NBC has decided not to rerun the Studio 60 pilot on October 30 in favor of airing a new episode of Friday Night Lights in S60's timeslot. Since Heroes has emerged as a bonafide hit (and is showing signs that it might actually turn into a good show), NBC can hardly be blamed for wanting a lead-out that can actually hold onto (or God forbid, build on) Heroes' audience.
Studio 60 does return with a new episode the following Monday, November 6, and (at least for now), it will remain in place for November Sweeps. Two of those episodes, "Nevada Parts I & II," will guest-star John Goodman (not as guest-host, so--presumably--he'll be playing someone other than "John Goodman.") One of the upcoming musical guests will be Jessica Simpson, who apparently once asked Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton if her job was to redecorate the White House. (Does this mean they're attempting to court stupid people?)
So it's not dead yet, but it's still hemhorragging viewers. Those Alpha Consumers? Seems they've got Buyer's Remorse.
And I'm one of 'em. :( The show just isn't working.
Amanda Peet sucks--She murders every scene she's in, every kick-ass line she's given. She's got one mode: deer with its eyes caught in the headlights. It's like she's on xanax. (I'm still reeling that the people who cast Allison Janney and Janel Moloney--and Felicity Huffman--said to themselves, "Amanda Peet--Yes."
And Matthew Perry isn't that much better.
I like that Matt & Harry's relationship--which at first seemed to be mythologizing Sorkin and Kirsten Chennoweth and now seems to be mythologizing Bill Murray and Gilda Radner. Now, that's more interesting. That's the good kind of "write what you know"-- take your experience and let it inform characters based on other
people, so when you tell stories that highlight how smart and great and cool these people are, you're not actually patting yourself on the back on national television.
And there are other problems, not least of which is the writing. The action will suddenly grind to a halt for a Sting number, or there will be four endings, as in "Focus Group," which was otherwise the strongest episode so far. But it turned suddenly--and surprisingly--saccharine with a montage at the Wrap Party set to the Shirelle's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow" that culminated with Matthew Perry ... getting in his car and driving away.
Don't get me wrong: I respect that he's in over his head... He's not playing it safe, and I hope he turns it arond. But it's starting to feel like this whole project will be remembered as a Sorkin-shaped hole in the wall.
As for where they're going . . . E! Online's Kristen is reporting that Peet's pregnancy will be written into the show after all, and Brad Whitford gives a quote that makes it sound like he's lobbying to be the daddy. (They were clearly headed there with those two characters anyway, so it doesn't seem like a leap.)
I'm hoping they use her pregnancy to tip off of a storyline that ends up with McDeere out...
...Which would let them bring in a high-profile new female lead to take Peet's place... promote the hell out of it... and hope to generate a second-look audience for her debut. Might be Studio 60's best shot at remaining a going concern.
So... Since Mary Louise Parker's busy, what's Allison Janney doing these days? (Or would that just make it worse?)