Saying Goodbye To 'Studio 60'

As the TV upfronts are intended to be a weeklong celebration of possibility and hope, there is generally no place in a network's presentation to advertisers to pause briefly and remember the once-beloved projects that won't be going forward into the Fall season; accordingly, it took a reporter's uncomfortable question to get NBC president Kevin Reilly to reflect upon the legacy of the newly euthanized Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, whose uncompromising, visionary showrunner was just one year ago anointed the savior of the last-place network. Notes the TV Week upfronts blog:

A reporter asks Reilly (paraphrased): "Since you're committed to renewing good shows even if they have low ratings, does that mean 'Studio 60' wasn't a good show?"
Nearly everybody — including NBC Universal President-CEO Jeff Zucker — finds this question funny. Reilly replies that "Studio 60" received "a mixed response," even within NBC. Showrunner Aaron Sorkin "was doing the show he wanted to do. ... It just kind of felt like that show had kind of run its course. ... I have no regrets."

To further demonstrate that the network is dedicated to the rising stars of its future and not to dwelling on the low-rated misfires of the past, with a sharp clap of his hands Reilly summoned his Bionic Woman (9 p.m. Wednesday nights) to the stage, who then delighted all ad sales personnel in attendance by ceremonially suffocating Studio 60 breakout character Lobster Boy with a pillow emblazoned with NBC's proud peacock logo, a display that drove Sorkin—who'd shown up on the crazy hope he'd get a surprise second season order—from the venue in tears.