"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" Pilot (TV Episode 2006) Poster

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What Writing Should Be
DirtyIrishTactics6 September 2006
In the first few minutes of the pilot, you can tell that this is the crew that brought you the west wing. The bustling crowds and flowing crane shots will be familiar and comforting for fans of the previous show. The mock studio that Studio 60 is shot on is both a visually interesting backdrop and a way of clueing you in that you are watching a show within a show, a drama about a sketch comedy show ala Saturday Night Live.

Then during a heated exchange between the show's current producer Wes Mendell (Judd Hirsch) and a Standards & Practices guy, you are reminded why the first few seasons of West Wing were so good: Rapid fire dialogue that is both witty but not so overly technical that the layman gets lost. Wes Mendell, having been humiliated by Standards and Practices, hijacks the "live" show to deliver a Chayefskyian screed that accuses the network of lobotomizing television because they are afraid of nutty religious cults. This speech is also an example of excellent television writing.

The cast is phenomenal. Totally an ensemble group, Schlamme and Sorkin are playing with a deep bench! Bradley Whitford, Matthew Perry, and Amanda Peat seem to be the triumvirate that will 'run' the sketch comedy show. These three 'leads' exhibit a wonderful chemistry. Perry manages to be snarky and sweet without rehashing a previous "well-established" character. Whitford is the quiet , strong guy whose rough past and self-destructive tendencies simmer beneath the surface. Peat plays a mogul who feels that commercial success and artistic integrity are not mutually exclusive and has the talent to walk the fine line between them.

Fans of the West Wing should really pay attention to this show. Writing like this should be rewarded, and I sincerely hope that Studio 60 has a long and healthy career.
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Pilot episodes don't get any better than this!!!
Shapster1119 September 2006
Usually when there is as much buildup to a premiere episode it doesn't live up to the hype. This show is the notable exception. Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme have done it again. Now the challenge is to do keep on doing it as they did with Sports Night and The West Wing.

The cast comprises a mini-The West Wing reunion (Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, and Timothy Busfield) along with many familiar and not so familiar faces. In typical Sorkin fashion the dialog is both witty and snappy in its delivery. The humor is sarcastic, cutting edge, biting, and rapid and we get an insight into the background of a live television show modeled eerily after Saturday Night Live.

The pilot does what a good pilot should do, and that is set the stage for the why we are at where we are at. It introduces us not only to the characters but to the whole premise and reason for the show. It grabs the viewer and made me say "I can't wait for next week to see how this storyline takes shape".

Based on the pilot I make the following observations about the cast. Steven Weber is superb as the hard ass corporate exec. who straddles the fence between the corporate suits and the network hierarchy. For me the jury is out on Amanda Peet. I normally like her very much but I am having a tough time seeing her as Network President. Both Perry and Busfield have an unmistakable chemistry and play well off one another. Their characters are those of an extraordinary duo that produce high end material and superb judgment. They are co-dependent and the perfect yin-yang for the show. We'll see how D.L.Hugely's character, along with the others, develops but I have a feeling there are a lot of good places this show can go.

So bring it on NBC, I'm already a new fan...just keep the material fresh and the story lines crisp.
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louelle74115 September 2006
Aaron and Thomas (and even Snuffy) back together again and creating another smart-funny-visually exciting show. Television is always better with Sorkin. The characters are compelling. And after the first appearances of Bradley Whitford and Matthew Perry you forget about their previous roles. DJ Hugley (I hope I have't misspelled his name) and Amanda Peet and Steven Weber are all excellent. And Judd Hirsch was brilliant as the beleaguered creator of Studio 60. I believe that this series should be a hit (if middle America is at all interested in what makes television run) Already some of the lines have stayed with me as was often the case on West Wing. Looking forward to this series.
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Great Start
mschmidt-714 September 2006
I was a little worried that this show would fail to live up to its hype. After all, no other new show will have as much to live up to this fall. The show did not fail to please and this is the beginning of a very promising run. Fans of the West Wing will rejoice at the return of Sorkin to NBC primetime and long for the days of the great West Wing seasons. The cast is talented and deep. It would seem that there are half a dozen characters that could carry an entire episode (much like West Wing). I am looking forward to more great things but I am curious how the sketch comedy show will play out in the series. Will they show a full sketch from beginning to end? Would that hurt the dramatic nature of the show? Will "special guests" be a constant on a show that would need a host for each week's variety show (Felicity Huffman was the first)? These unanswered questions might be large considering they were not addressed on the pilot but I cannot wait to see how they are resolved.
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studioAT25 September 2016
Has there ever been a better TV pilot that than of 'Studio 60'? In my opinion no.

