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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - The Complete Series

4.7 out of 5 stars 1,019 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip: The Complete Series (DVD)

When the beleaguered executive producer of a long-running late-night sketch-comedy series interrupts the live broadcast and has a "Network" moment on the air, the industry, the media and the viewers are galvanized. Into this melee steps shrewd and self-confident network president Jordan McDeere, who squares off against the chairman and rehires a brilliant, unpredictable writer/producer team--which had left the show years ago under a cloud of controversy--to bring it back from the brink. This daring, highly anticipated comedic drama literally goes behind the scenes to expose the politics, personalities and pandemonium of producing a flagship series on a major television network.



Aaron Sorkin, bless him, believes that "the people who watch television shows aren't dumber than the people who make television shows." He also believes that "quality is not anathema to profit." He puts these idealistic words into the mouth of Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet), the new, impolitic NBS TV president whose first order of business is to revitalize the network's cash cow, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, a long-running live late-night sketch-comedy series reeling from the Howard Beale-esque on-air meltdown of its creator (Judd Hirsch, alas, limited to the pilot episode). With this Upstairs/Backstage look at Studio 60's tumultuous network politics and stormy personal relationships, Sorkin, the creator of Sports Night and The West Wing, once again tried to raise the bar of prime time fare. That he didn't quite clear it makes this one-season wonder a fascinating object lesson of great hopes and dashed expectations. Studio 60 was perhaps the most hotly debated series of the 2006 season and, love it or hate it, all its strengths and flaws can be savored and savaged anew with this complete-series set.

Pretty much above reproach is the ensemble. Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford head the cast as comedy writer Matt and executive producer Danny, former Studio 60 hands whom Jordan brings back to "save" the show. Steven Weber costars as network chairman Jack Rudolph, who clashes with Jordan over reality programming (he wants it, she doesn't), is embroiled in network negotiations with China, and must fend off angry affiliates offended by such sketches as "Crazy Christians." Jordan contends with becoming tabloid fodder after her ex-husband leaks scandalous details of their past. Meanwhile, Matt, a sardonic atheist, is in a whole Ross and Rachel thing with Harriet (Emmy nominee Sarah Paulson), who is devoutly religious and the show's galvanizing star performer (she does do a mean Holly Hunter). Studio 60 has much to say about comedy in wartime, the divided states of America, the creative process, and patriotism. Some of it is deftly handled, some of it is ham-handed and some of it patronizing. Most of it is delivered in Sorkin's signature chock-a-block style and with walk-and-talk urgency. But even at its most maddening, there are enough riveting moments (a performance by displaced New Orleans musicians in "The Christmas Show"), jaw-dropping developments ("I'm coming for you, Jordan," warns Danny, suddenly-turned romantic stalker), and indelible performances (John Goodman's Emmy-winning turn as a plain-speaking Pahrump, NV judge not impressed with the Hollywood types before him in the two-part "Nevada Day") to make Studio 60 a series worth revisiting, if only as a guilty pleasure. The pilot episode commentary by Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme, as well as a behind-the-scenes featurette, were produced before the show was canceled, robbing this series' fervent fans of the opportunity for some closure. --Donald Liebenson

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Steven Weber, Matthew Perry, Amanda Peet, Bradley Whitford, Sarah Paulson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 6
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2007
  • Run Time: 931 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,019 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005JPI6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #11,887 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip - The Complete Series" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
On the one hand, it didn't crackle the same way Sports Night or The West Wing did, and plot inconsistencies and occasional heavy handedness revealed a show that never fully trusted its truth. Still, I can't shake the feeling that Studio 60 is a link in an evolution toward a new, more complicated, more interesting television. NBC should have given it more time to find itself. Doing that would have benefitted the network, the audience, maybe even the society (that's a lot of pressure!)

Imperfections included, Studio 60 made me laugh, it made me cry, it literally made me cheer, and it did what Aaron Sorkin's work always does: celebrate the human condition (instead of tearing it down, as many shows do.) Like other Sorkin series, Studio 60 focused on people of good will doing their best to support each other and create something of value. I inevitably felt cleansed when I watched it, and I didn't clear the episodes from my DVR until the DVD was in my mailbox.

As for the DVD, I wish there had been more extras on it than the Pilot commentary, and a mini-documntary made early in the season. It would have been fascinating to hear Mr. Sorkin and his partner Tommy Schlamme have an honest discussion of the strengths and weaknesses, successes and demise of this show. What can be learned from the path Studio 60 traveled?

