Studio 60 Was Better When It First Came Out

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Your Horoscopes — Week Of August 18, 2015

ARIES: Your feeling of impending doom shall come to nothing again this week as the world continues to turn and your life goes on as normal. Perhaps you should consider feeling useless and stupid instead.

Highlights From ‘Go Set A Watchman’

Harper Lee’s buzzed-about new release, Go Set A Watchman, went on sale last week, taking the world by storm with its new investigations of Scout Finch as a grown woman and its divisive portrayal of her father, Atticus Finch, as a racist figure. Here are some highlights from the new book:

Leonardo DiCaprio Agrees To Donate It-Factor To Science

LOS ANGELES—Saying the gift would immeasurably improve their understanding of the ineffable quality that makes certain big-screen stars positively radiate, researchers at the University of California Los Angeles announced Tuesday that A-list actor Leonardo DiCaprio has agreed to donate his it-factor to science.

How Theaters Are Trying To Win Back Moviegoers

The number of Americans who went to the movies hit a 20-year low in 2014, leaving theaters scrambling to find ways to incentivize the public to see new releases on the big screen rather than watch films at home or on the internet. Here are some methods theaters are using to win back audiences and increase box office sales:

Comic-Con Survival Guide

San Diego Comic-Con is expected to draw more than 130,000 fans to Southern California this year to participate in cosplaying, attend panels, go to film screenings, and learn more about their favorite series. Here are some tips for surviving the four-day conference

Your Horoscopes — Week Of July 7, 2014

ARIES: Your belief that nothing can stop you will be tested this week by depression, procrastination, concrete barriers, dysentery, armed gunmen, and the unanimous passage of several laws targeted specifically at stopping you.

Disney Unveils First Virgin Princess

LOS ANGELES—In an effort to better reflect the diverse backgrounds and experiences of their audience, Disney officials this week introduced Lily of Hazelberry, the company’s first virgin princess.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 23, 2015

ARIES: The universe, in all its wisdom, has a plan for everyone. Strangely, you’re supposed to be the nun who holds up a distributor cap and winks while the Nazis try to start their car.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of June 9, 2015

ARIES: Your death next week will seem in­explicable until people remember the ill-advised 1985 “cross your heart and hope to die” pledge you made to be best friends with Jenny Bosben.

New Music Festival Just Large Empty Field To Do Drugs In

Declaring the event a rousing success so far, organizers confirmed more than 45,000 people turned out Wednesday for the first annual Cavalcade Folk and Roots Festival, a four-day gathering that consists solely of a big empty field to do drugs in.

Director Seeking Relatively Unknown Actress For Next Affair

LOS ANGELES—Saying that he’s going for a certain look and will know it when he sees it, feature film director Peter Hastings, 52, confirmed to reporters Wednesday that he hopes to find a relatively unknown actress for his next extramarital affair.

Your Horoscopes — Week Of May 26, 2015

ARIES: You’re not sure if your new mousetrap is better, but due to its horrifying use of liquefying blades, the world will beat a path to your door out of sheer morbid curiosity.

Famous Television Finales

The award-winning AMC series Mad Men ended its seven-season run on Sunday night and drew critical acclaim for its final episode, a conclusion that many felt was poignant and satisfying. Here are some other memorable TV finales across the years

Plan For Future Still Involves Drumming For Lifehouse

SOUTH BEND, IN—Fifteen years after first envisioning the path he hoped his professional life would take, local man Brent Gibbs is still planning his future around being the drummer for Los Angeles-based alternative rock band Lifehouse, sources confi...

Fox Revives ‘X-Files’: What To Expect

After months of speculation, Fox has announced that it is bringing back its hit ’90s TV show The X-Files, about a team of FBI special agents investigating unsolved cases about strange and paranormal phenomena, for at least six new episodes...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 24, 2015

ARIES: Your belief that everything happens for a reason may remain unshaken in the face of personal tragedy, but you'll certainly be upset when you find out the reason is "to get the Zodiac some chicks." 

Your Horoscopes — Week Of March 10, 2015

ARIES: As long as people don't look too long and the lights aren't too bright, no one will be able to see where they tried to fix your face from what will happen to it this coming Thursday. 

Nation Delighted As Many Famous People In Same Room Together

HOLLYWOOD—Expressing their immense personal satisfaction at the gathering appearing on their television screens, millions of Americans across the country were reportedly delighted Sunday night upon seeing many famous people in the same room together...

