So NBC has announced plans for its Fall schedule, and it smells like a trainwreck.
They’re leaving Thursday night alone – which is good, although I’m baffled at the idea that there’s “critical” acclaim for 30 Rock. Alec Baldwin is good and Tina Fey is likeable, if not actually funny. And if there’s a writer in America who can make Tracy Morgan funny, we know this much for sure: that person did not work at SNL and does not now work for 30 Rock.
My main beef lies with the network’s cancellation of “high-profile failure Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.” Two things, NBC execs. 1: Bite. 2: Me. There is so precious little on network television that’s actually thoughtful, and when something that’s genuinely different and innovative comes along, bet your ass it’s dead in the water. Studio 60 was smart TV. Great characters. An essential, vital commentary on what’s wrong with TV. It was a show with actual ideas and actual characters that a viewer with an IQ of better than 100 could find some redeeming value in. Of course, maybe that’s the problem – you don’t get rich developing TV for the hypothetical audience I’m describing here.
So it wasn’t drawing great ratings – folks, Studio 60 was never going to be the #1 show on television. But given time, promotion and maybe a decent feckin’ time slot it would have grown into the sort of stalwart presence you could count on for the next 5-8 years. How many times in the past has a network stuck with a quality program a couple years and had it turn into a success? Well, Hill Street Blues was the classic case, and Cheers sure didn’t light the ratings lamp early on.
Here’s hoping that the producers are currently talking to other networks about a new home for a great show.
Otherwise, I guess it’s going the way of Twin Peaks and Max Headroom.