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Old Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip Thread


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#1

HungryHippo2004

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:09 PM

Was unsure whether I should post this here. There's been a small amount of conversation on The West Wing board about it, but I felt it deserved a thread of its own.

Anyway, for those who don't know, Aaron Sorkin is returning to NBC with a brand new drama series. Here's the details, from variety.com:

Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme are headed back to NBC.

Peacock has won an intense bidding war for the next TV show from "The West Wing" duo, an hourlong drama dubbed "Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip" that's set behind-the-scenes at a longrunning Los Angeles-based sketch comedy show (Daily Variety, Oct. 5). It's believed the net has made a rich 13-episode commitment to the Warner Bros. TV project. 

Sorkin wrote the pilot script for the project before the pitching process began. That strategy helped build interest for the project among the webs and allowed WBTV to snag a premium commitment for it.


I absolutely cannot wait for this. Sorkin and Schlamme together again should be gold. Hopefully it can recapture the magic of Sports Night and The West Wing, while retaining its own identity.

Can't wait to see who gets cast in this. I think we may see a few West Wing stars, since rumours are rife that the show is now in its final season.

And hey, if its a failure then at least we should be guaranteed a 13 episode DVD set!

Thoughts?

#2

Mexicanguy

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:20 PM

My first thought......Wasn't there a reality show named Studio 7?

Edited by Mexicanguy, Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:21 PM.


#3

Hoopernatorial

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:36 PM

When this show's possible existence came up a while back I remember thinking it sounded like a weird amalgam of Sports Night, West Wing, and SNL. While I'm still not sure how that's gonna work out, I'm fully excited about this and eagerly awaiting it, Sports Night and seasons 1-4 of West Wing are right up there among my favourite things ever on TV.

#4

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:38 PM

Apparently so. Found an article which details the game:

On this show seven contestants compete in a game that tests the depth of their contemporary knowledge in the areas of news, politics, sports and popular culture, and their powers of memorization and recall. On the first seven episodes the winner will get $77,000 and a chance to compete in the eighth episode for an additional $777,000.

I'm sure they'll change the name of the show anyway.

#5

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 4:45 PM

I might tune in, just for the genius of Sorkin.

#6

Mexicanguy

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 5:28 PM

So Aaron Sorkin stole the title for his new tv show?

#7

HungryHippo2004

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Posted Oct 17, 2005 @ 6:09 PM

Maybe, but I doubt he was familiar with the reality show in question. Plus, he added a couple words to it!:P

Who do we want cast in this thing?

If it is the last season of The West Wing, then I'd like to see the following:

Allison Janney, Richard Schiff, Josh Charles and Rob Lowe. Think Lowe would be perfect as the lead of the show within the show ala Peter Krause/Casey in Sports Night. Of course, they could just rename the entire West Wing cast and I'd be happy!:P

Think Sorkin may go for a completely original main cast to avoid comparisons with TWW.

The real challenge is finding the 'father figure' - the role inhabited by Robert Guillaume in Sports Night and Martin Sheen in The West Wing.

#8

Mexicanguy

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Posted Oct 19, 2005 @ 6:56 PM

Who do we want cast in this thing?


What about Janine Garofalo? She might be good as a Tina Fey-esque character.

#9

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Posted Oct 19, 2005 @ 7:47 PM

Whoever they try to cast, I hope they have a Mrs. Landinghamesque character and they to get Kathryn Joosten to play her.

#10

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Posted Oct 19, 2005 @ 11:03 PM

I don't care what Aaron Sorkin writes, I'm watching it.

As for who to cast? There has to be a part for Joshua Malina, who I believe has participated in every (or almost every) Sorkin project.

#11

Hckyguy4

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 2:23 PM

This could be the best new show, Fall 2006. I am so excited to see what Sorkin does with a "Larry Sanders"esque format. His writing coupled with this format could be gold.... As for casting, it seems that the "father figure" role, as discussed uptopic, would lie in the hands of what the trades are referring to as the exec producer of the fictional show...the network is apparently UBC...One would think that the exec (i.e. Lorne Michaels) would have to be a big name. Also, there appears to be a character written after Sorkin's own heart...a writer with a cocaine problem.

No matter what, this will be my favorite new show for fall '06

#12

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 2:31 PM

As a long-time SNL and Sorkin fan, I'm curious about this one. Thing is, isn't Tina Fey doing a sitcom with pretty much the exact same premise as this drama?

