Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Title Card
Format Comedy-drama
Created by Aaron Sorkin
Starring Matthew Perry
Amanda Peet
Bradley Whitford
Steven Weber
D. L. Hughley
Sarah Paulson
Nate Corddry
Timothy Busfield
Composer(s) W.G. Snuffy Walden
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 22 (List of episodes)
Executive producer(s) Thomas Schlamme
Aaron Sorkin
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 43 minutes
Original channel NBC
Original run September 18, 2006 (2006-09-18) – June 28, 2007 (2007-06-28)
External links

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was an American dramedy television series created and written by Aaron Sorkin. It ran for 22 episodes.

The series takes place behind the scenes of a live sketch comedy show (also called Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip or Studio 60) on the fictional television network NBS (National Broadcasting System), whose format is similar to that of NBC's Saturday Night Live. National Broadcasting System is owned by the TMG Corporation. The show-within-a-show is run by executive producers Matt Albie (Matthew Perry) and Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford). Matt acts as the head writer and Danny produces the show.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip aired on NBC from September 18, 2006 to June 28, 2007.




Major roles

Studio 60 employed a broad ensemble cast that portrayed the rotating personnel involved in the production of a late-night comedy show.

  • Danny Tripp (Bradley Whitford) is a former segment producer for Studio 60 who is asked to return as director/executive producer when executive producer Wes Mendell is fired. He works closely with Matt Albie, his longtime friend. He is a recovering drug addict and alcoholic.
  • Matt Albie (Matthew Perry) is a former writer for Studio 60 who takes over production along with long-time friend Danny Tripp, as executive producer and head writer. He is also Harriet's on-off boyfriend.
  • Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) is the recently hired president of entertainment programming of network National Broadcasting System, of which Studio 60 is the flagship show.
  • Harriet Hayes (Sarah Paulson) is a "multi-talented"[1] performer, a devout Christian, and one of the "Big Three" main stars of Studio 60. She is also Matt Albie's on-off girlfriend. She also dated Luke Scott, a former writer at Studio 60 and Matt's rival, now a big-time director. The character of Harriet is partially based on Kristin Chenoweth, whom Sorkin previously dated before she worked on The West Wing.[2]
  • Tom Jeter (Nate Corddry) is another of the show's "Big Three." He is from the Midwest, and his brother is serving as an airman in the USAF deployed in Afghanistan. During the course of the show, he begins dating Lucy Kenwright, one of the staff writers.
  • Simon Stiles (D. L. Hughley) is the final member of the "Big Three." An alumnus of the Yale School of Drama, his original intention was to become a dramatic actor, rather than a comedian.
  • Jack Rudolph (Steven Weber) is the chairman of the National Broadcasting System, and Jordan's boss. During the course of the show, he and his wife separate.
  • Cal Shanley (Timothy Busfield) is the director of the Studio 60. He has two children and is a military history buff. (Busfield has also directed several episodes of the series, as he did for Sports Night.)