Half Of Hollywood Test Group Screened Placebo Film

LOS ANGELES—Saying the methodology helps them ensure unbiased results in their marketing research, studio executives at Paramount Pictures confirmed that during a Hollywood test screening this week they showed half of all theatergoers a placebo film...

Your Horoscopes — Week Of January 6, 2015

ARIES: One of the worst moments of a person's life is when they finally realize that they're mortal and are going to die, especially when it's a person like you who only sees the cement truck at the last second.

A Timeline Of Upcoming Superhero Movies

Following the massive successes of the Spider-Man, Batman, Avengers, and X-Men franchises, studios Marvel and DC Entertainment have announced as many as 40 upcoming superhero movies to be released over the next six years ...
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Just Like Everything Else!: Fox 8 p.m. EDT/7 p.m. ABC Pete's wife is still on him about building that darn shed, these kids are going to be the death of Sheila and Dave, and the hot next-door neighbor is up in EVERYBODY'S business! Sunday nights on ABC couldn't be any more familiar!

Special Coverage

Preparedness

Ice Cream Truck Driver Going To Let These Kids Sweat A Little Bit Before Stopping

MILWAUKEE—Admitting that he’ll never get tired of looking in his rearview mirror and seeing their little legs going at full speed as they struggle to catch up to him, local ice cream truck driver Derek Kenney said that he once again planned on making the children on Maple Avenue sweat it out a little bit before stopping his vehicle.

Area Man

This Great Song, Bar Sources Report

TOMAH, WI—Pausing their conversations momentarily to call attention to the music playing on the establishment’s jukebox, sources at local bar Shepherd’s confirmed to reporters Friday that this is a great song.

Studio 60 Was Better When It First Came Out

I remember when the famous phrase "Live from Studio 60, it's Friday Night In Hollywood!" used to mean something. Back then, when the show first came out, I'd stay home every Monday night just to make sure I didn't miss an episode. There was such a buzz around the show in the weeks leading up to its premiere because it was something new, something no one had ever seen before. But ever since Judd Hirsch left, the show's totally gone downhill.

Even by just watching the show in those early days, you felt like you were part of something special. It was truly the first of its kind—so revolutionary that it immediately spawned imitators like 30 Rock. I don't know whether it was better writing, hip musical guests like Three 6 Mafia, or the whole novelty of being the first-ever show about a late-night sketch-comedy show, but regardless of whatever made it so great in those days, it has certainly not aged well.

I don't even understand why anyone watches it anymore.

In Studio 60's heyday, they would do this thing where Judd would come out before the opening credits and deliver this long, angry monologue about the current state of network television. I used to sit in front of the TV, just waiting for him to unleash his famous catchphrase, "It's not going to be a very good show tonight." But they haven't done that for a while.

I wish they would just get rid of this current cast and start from scratch.

Back when the show first hit the airwaves, they were constantly coming up with new, interesting characters, like Amanda Peet's manipulative but well-intentioned NBS president "Jordan McDeere," or Matthew Perry's hilarious stressed-out-writer character "Matt Albie."

I'd say they introduced eight to 10 great characters in the first episode alone, but then they kept using those same exact characters in every single show. Sure, they put them in slightly different situations and gave them new dialogue, but they got really old really fast. How many times do I have to see a "Matt and Danny" scene or a "Jordan and Jack" scene? Three or four times per show? It's just lazy.

They've fallen into the trap of using the same tired old formula week in and week out, just because they know it works. Every episode, it's a cold open that sets up a conflict, followed by the opening credits, followed by acts one through six, almost always ending with a neat little resolution and a new cliffhanger. And they keep drawing on the same overused topics—TV networks, network sponsors, sketch comedy… Talk about milking a premise for all it's worth. Okay, we get it already. I understand this is the format that made the show popular, but you can't rely on it forever.

Maybe it was just a matter of the show being in the right place at the right time. The nation was still reeling from the fifth anniversary of 9/11, the Pope had just made those insensitive comments about the Muslim religion, and we were all on edge about the E. coli spinach scare. Studio 60 provided the escape we needed every Monday night. But as the times have changed, the show just seems less and less relevant.

Then again, maybe it's me. Maybe I've just matured and my tastes have changed since it first premiered, and the show was always this bad. Maybe if I go back and watch the first episode again, I'll realize that it's not as good as I thought it was when I was younger.

Oh well, I guess I'll still keep watching though, since there's really nothing else on Mondays at 10 p.m. But I just can't shake the feeling I've seen the same four or five shows over and over since it debuted.