After John Spencer's Death
On errors in a newspaper profile of Aaron Sorkin
"NBC executive vp casting Marc Hirschfeld, who in the past two years was involved with the castings of Carell in "Office" and Nate Corddry in "Studio 60," takes a broader view at the success of "Daily Show" cast members.
"From my point of view, ('Daily Show' producers) got wiser and started tapping into the terrific talent pool that 'SNL' has been exploiting for years to get their players," he says."
From Broadcasting & Cable:
"NBC’s The West Wing is leaving office for good May 14. But actor Bradley Whitford, who starred as the always frazzled Joshua Lymon [sic] for the show’s seven-year run, isn’t going to become a highly paid lobbyist. Instead, he’s starring in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, a drama that goes behind the scenes of a Saturday Night Live like series, to which NBC has already given a commitment. Whitford spoke to B&C’s Ben Grossman about whether it was really time for West Wing to go, show scheduling, and why he’d mow Aaron Sorkin’s lawn.
How is it reuniting with Aaron Sorkin, who created both West Wing and Studio 60?
There are two kinds of product in Hollywood, and there is an unmistakable stench to the first kind, which is when smart, talented people are producing shows they wouldn’t watch themselves.
Then there are guys like David Chase [The Sopranos], David Milch [Deadwood] and Aaron Sorkin, who are going on the assumption that the audience is as smart and funny as they are. Both West Wing and this new show have that in common. It’s so great working with Aaron again, I’d mow his lawn.
How important is Studio 60’s success to NBC?
We all know there is pressure on NBC, but the No. 1 network has incredible pressure to stay there, and No. 2 needs to catch No. 1. Luckily, it’s very clear to me that those kinds of pressures are beyond my cosmic eggshell, so the best thing I can do for NBC is just to make the next scene work and concentrate on my hair.
When on the NBC schedule would this show make the most sense?
The show probably makes the most sense at 10 p.m. All I know is that the implication is, it will be a pretty good slot. It’s no secret it’s not going to be on Friday or Saturday night, and probably at 9 or 10 whatever night they choose.
Plus, at 10, you can show full frontal nudity"'
From Media Life:
"And[NBC] also has the most-buzzed-about new show, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” from “West Wing” creator Aaron Sorkin and starring “Friends’” Matthew Perry.
And second [NBC] must launch at least one new hit drama. The network has had more drama busts than any other network the past two years, with only “Medium” getting a second year. This year ratings for all eight of NBC's returning dramas have declined. Meanwhile, ABC, Fox and CBS all launched at least one new hit drama.
NBC is counting on “Studio 60” to be that hit drama.
“Sunset” is getting strong buzz and could be a 9 p.m. anchor on Wednesday, where “L&O” could use the help.
Tina Fey’s comedy, which takes place behind the scenes at a network show, seems unlikely to make the schedule since drama “Sunset” has a similar premise."
"Perry recently wrapped Aaron Sorkin's pilot "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" for NBC. The pilot is expected to be picked up for a series."
From The New Yorker:
"Fey’s comedy is set in New York at a fictional NBC, and Sorkin’s drama is set in Los Angeles at a slightly more fictional NBS, but both feature network heavies named Jack. Kevin Reilly, the real-life president of NBC Entertainment (which is a division of General Electric and a sister company of Universal but is not, as of this writing, affiliated with Kmart), explains, “Jack was G.E.’s pre-approved network executive name.” More seriously, he says that when both scripts arrived on his desk, last fall, “I saw the problem coming from a mile away. But these are very particular artists, who write what they care about. They’re not writers for hire who say, ‘Whattya got—a boy and his dog? I’ll write that!’ ” Reilly is at pains to note that neither show is based on actual NBC dynamics and that each is tonally distinct: “Tina is more madcap, and Aaron is exploring issues and character dynamics and has a real romance at the center.” Sorkin’s pilot begins with Wes, the executive producer of NBS’s show, reacting to a censor’s decision to kill a sketch called “Crazy Christians” by addressing the camera and urging viewers to turn off their sets:
We’re eating worms for money. . . . Guys are getting killed in a war that’s got theme music and a logo. That remote in your hand is a crack pipe [that profits] this prissy, feckless, off-the-charts greed-filled whorehouse of a network you’re watching.
“That part,” Reilly acknowledges, “is based on us.”
Lorne Michaels, the longtime executive producer of “S.N.L.,” is also an executive producer of Fey’s pilot. When Sorkin asked Michaels to permit him to observe “S.N.L.” for a week, Michaels, protecting his turf, declined. “I haven’t read Sorkin’s script,” he says, “but God knows I’ve been told about it. Since we do sketches about Christians all the time, I guess he’s going for a bigger set of issues, his characteristic subject being power and its responsibilities. But is this a new insight, that networks are not to be trusted?” Michaels goes on, “The reality is that the network isn’t that powerful anymore—talent is.
Sorkin, taking an even higher road, one dictated by his studio, Warner Bros. Television, a unit of Time Warner (which is also not, as of this writing, connected with Kmart), was unavailable for comment. But Kevin Reilly says that NBC might well have room for both shows, particularly if Fey’s ends up as a midseason replacement. “The only way we could screw it up,” he says, “is if the audience gets confused.”
Networks being what they are, Fey suspects that confusion is inevitable: “We’ll probably end up doing a terrible crossover, where the Matthew Perry character on the drama rapes my character on the comedy—and then the ‘Law & Order’ team solves the crime.”"
The Hollywood Reporter has a photo of Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry in their new roles.
Various Updates on the show, on the shooting, on the cast
Bradley Whitford Casting Announcement
"Studio 60" Casting Rumors
Amanda Peet Interview and Full "Studio 60" Script
First Casting Announcements
Previous Casting Updates
Various "Studio 7" Updates
Matthew Perry Rumor
Round-Up of Info
Info on accessing the audition script.
Praise for the show