Secondary roles

  • Jeannie Whatley (Ayda Field) is a member of the show's ensemble. She is Matt's occasional lover and Harriet's close friend and is a bit of a gossip on the set.
  • Alex Dwyer (Simon Helberg) is a member of the show's ensemble; he is recognized as the complement to Harriet Hayes, being the premier male impressionist in the cast. He has at least one recurring sketch, The Nicolas Cage Show, in which he plays the title character, and has also portrayed Tom Cruise and Ben Stiller.
  • Dylan Killington (Nate Torrence) is a rookie member of the show's ensemble. Dylan plays a number of different characters in the show-within-a-show. During "Nevada Day Part - II", Simon goes to Nevada with Tom, Danny, and Jack; Matt then asks a reluctant Dylan to fill in for Simon in News 60. He has a crush on Jeannie.
  • Samantha Li (Camille Chen) is a member of the show's ensemble.
  • Ricky Tahoe (Evan Handler) is a former co-executive producer of the show and former co-head of the writers' room. In "The Option Period", he and Ron left Studio 60 to pursue a pilot show for Fox called "Peripheral Vision Man" – based on a character from an old Studio 60 sketch; Ricky's departure was marked by a hostile shouting match with Matt.
  • Ron Oswald (Carlos Jacott) is a former co-executive producer of the show and former co-head of the writers' room. In "The Option Period", he left the show with Ricky to pursue a pilot show for Fox called Peripheral Vision Man – based on a character from an old Studio 60 sketch.
  • Wilson White (Edward Asner) is the head of TMG (Tunney Media Group), the conglomerate that owns the NBS network. He is a principal investor in the Macau deal.
  • Lucy Kenwright (Lucy Davis) is a junior writer on the show and the only pre-Matt and Danny writer to remain after Ricky and Ron's departure. Lucy and Darius were supposed to get their first sketch on the air in "B-12". The sketch was about a bungling hostage taker, but was cancelled when a real-life hostage-taker killed his entire family and then himself just after the show started. During the course of the show, Lucy begins dating Tom Jeter.
  • Darius Hawthorne (Columbus Short) is Matt's assistant writer. Matt and Simon hired Darius after seeing his poor stand-up act in "The Wrap Party". During "The Harriet Dinner" he argues with Simon because Darius passed a sketch, pitched by Simon, to Lucy.
  • Andy Mackinaw (Mark McKinney) was introduced in "B-12" after Ricky and Ron's departure when Matt needed an extra writer's help. Andy was a writer on Studio 60 prior to Matt and Danny's initial departure from the show. Since that time, Andy's wife and daughter died in a car accident. Andy is very serious and has only been seen smiling once.
  • Martha O'Dell (Christine Lahti) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist working on a story for Vanity Fair about the new leadership of Studio 60. She ends up easily uncovering almost every detail of the cast and crew's personal lives. Martha's character is based on the columnist Maureen Dowd, who once dated Sorkin.[3]
  • Suzanne (Merritt Wever) is a former production assistant on the show who becomes Matt's assistant in the episode "B-12". She confronts Matt about his drug use in the episode "Breaking News".
  • Hallie Galloway (Stephanie Childers) is the vice-president of alternative programming (a.k.a. reality TV) for NBS and has developed an adversarial relationship with Jordan. She first appeared in the episode "Monday". McDeere has expressed her fear that Galloway is being groomed to take her place after the rocky start to McDeere's tenure as president of the network.
  • Mary Tate (Kari Matchett) is a lawyer from law firm Gage Whitney Pace who is hired by NBS and has a sexual interest in Matt. Between "Breaking News" and "What Kind of Day Has It Been", Mary is used as a second option to get Tom's brother out of the hostage situation.
  • Shelly Green (Wendy Phillips) is head of publicity for NBS.

Other appearances

  • Judd Hirsch as Wes Mendell, the creator of Studio 60 who is fired by Jack Rudolph after going on a long on-air rant against the current state of television. Although he appeared only in the pilot, Wes has been referred to as a big influence on Matt and Danny.
  • Fred Stoller as Lenny Gold, a comedian in "West Coast Delay" from whom a Studio 60 staff writer may have stolen material.
  • Kim Tao (Julia Ling) guest starred in five episodes ("Nevada Day Part 1," "Nevada Day Part 2," "Monday," "Harriet Dinner Part 1," "Harriet Dinner Part 2") as the viola prodigy who speaks five languages. She is the official translator for her father during the Macau deal. Kim claims to be Tom's biggest fan, and, because of this, she wants to pursue a career in improvisational comedy against her father's wishes.
  • Eli Weinraub (Eli Wallach) appeared in "The Wrap Party." An old mischievous man with an interesting – and familiar – past. Wallach was nominated for an Emmy for this role.
  • John Goodman as a Pahrump, Nevada judge, Robert "Bobby" Bebe, in "Nevada Day Part 1" and "Nevada Day Part 2." Goodman won an Emmy for this role.
  • Kevin Eubanks appeared as himself in "The Christmas Show".
  • Felicity Huffman, Lauren Graham, Allison Janney, Masi Oka, Howie Mandel, Rob Reiner, Jason Alexander and Jenna Fischer appeared as themselves as celebrity hosts in various episodes.
  • Sting, Corinne Bailey Rae, Gran Bel Fisher, Three 6 Mafia, and Natalie Cole appeared as themselves as musical guests in various episodes.

Main crew

Fictional history of the show-within-the-show

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip premiered in 1986, created by veteran comedy writer Wes Mendell, who had written for such comedy greats as the Smothers Brothers, Bill Cosby and Richard Pryor.