#13

Hckyguy4

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 2:33 PM

Again, the trades were talking about the Tina Fey vehicle, but it is a comedy, produced by Lorne Michaels, and in the half hour format. Also, Tina just had a baby, and apparently her show was slated for possible midseason '05 (Jan. 06) start. It looks like her pregnancy may have delayed that start. The Tina Fey thing has no public working title as of yet

#14

Eris Rising

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 2:46 PM

Oh, I understand that the format and debut date will be different. I'm just wondering how the existence of one show based on this source material will affect the other. Idle speculation.

#15

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 2:52 PM

Sorkin and Schlaame? I'm in. I can barely watch WW any more and long for Sports Night. What is it about Sorkin that makes his writing so addicting?

#16

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Posted Oct 25, 2005 @ 3:03 PM

Well,for one thing he has the ability to write believeable passionate, brilliant characters. Usually with characters like that, their dialogue is stilted, and you can almost see the writer trying to write "intelligent". Sorkin's writing comes across as completely natural, and it's only weeks after seeing a show or film of his that I start thinking of the characters as anything other than real, flesh and blood people.

#17

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Posted Nov 2, 2005 @ 10:07 PM

I'm so completely excited for this show. It's my Number One (With A Bullet) Most Anticipated Media Event of 2006.

As for casting, they should pay Sabrina Lloyd a bunch of money and have her come back as Natalie from "Sports Night," except now she's the producer a la Felicity Huffman on that show.

#18

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Posted Nov 2, 2005 @ 10:50 PM

I've read it. It's incredible. It's a little hard to tell who the primary characters going forward will be, but there are at least two current current West Wing cast members for whom there are parts written. (In fact, I think one of the characters is BASED on one of the current TWW cast members.) There's also a SERIOUSLY juicy role for an older male star who wants an Emmy nomination.

#19

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Posted Nov 2, 2005 @ 11:13 PM

Yeah, Bill Simmons, the Sports Guy on ESPN.com, loved it too:

2. After yesterday's "SNL" mini-rant, coincidentally, I received a copy of Aaron Sorkin's spec script, "Studio 7" -- his secret project that caused near-chaos in Hollywood when he suddenly started shopping it a few weeks ago. Everyone loved it, everyone said great things, and after reading it ... I couldn't agree more. It's already my new favorite show even though they haven't started casting it yet -- like "Larry Sanders," only if it was about "SNL." In a viciously clever way, Sorkin's pilot script pretty much obliterates SNL and everything that happened to the show over the past few years, as well as TV networks and the post-Janet Jackson/FCC Era in general. It's a masterpiece. It's perfect. I can't say enough about it. When this show debuts next year (or whenever), it will be impossible to take SNL seriously anymore. I'm telling you.



#20

BrendanLeonard

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Posted Nov 2, 2005 @ 11:19 PM

Simmons is one of the best sportswriters out there. His rave just made my head explode.

#21

mattmarcotte

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 1:21 PM

The real challenge is finding the 'father figure' - the role inhabited by Robert Guillaume in Sports Night and Martin Sheen in The West Wing.


Thing is, there isn't one in the script as a regular character. That role is filled by a character who, while he may recur in later episodes, almost certainly will not be a regular. Your principals are apparently two guys in their mid-30s (the show's new "showrunners," who have a Dan/Casey-esque relationship), and two women in their 30s (a network president, and a character who 's (IMHO) based at least in part on Sorkin's (ex?)-girlfriend, Kristin Chenoweth). There are a couple of cast members on the show within a show who are set up for major roles (one of which, I think, may be written for Dule Hill), a director character, and a reporter character who may or may not be a regular (her role in the pilot reminds me an awful lot of Mandy's role in the TWW pilot).

#22

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 3:04 PM

Won't there be a Lorne Michaels exec producer type? Why not Richard Schiff?

#23

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 3:08 PM

There is a Lorne Michaels-type in the script. He is NOT a regular character (though he may recur 3-5 times a season) as he's fired shortly after the opening credits after delivering a "television sucks" speech on live national TV. My expectation is that the part will be filled by a "big name actor," since the part seems to me to be a guaranteed Emmy nomination and likely win for guest actor.

