These have been sad days indeed for the dedicated fans of Studio 60, multiple Emmy-winner Aaron Sorkin's unflinching look into the dark soul of late night sketch comedy programming: As the still-healing scars on the underside of our forearm representing each squandered Monday night that's passed without a new installment of the series so vividly remind us, Studio was indefinitely removed from NBC's primetime schedule, a torturously undefined hiatus that has spawned irresponsible, internets-type rumors that the network has held the pillow of cancellation tightly on the face of its slumbering beloved, ending their doomed, if fitfully passionate, partnership without producing the rest of its planned first-season episodes. Not so! (the exact words follow) says THR's Ray Richmond, who's been assured that Sorkin and company are hard at work even as we speak:
A rumor had been going around (imagine that — a rumor on the Internet!) that after having gone back into production earlier this month on episodes 17 through 22, the show had ceased production and the plug finally, irrevocably pulled. WRONG! WRONG! WRONG! (Imagine it — an inaccurate rumor on the Internet!) I got the scoop this very afternoon from Lesley Cerwin, the NBC publicist assigned to the show, and she confirmed that production on episode 19 was scheduled to be completed today and work on episode 20 commenced on Thursday.
So yes, it appears that at least the full season complement of shows will make it into the can for Aaron Sorkin's noble but low-rated hour. But all of you "Save Studio 60" cyber sites and blogs, take note: it is now highly unlikely the show will be brought back this spring. The more probable scenario (strictly my conjecture): it will come back in originals over the summer as something of a "bell lap" final farewell.
Don't hold your breath for the show's second-season renewal. That probably ain't happening. Networks typically reserve that stuff for shows that don't bleed millions of dollars, being as they are in the profit business and all.
While even the most blissfully delusional Aaronite dared not dream of a second season, dramatically announced at the upcoming network upfronts by the embattled showrunner and NBC president Kevin Reilly as they cackle over an enormous pile of money they'd just ceremonially set on fire to demonstrate their commitment to art over responsible business, the news that fresh episodes might find their way onto the summer schedule is welcome: Sorkin's important message about how the once-proud medium of television is now merely a receptacle into which visionless programming execs regularly move their bowels will never be more poignant than when his show is sandwiched between The Real Wedding Crashers and the highly anticipated Victoria Beckham Shops for Shoes—neither of which, tragically, will ever have the opportunity to cement its place in popular culture by being ineptly satirized in a half-seen sketch on Studio.