By 1999, Wes had set up a system where he, as head writer, wrote most of his material solo, while assistant head writer Joe was left in charge of the writers’ room, where the rest of the writers would brainstorm and submit ideas they had come up with individually. This was the year in which Wes hired two unknowns who would eventually become members of the “Big Three”, the three most popular and powerful cast members: Yale School of Drama graduate Simon Stiles, and improv veteran Harriet Hayes. Harriet’s addition to the cast was especially important, since it attracted the attention of two freshman writers, Luke Scott and Matt Albie, neither of whom had yet been able to get a sketch on the air. Luke and Matt quickly developed a rivalry for Harriet’s affections, which they expressed partially by writing material specifically for her. Although Luke was the one having succeeded in writing Harriet’s début sketch, it was Matt Albie whose writing made her a star. Harriet alternately dated both writers, until Luke left, having fallen into Matt’s shadow. Luke soon became a success as a director and writer for motion pictures.

By 2001, Studio 60 had become the flagship show of NBS, impressionist Tom Jeter rounded out the Big Three, and Matt had become enough of a success that he had replaced Joe as assistant head writer. In fact, according to producer Danny Tripp, Matt had actually been writing the show since 1999, while Wes spent most of his time in his office "getting old." When Wes was temporarily hospitalised by a cigarette-related heart attack, he left the show in the hands of Matt and Danny. The duo strenuously objected to having to produce a season première in the immediate wake of September 11, but their objections were overruled by network chairman Jack Rudolph. He gave them strict instructions to stay away from "anti-American" political satire and to focus on Hollywood. Matt wrote an opening sketch satirizing a meeting between Karl Rove and movie executives. Jack objected to the sketch, while Matt defended it because it made fun of Hollywood. Making a deal with Jack, Danny and Matt agreed to pull the sketch if the representatives of their sponsors objected after seeing the dress rehearsal. None of them did, the sketch made it onto the show, and there was an immediate conservative backlash. As a result, Jack threatened to fire Matt and Danny unless they apologized for the sketch. They refused to apologize and expected Wes to stand up for their decision. Instead, Wes decided to issue an apology on the show's behalf. Realizing Wes had buckled under perceived pressure from the network, Matt and Danny quit the show.

These decisions caused Wes to begin doubting himself, and, by 2006, he had more or less unofficially handed artistic control of the show over to assistant head writers Ricky and Ron, best known for their unfunny recurring sketch Peripheral Vision Man. Prolific but untalented, Ricky and Ron led the show into an artistic slump. When Wes tried to shake things up by opening the new season with “Crazy Christians”, a sketch that was written by Matt before he quit, he was overruled by Standards & Practices. Wes responded by interrupting the opening sketch with a live, on-air rant about network sensibilities and how they had sapped the quality out of Studio 60 and television in general. The network, under the leadership of newly appointed president Jordan McDeere, responded by firing Wes and bringing back Danny Tripp as executive producer and Matt Albie as executive producer and head writer.

During their time away from Studio 60 Matt and Danny found success as a writer/director filmmaking team, a success culminating with a WGA award for Matt. Still stung by the betrayal of Wes and angry at Jack for refusing to side with their artistic integrity five years earlier, Matt and Danny, nevertheless, accepted the job as show bosses when Danny failed a drug test and, thus, could not get insured for their next movie.

Matt’s return to the show reunited him with Harriet, with whom he had recently broken up. This reunion, coupled with Harriet’s casting in Luke’s latest movie, reignited Luke and Matt’s rivalry for Harriet’s affections. Meanwhile, Danny began to develop a romance with Jordan McDeere, who continued to rile Jack with her distaste for unscripted television and commitment to cerebral programming.

In the writing room, Matt benched Ricky and Ron, partially in retaliation for a post-9/11 snub, but mostly because Matt held the nearly-universally shared view that they were hack writers. Bitter, Ricky and Ron walked out to write for the Fox network production of their optioned Peripheral Vision Man, taking with them all but two of the writing staff. The only writers remaining included Matt as the head writer, the inexperienced Lucy Kenwright, who had never had a sketch on air and the unsuccessful stand-up comedian Darius Hawthorne, whom Matt had only recently hired in response to Simon’s request for more black writers on the show. Realizing that they desperately needed help, Matt hired veteran Studio 60 writer Andy Mackinaw as a writing advisor. Andy, who had retired from comedy after his family was killed in a car accident, then decided to remain on staff as assistant head writer.

