Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: Is the NBC Series Doomed?

Studio 60 castIt’s not looking good for NBC’s new Aaron Sorkin show, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The show has consistently under-performed network expectations from the beginning and it now looks like the end could be near.

Prior to its debut on September 1st, Studio 60 got a ton of promotion (lots of network commercials, the pilot being made available as a free download and on DVD from NetFlix, and much more). There was no shortage of viewer buzz either. In fact, a study showed that out of 2.3 million mentions of the new fall shows, Studio 60 was mentioned almost 25 percent of the time.

Unfortunately, Studio 60 debuted to mixed reviews and drew a less-than-impressive 13.4 million viewers. It came in second place in its time slot, bested by the returning CBS procedural drama CSI: Miami.

Studio 60 has since dropped to third place in its time period, with just 7.7 million viewers watching last week. It doesn’t help that the preceding show, Heroes (NBC’s one runaway hit) attracted almost double the number of viewers with 14.3 million. That essentially means that 6.5 million people actively decided to turn off Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet and company. That’s a huge drop. By contrast, CSI: Miami drew 17.5 million viewers on CBS in the same timeslot.

It’s been reported that NBC recently ordered three additional Studio 60 scripts (perhaps for contractual reasons) but that doesn’t ensure that they will be produced or aired. In fact, Roger Friedman of Fox News has said that castmembers are already telling their friends that the show is ending.

I’m guessing that NBC is waiting to see how the struggling Friday Night Lights does in Studio 60’s Monday night time slot. The Kyle Chandler series about a football team has received some of the best reviews of the season but hasn’t been drawing in large audiences on Tuesday nights. Because of the title of the show, perhaps many people assumed Lights was on Friday nights and not Tuesdays. Stranger things have happened.

If Lights does significantly better than Studio 60’s been doing on Mondays, the Aaron Sorkin show’s fate may be sealed. I would guess that Lights would keep the Monday night time slot and that Studio 60 would be moved to Tuesdays, or to another night where it can quietly finish its run — or until a show can be found to replace it. Please, no more episodes of Deal or No Deal! TV Series Finale home page

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10 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. sheila bleiman says

    studio 60 on the sunset strip is one of the very best showa in years and both me and my husband love it, which is hard to say for most television. great acting, humor, warmth, writing everything. so why is it doomed. i guess it is too good

  2. Susan says

    Why are bright, well-written and amusing shows doomed to die while the cheap, easy-to-make series just get churned out over and over? Wait! I think I just answered my own question!

    Please NBC — keep Studio 60 alive! We in Canada love it and feel we can watch it and be a Bible-believing Christian too!

  3. Ron says

    ARE U NUTZ!!!??? Studio 60 is one of the best shows going right now…they have an awesome cast, extremely funny (maybe a little to complicated for some at that hour) Give the show a chance!!!!! A better time slot would be nice…

  4. Mae Evans says

    It would be a shame to cancel this bright new show. The writing is sharp and the actors are so in tune with each other. It is believable! Yes I record CSI Miami and watch it later, but Studio 60 I need to see when it airs. Give it a fighting chance.

  5. Matt B says

    I heartily concure with the other postees give the show a chance it’s not up there with the west wing yet but i think it has a chance


  6. RD says

    I just want to express my dissatisfaction with the NBC network should they decide to dump Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. In my opinion, this is the first time in ages that there’s been a series that effectively blends comedy with drama. The cast appear to work well and certainly have credibility….not to mention Amanda P. is not too hard to take at all…*smiles*. In any case, please, please, please do not cancel this series.


    Ever Remaining Hopeful

  7. Angela says

    It would be a huge mistake to cancel Studio 60. I wasn’t sure about the premise for this show before the season started but I gave it a chance because of Aaron Sorkin and the cast. It is definitely growing on me. Anyone who misses the West Wing, the way it was in its first few seasons, will appreciate 60. I read a negative article about the show somewhere that made me laugh. Basically, this reporter wanted the show dumbed down. S/He should inform America to pick up a book or a paper and not cancel quality programming because they use big words.

  8. Michaela, New Orleans, LA says

    I agreed with you 100% in another post about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I’m learning to get around this site to voice my opinions and I’m loving it!

    Give Studio 60 a chance! Let the characters develop so we can get to know them! Let the storylines unfold for a while. Don’t just cancel it! In my opinion, it has a strong start, it’s had some weak moments, but it needs a little time! And you are right…it has a really bad time slot, something I forgot to mention before) It’s on at 9 central here and that’s not bad but how is ANY new show suppose to do well in the ratings when you put it opposite an established hit show like CSI-Miami? This show has loyal followers that aren’t going to change the channel for any new show! Put a good, new show in a reasonable time slot for a while, then let it face the heavier competition! I am a CSI fan but gladly gave it up for Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip AND What About Brian? (I watch one and record the other to watch later!) We have plenty of crime dramas and legal dramas to choose from almost EVERY night, not to mention “Reality” shows! We need a few, well written, well acted comedy/drama shows like Studio 60 to break things up a bit!

    The networks are pulling shows so quickly that I am tempted to stop watching any of the new shows at all because just when I really like one, it’s cancelled!

  9. Amber Rich says

    NBC is making the biggest mistake in cancelling Studio 60. It is smart, witty, and daring…and everything that NBC reads right now! It’s just had a crappy time slot (especially on the West Coast—10 p.m. here!!!), GIVE IT A CHANCE!!!!!

    NBC will really show some guts if they stick with this show. It is my favorite of all the new shows, and I’ve seen every one of them.

    I know the audience is small…but the dedicated fans don’t want to see it go.

  10. Maggie says

    Oh my goodness. this podcast coming up in iTunes scared me at first. I thought it got cancelled. I am already worried about this show. I love the podcast.

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