Matthew Perry originally turned down the role of Matt Albie but Aaron Sorkin did not want to have anyone else play the part and apparently would not take "No" for an answer. Perry reconsidered and decided to jump on board.
There are a number of set-dressing items from Aaron Sorkin's The West Wing (1999) on display in various parts of the Studio 60 set, including the "NO TOURS BEYOND THIS POINT" sign, a "Bartlet For America" poster, and the seal of the President of the United States on the walls in the studios, and the Pirates of Penzance poster on display in Matt Albie's office.
The law firm of Gage Whitney Pace, which employed Kari Matchett's character, Mary Tate, was also the law firm that Rob Lowe's character on The West Wing (1999), Sam Seaborn, worked at before joining the Bartlet administration.
Timothy Busfield plays Cal Shanley, the director for Studio 60. He actually directed 5 episodes of the series. Likewise, Bradley Whitford, who plays Danny Tripp, a feature film director, directed the final episode of the series.
The name of the writer character played by Evan Handler, Ricky Tahoe, is a reference to a conflict that show creator Aaron Sorkin had with Rick Cleveland, one of the staff writers on Sorkin's previous show The West Wing (1999) ("Ricky" and "Rick" are both nickname variants on the name "Richard," and "Tahoe" and "Cleveland" are both American cities). In "Studio 60", head writer Matt Albie dislikes Tahoe and his writing partner, Ron Oswalt, and often complains about his low opinion of their writing skills. In real life, Sorkin and Cleveland shared an Emmy for writing a "West Wing" episode, and after Cleveland publicly expressed disappointment that only Sorkin got to speak at the ceremony, Sorkin posted a claim on an internet message board that Cleveland's contribution to the episode was negligible and that he (Sorkin) himself really did almost all of the writing work on "The West Wing," even when the writing credits claimed otherwise. (See also the trivia section for "The West Wing.")
The show's production logo features a picture of a shoe with the word "money" underneath. "Shoe Money Tonight" was the title of episode 10 in season 1 of Aaron Sorkin's show Sports Night (1998). It is a catch phrase that Dana Whitaker uses while playing poker with her boss Isaac Jaffe.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
When Matt Albie is trying to remember a writer in studio 60 from the past, he comes up with the name 'Tim Batale'. It later reveals that matt is high and is remembering himself in the past. The name 'Tim Batale' is actually an anagram for 'Matt Albie'.