U.S. scheduling

On December 2, 2006, NBC announced that Studio 60 would be sharing the Monday at 10 p.m. timeslot with The Black Donnellys. To accommodate this NBC scheduled Studio 60 to take a 7-week hiatus between December 4, 2006, and January 22, 2007.[5] It was then scheduled to run non-stop until February 26, 2007, when it would take another hiatus.[6]


On February 13, 2007, NBC announced that Studio 60 would go on hiatus one week early, and that the last episode would air on February 19, 2007. This was at least partially due to the show's delivering its lowest ratings to date on the Monday preceding the announcement.[7]

During the hiatus on NBC, The Black Donnellys (premiered February 26), Thank God You're Here (premiered April 9), The Real Wedding Crashers (premiered April 23, after Thank God You're Here moved to Wednesdays),[8][9] and Law and Order: Criminal Intent (aired its last two episodes of the season starting May 14) occupied the Monday 10 p.m. time period.

On April 2, 2007, NBC announced that Studio 60 would not reclaim its Monday at 10 p.m. time slot at the conclusion of The Black Donnellys run and that The Real Wedding Crashers, a reality show based on the popular movie, would occupy the timeslot from April 23, 2007, through the end of the TV season. However, on April 26, NBC announced that Studio 60 would return from its hiatus on Thursday, May 24, at 10:00 p.m.


Studio 60 was officially canceled on May 11, 2007 during the NBC upfront presentation.[10]

Critical and public reaction

Studio 60, previously known as Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip during its development stage (and likely renamed because of Studio 7, a game show that aired on The WB in 2004), was already the subject of much discussion before its first episode had aired. NBC and CBS had staged an intense bidding war for the rights to the show in October 2005, with NBC agreeing to a "near-record license fee" in order to obtain the rights.[11] It was the show most anticipated by media buyers prior to the network upfront presentations, according to MediaLife.[12] Among the online public the show was also highly anticipated, receiving the most online "mentions" and the most positive sentiment of any new 2006 show.[13] The positive reception extended to television critics, who named it their "Best Overall New Program" in a poll conducted by Broadcasting and Cable,[14] based on the pilot episode. In their 2006 year end issue, NY Daily News listed Studio 60 as number 6 on their best "Series of the Year" list, and was also listed in best standout performances as number 9 for Matthew Perry.[15] Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald named Studio 60 as number 2 on his list of best "Series of the Year."[16] Studio 60 earned a collective rating of 75 out of 100 based on 33 reviews by TV critics and received 8.2 out of 10 from 276 votes by users on Metacritic.[17]

The pilot was seen by an average of 13.4 million total viewers in its initial airing on NBC, although it experienced significant viewer falloff from the first half-hour to the second half-hour,[18] and the second episode's Nielsen ratings were down by 12% from the pilot.[19] The erosion continued through episode 5, with a 43% viewer drop off from its premiere, but subsequently leveled off. (See U.S. television ratings below.)

On October 27, 2006, NBC gave a conditional "vote of confidence" by ordering three additional scripts on top of the initial order of 13.[20] Despite the order, Studio 60 performed poorly in the ratings, which led to speculation that the network was seriously considering canceling the show.

Roger Friedman of Fox News reported on October 30, 2006, that cancellation of the show was imminent.[21] This was denied the next day by an NBC representative who stated that the show "is profitable at this point" and that rather than a cancellation, it is more likely that the show's time slot will change.[22]

On November 9, 2006, NBC announced that the show had been picked up for a full season, citing its favorable demographics as the reason.[23] According to NBC's press release: "Studio 60 has consistently delivered some of the highest audience concentrations among all primetime network series in such key upscale categories as adults 18-49 living in homes with $75,000-plus and $100,000-plus incomes and in homes where the head of household has four or more years of college."

