Matthew Perry, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
Question: Is there a point to having Aaron Sorkin's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and Tina Fey's 30 Rock on the same network? Studio 60 looks more interesting, although the ad campaign seems to focus on the Network rip-off — I mean, homage — than on Sorkin. 30 Rock seems much more based on real life, with Tracy Morgan basically playing himself. However, it seems baffling that we have two shows about a fictional Saturday Night Live debuting at the same time. What are their long-term prospects?
Answer: These are excellent questions, and ones we've asked ourselves (and NBC during the press tour) repeatedly. The only way we're going to get a real answer is to see how the public responds. The dilemma facing both shows is that the track record isn't exactly great for TV shows set in the world of TV (not even Sorkin's brilliant Sports Night, whose pilot I enjoyed more than Studio 60). To their credit, the shows don't feel remotely like each other. 30 Rock is a straight-out comedy/satire,
Question: Everyone keeps saying Scrubs is a mistreated show. Doesn't NBC deserve a little credit for keeping it on the air for a sixth year? Scrubs couldn't hold much of the audience when it got a shot after Friends, but NBC has stuck with it anyway and has given the writers a good amount of freedom. I love the show and am thrilled to see it live on, but I'm a little sick of TV critics saying how mistreated it is when it's gotten well over 100 episodes, and when other networks would have given up on it by now. Poor little Scrubs. If that is being mistreated, what do you call the treatment given to shows canceled after one season, or worse, a handful of episodes? How about giving some credit where it is due?
Answer: All valid points, but still, for NBC to bench Scrubs for half a season two years in a row seems like killing it with kindness. Especially at a time when the show has finally crossed the Emmy threshold with nominations for best comedy series, and this fall it would pair up so
Question: I know it's still summer, but have the networks announced tentative dates for their season premieres?
Answer: As of now, the only network not to announce premiere dates is CBS, which will likely launch most of its new and returning shows the weeks of Sept. 17 and 24.
Here's how the others shape up: The season kicks off early on Fox, with Prison Break and Vanished on Aug. 21; then the limited reality series Duets on Aug. 29; Justice and Bones on Aug. 30; House and Standoff on Sept. 5; the comedies 'Til Death and Happy Hour on Sept 7; Nanny 911 on Sept. 8; Cops and America's Most Wanted on Sept. 9; Fox's animated comedy lineup plus The War at Home on Sept. 10; and MADtv Sept. 16. (The O.C. won't return until after postseason baseball on Nov. 2.)
On ABC, 20/20 officially kicks off Sept. 8; Dancing with the Stars returns Sept. 12 and 13; Wife Swap premieres Sept. 18; Grey's Anatomy and Six Degrees on Sept. 21; Ugly Betty and Men in Trees on Sept. 22; Extreme Makeover: Home
Question: Is The Biggest Loser going to return? I thought I read a while ago that it was, but I haven't seen it advertised or read anything about it lately. Just curious.
Answer: NBC has been resting it for the summer, but it's on the fall schedule. It will air Wednesdays at 9 pm/ET (opposite Lost, among others), and will be the sole reality occupant of that time period, sandwiched between the comedy block of Twenty Good Years and 30 Rock and the new serialized thriller Kidnapped. ...
I'm sure Keith Olbermann puts on a good show on MSNBC, but even the promise of a "hot breakfast" isn't enough to lure me down to his early-morning Countdown panel. I'm sleeping in.HEROES PRESENTATION10:51 am: If we can make it through this session without a question that starts, "This is for the entire cast: If you could have any superpower...," then I'll be a very happy man.10:53 am: As the Heroes trailer plays on the monitor, the cast hoots and hollers like a football team before the big game. This is going to be a fun bunch. 10:54 am: The trailer ends, the lights come up, and... sweet Jesus Jenny Craig, my buddy Greg Grunberg is half the man he used to be! 10:55 am: This is odd. Adrian Pasdar, arguably the biggest "name" in the cast, is banished to the back row alongside second-tier stars Santiago Cabrera, Tawny Cypress, Masi Oka and Leonard Roberts. Up in front are Grunny, Ali Larter, series creator Tim Kring, Sendhill Ramamurthy, Hayden Panettiere and Milo Ventimiglia. How'd th...
Question: Which fall pilots would you deem worthy of my time?
Answer: I finished watching the last of the pilots over the weekend and I have fantastic news: For the first time in recent memory, the good fall shows easily outnumber the bad ones — at least based on the pilots I saw. As Desperate Housewives taught us, the second and third episodes tell us much more about a show's creative bones than a season premiere. With that said, here are the fall offerings that have the most FauxVo potential.
* Vanished (Fox) and Kidnapped (NBC): Among the things these two thrillers share in common: They both&
Just returned from NBC's upfront festivities and before I get to the highlights, let me get to a major lowlight: I heard from two separate sources this afternoon that Everwood is, in fact, dead. I'm choosing not to believe it until I hear something official on Thursday, but I thought you should all be prepared for the worst. (Scroll down to my previous blog posting for some "positive" news about Veronica Mars.) Now, here's a quick recap of NBC's big day:* Tina Fey's comedy 30 Rock and the football soap Friday Night Lights looked the most promising based on the clips shown. The audience laughed out loud several times during the 30 Rock promo, and I swear I thought the Friday Night trailer was going to get a standing ovation.* The trailer the network put together for Heroes was a little too cheesy for my taste, but I still believe this is gonna be one of my fall faves. * The clips for Aaron Sorkin's pricey Studio 60 got a chilly reception from the crowd not to mention an indust...
NBC just announced its fall schedule. Here's the official release:NBC is loading its new 2006-07 primetime schedule with six new dramas and four new comedies that accentuate distinctive talent, quality concepts and cornerstone dramas that will allow the network to play offense especially with its new weekend showpiece in "Sunday Night Football." The annual program announcement was made today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment, before the advertising community, affiliate stations and press at Radio City Music Hall. "The face of NBC is changing," said Reilly. "We took the first step this season with Thursday hits 'My Name Is Earl' and 'The Office.' Next season we'll add momentum and excitement with the addition of 'Sunday Night Football' and establish a foundation of quality across the week by standing behind shows that each say something about who we are." Highlights of the Fall 2006-07 season include two previously announced new dramas: "Studio 60 on the Sunset Str...