I hope Mr. Sorkin keeps on evolving, and keeps on writing television, plays and films (and books, too), 'cause his dialogue excites my mind, and his work fills my soul.
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Format: DVD
Just watched the last show. I still can't believe that it has been cancelled. Witty, intelligent, perhaps sometimes a bit "snotty" but always entertaining. Perhaps with all the drivel on television that now passes for entertainment, this show was just too smart and required the viewer to actually think about what was being presented, is why it failed. Could it actually be that if "West Wing" was first being premiered this fall that it would also not last one season? The chemistry between Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford needs to be seen. By the way, the ending was absolutely perfect. I really wish that one of the intelligent cable channels had picked this show up. How ironic that while Studio 60 was winding down, NBC had the nerve to show commercials for some really stupid show about singing bee?
3 Comments 72 of 76 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Unlike most reviewers here, I had never watched a single episode of any other Sorkin project. The only reason I even watched it in the first place was because I left the TV on after Heroes and listened to it as I washed dishes. As time went on, I found that I would forget to watch Heroes on a regular basis, but would always remember to tune into Studio 60. I loved the entire cast. They made such an amazing ensemble - particularly Matthew Perry, whom I had never seen do anything on TV other than "Friends." I was blown away by his performance but truly I loved EVERYONE (well, not so much Sarah Paulson, but I can't tell if it was because her character was obnoxious or if she was obnoxious... I loved her because Matt Albie loved her.)

I will miss this show - I really think it could have gone somewhere if it was given the opportunity to breathe. It was mis-advertised as a comedy - which it wasn't, there were funny moments, but it wasn't a comedy. Many critics didn't like how the depiction of the behind the scenes world of television was so "unrealistic" - well, it doesn't seem to matter much when the world that is being portrayed unrealistically is an ER, Hospital room, politician's office, etc.

I enjoyed the drama, I held my breath, I laughed, I definitely cried, I loved every moment and at the close of each episode, I would always look at my husband and say "wow, what a great episode"

Sorry to see it go. I'm getting the DVDs.
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Format: Amazon Video
I used to work in the biz... sit com production. So, I didn't want to watch this show because I thought it would just be another inside Hollywood show developed by people who are enamored by what they do and thinking it funny/engaging to the rest of the world. I was wrong and am now addicted to this show just like I was for a time to West Wing. The dialogue is so engaging and smart - why do so many of us turn on TV and tune out when this type of delightful character banter is available for consumption? I will weep when this show gets canceled. I'm rather certain that the content may prove to be too narrow to engage middle America which is so very sad because there is more to this show than just an insider's view into TV production. Watch it and see...
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Format: DVD
Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was a backstage view of a live comedy program like Saturday Night Live, Fridays, Mad TV, etc. The Inner working, the politics and the backstabbing is normal in any show.

So what made this different? Lets start with the writing. Aaron Sorkin did a TV show about behind the scenes show with Sports Night. However in Studio his wit is sharper. The story lines are well thought out, more thought out than 30 Rock.

Steven Weber, Matthew Perry, Bradford Whitford and Amanda Peet mesh as a cast, so why cancel a show wherethe cast works so well. Some of the scripts were uneven and sometimes puzzling in why they would do some of the things they do.

So why did this show fail? I think the audience wanted a show about a comedy show to be funny and not so dramatic.I wish someone would have given this show a chance...but the network didn't!

Well now we as a DVD audience can watch this show in his own season. We can enjoy what NBC passed on and dream what could have happened. another intelligent show has bitten the dust, pray for intelligence!

Bennet Pomerantz AUDIOWORLD
3 Comments 26 of 30 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Any chance NBC would bring it back?
Studio 60 is immensely magnetic. Watching the series for the first time (2/11). Cancelled? So I read the nominations and reviews and studied the demographics. Charts reveal the numbers falling off. Economics and forecasts killed the series. But wait. What was the show playing up against? ... Read More
Feb 22, 2011 by Skyraider |  See all 5 posts
Why are there reviews on a product that doesn't exist?
R. C. Harris Jr.'s post is both germane and misses the mark at the same time. Yes, normally a review should be of the product; of the quality of a DVD set, for example, the extras and access features. Sometimes, however, a review is of content for the purpose of convincing the copyright owners... Read More
Jun 14, 2007 by H. W. Stone |  See all 3 posts
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