In its December 17, 2006, issue, Time listed Studio 60 as one of "5 Things That Went From Buzz to Bust", sharing the distinction with other "phenomena that captivated the media for a spell, then turned out to be less than huge."[24] Entertainment Weekly named Studio 60 the worst TV show of 2006.[25] Comedy writers have been largely disdainful of Studio 60, with comments like "People in television, trust me, are not that smart", "(Sorkin) wants to get big ideas across and change people's minds. No comedians work that way. They go for the laughs first and the lesson second", and "(Saturday Night Live) is so dark, they could never show what actually happens there."[26]

On July 19, 2007, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences announced their nominations for the 2007 Primetime Emmy awards. Studio 60 was nominated in five categories. The pilot episode earned three nominations: Outstanding Directing (Thomas Schlamme), Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-camera Series, and Outstanding Casting in Dramatic Series. Both John Goodman and Eli Wallach were nominated Outstanding Guest actor in Dramatic Series. Studio 60 Emmy nominations surpassed several other shows, such as Friday Night Lights and Dexter, which got two and three, respectively. The show also tied with CSI and 24.

Influences on the show

The pilot both alludes heavily and refers directly to the film Network. In early development, Studio 60's network NBS was called UBS, as was the corporation in Network.

As is typical for Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme, the crew contains a number of people linked to their previous shows (Sports Night and The West Wing). Bradley Whitford, Timothy Busfield, John Goodman, Evan Handler and Matthew Perry all have a history with The West Wing. Busfield also directed two episodes of Sports Night. The show's first guest host (appearing as herself) is Felicity Huffman, who starred in Sports Night and did a guest spot on The West Wing. Cast member Mark McKinney wrote an episode of Sports Night.

Sorkin draws from his own experience as a writer in creating the characters. In "The Focus Group", Ron says, "Nobody can write 90 minutes of television every week by themselves. They'd be dead by the sixth show." Sorkin is known for having single-handedly written a majority of the episodes during the first four seasons of The West Wing.

The show also uses the now familiar "Walk and Talks" (also called "pedeconferencing" in fan circles) used so frequently in both previous shows as well.

The Harriet/Matt relationship is based on Sorkin's relationship with Kristin Chenoweth, who played Annabeth Schott on The West Wing.[27] In Studio 60's pilot, one of the reasons that Matt and Harriet broke up was Harriet's decision to appear on The 700 Club to support her Christian music album. In 2005, Chenoweth made a similar appearance on The 700 Club, sparking a negative reaction from some of her gay fans because of the views of 700 Club host Pat Robertson.[28] Unlike Matt and Harriet, Sorkin and Chenoweth did not work together on The West Wing. Sorkin left after The West Wing's fourth season and Chenoweth joined the cast during season six.

The Jordan McDeere character is loosely based on former ABC Entertainment President Jamie Tarses, who was a consultant on the show.[29]

The conflict between NBS and the Federal Communications Commission regarding uncensored language of American soldiers in Afghanistan parallels the decision by a small number of PBS affiliates to air the documentary Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience in full, despite potentially hefty FCC fines for unedited obscenities used by American soldiers describing their experiences in Iraq.[30]

Similarities to other media

Two shows debuting on 2006–07 NBC lineup, 30 Rock and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, revolved around the off-camera happenings on a sketch comedy series. Similarities between the two led to speculation that only one of them would be picked up. Alec Baldwin, of 30 Rock said "I'd be stunned if NBC picked up both shows. And ours has the tougher task, as a comedy, because, if it's not funny, that's it."[31] Kevin Reilly, then president of NBC Entertainment, was supportive of Fey, describing the situation as a "high-class problem":

I just can't imagine the audience would look at both shows, choose one and cancel the other out. In some ways, why is it any different than when there have been three or four cop shows on any schedule, or Scrubs and ER, which are totally very different?[32]

Evidence of the overlapping subject matter between the shows, as well as the conflict between them, arose when Aaron Sorkin, the creator of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, asked Lorne Michaels to allow him to observe Saturday Night Live for a week, a request Michaels denied.[31] Despite this, Sorkin sent Fey flowers after NBC announced it would pick up both series, and wished her luck with 30 Rock.[33] Fey said that "it's just bad luck for me that in my first attempt at prime time I'm going up against the most powerful writer on television. I was joking that this would be the best pilot ever aired on Trio. And then Trio got canceled."[31] Fey wound up "beating" Sorkin when Studio 60 was canceled after one season and 30 Rock was renewed for a second. Though 30 Rock's first-season ratings proved lackluster and were lower than those of Studio 60,[34] Studio 60 was more expensive to produce.[35]

The series finale of Studio 60, "What Kind of Day Has It Been," bears the same episode title as the season 1 finales of both The West Wing and Sports Night.

