times. There is definitely more to be unraveled behind the scenes at Studio 60.
  • Great episode.

    Another amazing episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip with Lauren Graham (I don't know why but Graham looks spelled wrong but I don't think it is). Lauren Graham who stars in Gilmore Girls as Lorelai Gilmore played the host of the show in the show of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The group almost lets everything sip about Harriet and Matt's previous relationship, such as the breakup and how they got (or attempted) to make the other jealous. At the end Harriet and Matt are alone in the balconey about to kiss when they leave and it looks like they both wanted it to happen.
  • Now that the introductions have past, and the A.D.D. generation has chosen to change the channel, \"Studio 60\" proves its worthiness to the hype.

    It\'s absolutely unfathomable to me that there are millions of people who would prefer to watch the unfortunate acting of David Caruso in a mindless conglomeration like CSI--one that seems to derive from any successful criminal show. Next up: Kevin Federline in CSI Salt Lake City.

    As he has already proved with \"The West Wing\" and the strikingly similar \"Sports Night\" (whose fate I hope isn\'t shared by \"Studio 60\"), Aaron Sorkin is a genius with dialogue. And maybe that\'s the problem--he\'s not going to incessantly provide viewers with mindless entertainment as an escape from thought. He depicts real people (albeit rather talented ones), real emotions, and real stories (okay, so maybe a book on Jordan McDeere\'s sexual escapades wouldn\'t be a top seller). And real acting. And great music.
    My point: it\'s a great show. You may not have anybody save the world, and you may not get to see David Caruso\'s attempts to impersonate Dwayne \"The Rock\" Johnson, but you will be entertained by extremely likable (and unlikable) characters, and extremely interesting relationships. Real relationships. Ones that we can all relate to.

    And if I haven\'t sold you yet--just watch the episode for Sting\'s acoustic \"Fields of Gold\" performance in the final minutes. It\'s rare to see a song fit so perfectly into the flow and feeling of the show.
  • Sting was wonderful

    This was a great episode. Matt revealing the reason why he got noticed on the show. Harriet revealing how she got start in comedy. And hello Sting and his lute. After watching him you can see why he has lasted in the music business for as long as he has.
  • I like this programme. Its not violent, not overtly sexual. Its what I call gentle monging television

    I like this programme. Its not violent, not overtly sexual. Its what I call gentle monging television. You can watch it and not have to think too much. The cast work well together and the relationships are developing nicely. I don't know who the reporter is in this programme but she is also a major milf!! Matt Perry is superb, funny without meaning to be and he has finally shaken off the mantle of Chandler. Jordan is funny and the way she faced down her boss was good. I like Danny and his outlook on life as well. I have no idea where this programme is going, but I'm happy to go along for the ride.