'Studio 60' CancellationWatch: NBC Officially Picks Up A Full Season

Good news both for genuine fans of Studio 60 and for those who derive their primary enjoyment from the series from their spirited Tuesday morning discussions about why Jesus running a network Standards & Practices department isn't actually funny: Despite our spies' forecast of an imminent mercy killing, NBC has officially picked up a full season's worth of episodes, giving Aaron Sorkin nine more episodes and many more millions of dollars to continue his bold exploration of the curiously serious side of sketch comedy. THR's Ray Richmond (who notes he called it two days ago) has the press release:

NBC GIVES FULL SEASON ORDER TO CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED NEW DRAMA 'STUDIO 60 ON THE SUNSET STRIP' FOR 2006-07

BURBANK - November 9, 2006 - NBC has renewed its critically acclaimed, first-year drama "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" (Mondays, 10-11 p.m. ET) for the remainder of the 2006-07 season, it was announced today by Kevin Reilly, President, NBC Entertainment.

"I am pleased to show our support for this outstanding and ambitious effort from executive producers Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme," said Reilly. "From the start, they have delivered the superb show that we wanted. The critical support has been rock-solid and there is a passionate core audience. We can't wait for what's going to come in the remainder of the season."

We suppose that those really committed to the idea of the series' failure can look at this as nine additional weekly opportunities (more, actually, if you count the still-unaired episodes in the orignal order) to speculate about how long the show can go on without drawing an audience past its passionate, "affluent and upscale" core. But we don't recommend you partake in this self-destructive exercise, for such negativity is almost certain to drive you to the pipe.