In a tongue in cheek reference to the cancelled Studio 60, Aaron Sorkin appeared in Season 5 of 30 Rock (Episode 18, "Plan B") as himself looking for work alongside the also struggling writer character of Liz Lemon. Lemon and Sorkin both apply and interview with Nick Lachey for The Sing Off. While listing his achievements to Liz:(The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network), she pipes up with "Studio 60?", to which he replies "Shut up".

Television ratings

U.S. ratings

Weekly rankings based on Fast National ratings.[36][37][38][39]

Season One (2006–2007)
# Episode Air Date Rating Share 18–49 Demographic Viewers (in millions) Rank
1 "Pilot""Pilot" 01September 18, 2006 8.6 14 5.0 13.14 # 22
2 "Cold Open, The""The Cold Open" 02September 25, 2006 7.5 12 4.4 10.82 # 33
3 "Focus Group, The""The Focus Group" 03October 2, 2006 6.0 10 3.5 8.85 # 47
4 "West Coast Delay, The""The West Coast Delay" 04October 9, 2006 5.8 9 3.8 8.66 # 51
5 "Long Lead Story, The""The Long Lead Story" 05October 16, 2006 5.3 8 3.1 7.74 # 55
6 "Wrap Party, The""The Wrap Party" 06October 23, 2006 5.1 8 3.2 7.72 # 60
7 "Nevada Day (1)""Nevada Day (1)" 07November 6, 2006 4.8 8 3.3 7.67 # 56
8 "Nevada Day (2)""Nevada Day (2)" 08November 13, 2006 5.0 8 3.2 7.58 # 58
9 "Option Period, The""The Option Period" 09November 20, 2006 4.7 8 3.1 7.17 # 60
10 "B-12""B-12" 10November 27, 2006 4.8 8 3.3 7.27 # 60
11 "Christmas Show, The""The Christmas Show" 11December 4, 2006 4.9 8 3.0 7.33 # 52
12 "Monday""Monday" 12January 22, 2007 5.3 8 3.2 7.25 # 48
13 "Harriet Dinner – Part I, The""The Harriet Dinner – Part I" 13January 29, 2007 4.8 7 3.0 6.86 # 53
14 "Harriet Dinner – Part II, The""The Harriet Dinner – Part II" 14February 5, 2007 4.6 7 3.2 7.00 # 59
15 "Friday Night Slaughter,The""The Friday Night Slaughter" 15February 12, 2007 4.3 7 2.8 6.39 # 68
16 "4AM Miracle""4AM Miracle" 16February 19, 2007 4.1 7 2.6 6.10 # 63
17 "Disaster Show, The""The Disaster Show" 17May 24, 2007 2.7 5 1.7 3.90 # 76
18 "Breaking News""Breaking News" 18May 31, 2007 2.9 5 1.6 4.08 n/a
19 "K&R - Part 1""K&R" 19June 7, 2007 3.1 5 1.7 4.35 # 66
20 "K&R - Part 2""K&R - Part II" 20June 14, 2007 3.0 6 1.7 4.25 n/a
21 "K&R - Part 3""K&R - Part III" 21June 21, 2007 3.0 5 1.8 4.42 # 53
22 "What Kind of Day Has It Been""What Kind of Day Has It Been" 22June 28, 2007 2.7 5 2.0 4.20 n/a

Key: Rating is the estimated percentage of all TVs tuned to the show, share is the percentage of all TVs in use that are tuned in. Viewers is the estimated number of actual people watching, in millions, while ranking is the approximate ranking of the show against all prime-time TV shows for the week (Monday through the following Sunday).

While the show premiered with high ratings, there was a large drop during the second half. This trend continued through nearly every episode of the show.

Chart showing ratings, 18-49 ratings, share and viewers for the show.

Seasonal ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC:[40]

Note: Each U.S. network television season starts in late September and ends in late May, which coincides with the completion of May sweeps.