It sparkles. Aaron Sorkin's writing is fantastic throughout and every character we are introduced to makes an instant impression, with for me Amanda Peet and Steven Weber being two stand-outs.

Yes, it's preachy, but isn't all Sorkin work? The fact of the matter is he's an excellent storyteller.

It was very brave to start a new TV series with Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford as leads and introduce them midway through, but once we've met them we love them. Their chemistry would be one of the few consistent plus points about the show.

I don't think 'Studio 60' ever came close to beating this episode, but what an episode it was.
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Good But If You Are Looking For "Friends", Watch TBS!
tim_woodall218 September 2006
I enjoyed the "Pilot" pretty well. I will not lie, I am a huge fan of Mathew Perry and tuned in just for that fact. I have enjoyed just about everything he has ever been in (except of course for "The Whole 10 Yards")

I won't lie, I'm not a huge fan of Anti-Christian television which the whole first episode seemed to revolve around. But I have resigned to the fact that if I am going to watch any new prime time dramas, I can count on 3 of 3 things. 1) If you are a Christian, take EVERY word with a grain of salt, 2) If you are a Red state, anything is fair game, and 3) If you have ANY conservative views, you are stupid.

That being said, the show hopefully will eventually turn toward the interaction between the characters (which is what all the promos showed) instead of turning into a "West Wing Part Duex". That show (The West Wing) was a good show, especially for the first few seasons, but it has run its course and I didn't tune in for that. I tuned in for a funny drama without any obvious political/religious prejudices as a main story line. I'll be watching to see, but only time will tell if this is a true "new" show, or if it follows the same pattern as most all of Sorkin's other shows.
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STUDIO 60 - the frisson between Dems/Repubs!
jaimot17 October 2006
Warning: Spoilers
STUDIO -Tuesday, October 17, 2006 STUDIO-60 a good show aims for tension between DEMS-REPUBS!

The The television show on NBC Monday nights at 10:00p.m. EST is STUDIO 60 -on the Sunset Strip is well-written, well-acted, and the frisson -tension between DEMOCRAT-DOUCHEBAGS and RED-STATE CONSERVATIVES is usually adroitly handled. So far - we are not being 'preached-at' with typical left-wing histrionics. A message for the writers though - last night ED ASNER as a studio honcho - went on and on how he was part of a syndicate building in MACAO part of CHINA and he encouraged everyone to speak 'Mandarin Chinese'. Unfortunately, they "...falamos Potugese" in Macao as this was once a Potugese colony and PORTUGESE is still the main language spoken there! A minor criticism - something for the producers-writers-directors to deal with.
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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip has yet to prove itself.
MovieAddict-128 September 2006
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is not just another sitcom. It begins with the pilot episode riding in the wake of West Wing's huge success, and continues the energy and enthusiasm into the second episode. Although it shares many commonalities with its predecessor, I believe that it still has yet to prove it's self as a sitcom worthy of its prime time spot and outrageous hype. The character base is wide and diverse, and with the exception of the two main actors, the quantity of talent will not cover up the lack of quality. I believe that although it is riding upon the coat tails of popularity created by other hit television series created by Aaron Sorkin, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" still has to prove itself.
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