#24

HungryHippo2004

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 4:53 PM

Well if the exec producer is fired in the pilot, then presumably a new one comes in during the next episode. So whoever plays the new exec producer could be a regular, and the 'father figure'. I could see Martin Sheen in the Lorne Michaels role for the pilot.

mattmarcotte, please please please give us some more information about the show! So you think the West Wing stars who had roles written for them are Dule Hill and Kristen Chenowith? Dule Hill being involved would be great but I had hoped for a role for Allison Janney or Bradley Whitford. Or Richard Schiff, John Spencer, Janel Maloney, Rob Lowe and Martin Sheen. Ya know, they should really just make an uber sized cast, combine Sports Night with The West Wing. Could even get Felicity Huffman off of DH!

Speaking of Huffman, I read a report that the celebrity host of the week is to be played by Huffman in the pilot.

Edited by HungryHippo2004, Nov 3, 2005 @ 4:54 PM.


#25

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 5:27 PM

No. The new EP's are a pair of 30-something guys, who are kind of an amalgam of Wes Anderson/Owen Wilson and Sorkin/Schlamme. The only "older" figure who seems likely to be a regular is a kind of asshole-y conglomerate President--really, no "father figure."

There's a cast member on the "show within the show" who's described as a good looking young black man, who's kind of resentful he's there, since he went to Yale Drama School--that's the part that I think is written for Dule.

The part that I think is based on Kristin C. is the "Amy Poehler" character (for lack of a better term)--the female "star" of the show who also is a singer, who broke up with the Sorkin-esque new EP after she appeared on "The 700 Club" to promote her album of inspirational music (which is something Kristin actually did).

And yes, Felicity Huffman appears as herself, though only briefly in the teaser, and gets the following exchange (paraphrased):

Wardrobe Assistant: Ok, Felicity, decision time--do you want the slutty dress, or the super-slutty dress?
Felicity: I need the super-slutty dress and somebody else to wear it.

(Also, there's a brilliant music cue specified at the end, which could cause clearance problems.)

#26

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 5:42 PM

Sorry, when you referred to the new 'showrunners' being like Dan/Casy I misread and thought showrunners was referring to the main stars of the show within the show.

So, do you think it could honestly be a show to rival TWW? Does S7OTSS lean more towards comedy ala Sports Night or drama ala West Wing? Any other tidbits from the pilot?

Sounds like a meaty role for Dule, if the role is indeed for him.

Man I'm excited about this.

#27

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 5:47 PM

I honestly think that when Sorkin was writing it, West Wing had just as much comedy as Sports Night. That's just his style.

I read the Studio 7 sides and am predictably impressed. I absolutely cannot wait. I just hope the casting is just as good as his other shows. And on that note... while I LOVE TWW and SN actors and their fluent mastery of Sorkinese, I wouldn't want them on this new show, unless it's someone who had a smaller role like Dule. If Brad Whitford came on and played one of the showrunners and he's giving all his snarky lines, I'd expect the next thing out of his mouth to be DOONNNNNAAAAA! Really... why not let Sorkin find some new "unknowns" and turn them into stars like he did for the other two shows?

I'm already in love with these characters, though.

#28

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 5:56 PM

I'll put up a casting breakdown when I get home, where my copy of the script is. My expectation is that NBC will be looking for at least a couple of "name actor" types, most likely in the female network president role and one of the showrunner roles. I would not be shocked to see Cynthia Nixon's name thrown around.

There is also a part for a Jimmy Fallon-type that Jason Lee woulda been almost perfect for.

ETA: Remember that much of Sorkin's cast had a New York theatre background, and I would expect at least a couple of names to show up from there--off the top of my head, I can see Amy Spanger, Ben Shenkman, and maybe Sutton Foster in parts in the script.

Edited by mattmarcotte, Nov 3, 2005 @ 5:59 PM.


#29

HungryHippo2004

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 6:21 PM

You know, I do agree to an extent that it would be great for Sorkin to highlight a 'new generation' of actors becoming beloved due to his words and their acting. At the same time, I'm just sad that the stars of TWW won't have the opportunity to once again work with Sorkin regularly on television. So a double-edged sword for me.

But you're right - Sorkin didn't re-use any main Sports Night actors as regulars on TWW. Oh, except Josh Malina of course. Who is surely going to have a role in the show.

#30

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Posted Nov 3, 2005 @ 6:29 PM

Yeah, I almost forgot about Josh. You can bet he'll be there somewhere. LOL.