Season Timeslot (EDT) Series Premiere Series Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
18-49 Rating/Share
1 Monday 10:00 P.M. (September 18, 2006 - February 19, 2007)
Thursday 10:00 P.M. (May 24, 2007 - June 28, 2007)[41]
September 18, 2006 June 28, 2007 2006-2007 #61 8.5 3.6/9 (#41)

DVR ratings

On December 29, 2006, Nielsen Media Research reported the results of having, for the first time, monitored viewers who use a Digital Video Recorder to pre-record shows for later viewing. According to the Nielsen numbers, adding these viewers increased Studio 60's ratings the most in percentage terms of all network shows. These ratings, called "live plus seven", include all viewers who use a DVR to record the show and then watch it within a week of its initial airing.

According to Nielsen, Studio 60 adds nearly 11%, or almost a million viewers, to its total every week as a result of these "live plus seven" viewers.[42]

According to Medialife Magazine, "The live-plus-seven-day rating for NBC’s “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip” is 136% higher than its live rating in DVR homes."[43]



  • Broadcasting and Cable pool — Best Overall New Program.


  • Emmy Award — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series: for the episode “Pilot”, directed by Thomas Schlamme;
  • Emmy Award — Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series: for the episode “Pilot”
  • Emmy Award — Outstanding Casting in Dramatic Series;
  • Emmy Award — Outstanding Guest Actor in Dramatic Series – Eli Wallach;
  • Writers Guild of America Award — Best Overall New Program
  • Writers Guild of America Award — Episodic Drama – for the episode “Pilot”, written by Aaron Sorkin
  • Directors Guild of America Awards — Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Dramatic Series, Night: for the episode “Pilot”, directed by Thomas Schlamme
  • Golden Globe — Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – Sarah Paulson
  • Art Directors Guild — Excellence in production design single camera television series – for the episode “Pilot”, Production Design by Carlos Barbosa
  • American Society of Cinematographers — episodic television – Thomas Del Ruth
  • ICG Publicists Awards — Outstanding Television Series

Alternative availability

Studio 60 has been removed from Netflix's Watch Instantly program and is only available via DVD. Studio 60 was one of a group of NBC shows during its season, some new and some returning, which was available on one or both of NBC's online forums for alternative distribution of television: free with commercials on and, and for pay download without commercials at and the iTunes Store. Studio 60 was also added as a download option via the Xbox 360 video download service. There is no published record of its popularity at the NBC website or on the Xbox, but several Studio 60 episodes have been among the ten most popular on iTunes. The Studio 60 season pass has also steadily remained in the Top 20 since it was made available. The first nine episodes of Studio 60 were also made available on the launch of Xbox Live Media Downloads in fall of 2006, and the service continues to offer the new episodes weekly (3–4 days after the airdate). All episodes of the program have also been made available on CTV's online broadband network. Episodes are currently being added to the Channel 4's 4oD, a broadband on-demand service, in the UK, as the episodes are broadcast on More 4.

Early release

NBC made the pilot episode of Studio 60 available on DVD to Netflix subscribers on August 5, 2006. The DVD also includes the pilot episode for Kidnapped, another show which aired on NBC in the fall and also got canceled. AOL also premiered the first episode of Studio 60 in its entirety on its online television channel.

The pilot episode was screened to the general public for the first time at the 31st MediaGuardian Edinburgh International Television Festival, a British industry and media event held annually over the August bank holiday weekend (25–27 August 2006). The pilot episode was screened outdoors on a "giant billboard style screen" in Conference Square, next to the Edinburgh International Conference Centre.[44]

DVD release

On June 27, 2007, the day before the airing of the show's final episode, Warner Home Video announced an October 16 release date for the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Complete Series DVD set.[45]

