We continue this afternoon's exhaustive coverage of disappointing, expensive television dramas with this brief report about an online survey regarding Studio 60 a reader was asked to take after self-identifying as a disgruntled viewer of NBC's programming, an interesting window into how the network tests a show that recently built an entire episode about the evils of focus group testing:
I wrote some nasty emails to NBC about the quality of their TV dramas, and they signed me up for near-weekly TV Viewing surveys, yay! The last one I received seems to indicate that NBC/Universal is *really* sweating Studio 60, if their survey questions are any indication. They ask you to rate the show. Then they have you type a paragraph justifying your rating. Then they actually put promo-pics of the 12 main characters and have you rate what you think of each one of them...on the next page they ask you why you gave certain actors certain ratings. They *then* ask about interactions between certain characters and what you thought of those. I may be an unemployed English major, but even I can see the writing on the wall here.
It's probably for the best that the online queries seem limited to the kinds of generic ones ("Do you find the relationship between Matt and Harriet completely unbelievable, moderately unbelievable, or somewhat unbelievable? Please give reasons for your answer.") that assist a network in compiling the "helpful" notes they pass along to the producers, as the type of questions Aaron Sorkin is really interested in ("Is television a vast, culture-eroding wasteland that could be saved by sketches demonstrating fundamentalist Christians' hostility to science? If yes, nod smugly; if no, please reveal the location of the Sunday School that taught you God made the earth in six days, then took a nap.") might seem even more offputting than when posed in one-hour, dramatic form.