See also


  1. ^ Sorkin, Aaron. "Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip". Archived from the original on 2006-04-27. Retrieved October 12, 2006. 
  2. ^ Chenoweth, Kristin. A Little Bit Wicked: Life, Love, and Faith in Stages, page 201. Touchstone, 2009.
  3. ^ Susman, Gary. "Infectious Laughter". Entertainment Weekly.,6115,1563534_3_0_,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-28. 
  4. ^
  5. ^,
  6. ^, ratings
  7. ^, news
  8. ^ " on the Wedding Crashers".,0,692816.story?track=rss. 
  9. ^ "E! Online on shows likely to return". ,
  10. ^
  11. ^ Adalian, Josef (2005-10-14). "Peacock on 'Studio' beat". Daily Variety. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  12. ^ Downey, Kevin (2006-03-31). "The hot pre-upfront buzz: 'Studio 60'". Media Life Magazine. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  13. ^ Consoli, John (2006-07-10). "NBC Best On Buzzmeter Web Study". MediaWeek. Archived from the original on 2007-03-24. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  14. ^ Grossman, Ben (2006-09-04). "Fall Harvest". Broadcasting & Cable. Retrieved 2006-09-03. 
  15. ^
  16. ^ Glenn Garvin (2006-12-24). "2006's most memorable moments: The year in movies, music, television, visual arts, fashion, performing arts and architecture". Miami Herald. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-01-10. 
  17. ^ "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip". Metacritic. Retrieved 2007-09-18. 
  18. ^ Collins, Scott (2006-09-25). "Falloff: The numbers could spell trouble for NBC's 'Studio 60'". Relish Now!. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30.!entertainment!television&s=1037645508994. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  19. ^ Lisotta, Christopher (2006-09-26). "NBC Wins Monday in Adults 18 to 49; 'Heroes' Soars". TV Week. Retrieved 2006-09-26. 
  20. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (2006-10-27). "Good-ish news for Studio 60, The Nine, Two Others". TV Guide. Retrieved 2006-11-09. [dead link]
  21. ^ Friedman, Roger (2006-11-03). "'Studio 60' Cancellation Imminent". Fox News.,2933,226092,00.html. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  22. ^ Goetzl, David (2006-10-31). " Columnist Gets It Wrong, NBC Says 'Studio 60' Stays Onboard". MediaDailyNews. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  23. ^ "NBC Gives Full Season Order To Critically Acclaimed New Drama 'Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip' For 2006-07" (Press release). NBC. 2006-11-09. Retrieved 2006-11-09. 
  24. ^ Grossman, Lev (2006-12-17). "5 Things That Went From Buzz to Bust".,9171,1570831,00.html. Retrieved 2006-12-21. 
  25. ^ "The Worst". Entertainment Weekly.,,20006523,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-11. 
  26. ^ Netburn, Deborah (December 25, 2006). "Comedy writers aren’t laughing about '60'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  27. ^ Carter, Bill (2006-09-11). "'West Wing' to West Coast: TV's Auteur Portrays TV". New York Times. Retrieved 2006-10-25. 
  28. ^ Rosenblum, Emma (2006-09-11). "The Not Ready for Prime Time Playoff". New York Magazine. Retrieved 2006-10-30. 
  29. ^ "Jordan McDeere bio". Retrieved 2008-12-23. [dead link]
  30. ^ Jensen, Elizabeth (2007-04-13). "Some PBS Stations Plan to Show War Film Uncensored". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  31. ^ a b c Friend, Tad (2006-04-24). "Who's on First Dept: Shows about Shows". The New Yorker. Retrieved 2008-08-01. 
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  36. ^ Zap2It Ratings: Rating and Share.
  37. ^ Calendar Live Ratings: Viewers and Rankings.
  38. ^ NY Post: Unfavourable New York Post Article
  39. ^ "Media Life Magazine (18-49 numbers)". 
  40. ^ "Hollywood Reporter: 2006-07 primetime wrap". May 25, 2007. 
  41. ^ Episodes 17-22 (Episodes shown at Thursday 10:00 P.M.) are not included in these rating due to them being aired during the summer season
  42. ^ "'Studio 60' Gets Bump from DVRs: NBC series is most 'time-shifted' of season". Zap2it. 2006-12-29.,0,4559331.story?coll=zap-tv-mainheadline. Retrieved 2007-01-16. 
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  44. ^ "Screening: Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip". mediaguardian. Retrieved 2006-09-01. 
  45. ^ "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - October Release Date - Cost & Extras for The Complete Series". Retrieved 2007-06-27. 
  1. NBC reacts to ratings slide

External links

Matt Albie | Danny Tripp | Jordan McDeere | Harriet Hayes
Tom Jeter | Simon Stiles | Jack Rudolph | Cal Shanley
Ricky Tahoe | Ron Oswald | Wes Mendell | Martha O'Dell
Jeannie Whatley | Samantha Li | Alex Dwyer | Dylan Killington
Darius Hawthorne | Lucy Kenwright | Andy Mackinaw | Wilson White
Key creators Aaron Sorkin | Thomas Schlamme | W. G. Snuffy Walden
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