Last week, NBC Universal announced that, as part of a cost-cutting measure, that they were going to totally abandon the 8:00pm hour to game shows and reality shows. No more sitcoms or dramas with their pesky and expensive money-wasting frills like “actors” and “scripts.”
In the age of TiVo, YouTube & iTunes it doesn’t really matter when or where a show airs as long as it does air. So the worry here is mostly if this means something like Nobody’s Watching will ever make it to the airwaves. Also, how much longer NBC will be considered a “major” network when the fracking CW ends up carrying more scripted shows just because NBC doesn’t think it can have a sitcom hit at 8:00pm? Bill Cosby must be spinning in his grave.
Anyways, I thought it would be ironic to get some comments from fans of NBC’s low-rated freshman drama Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip — which has spent a lot of time and energy railing against this exact type of situation — but I had a helluva time finding any. And when I did, I was very much surprised by their reaction to this news. They weren’t at all upset. As a matter of fact, they supported NBC’s move.
You see, there’s a twist.
Turns out that NBC has gathered all 15 fans of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip into a single house — white, of course — and those fans are going to be on a reality show called Cosi Fans Studio 60.
That’s right, NBC has neutralized the potential complaints by the fans of their scripted shows by putting those fans on their reality shows. Genius!
In future weeks, there will be shows like The Office Olympics; the Karma List and, of course Who Wants to Be Just a Regular Everyday Hero? All of which will feature fans of those shows doing real-life versions of scenes from those shows.
But first off, of course, is Cosi Fans Studio 60. Every week, each of the fans will write a spec scene for the show, and each week, those scenes will be judged by a panel of celebrities including Judd Hirsch, Judd Winick and Judd Nelson. The winner continues on, and the loser gets pedeconferenced right out of the (white) house.
In the meantime, the show will take us on each fan’s personal journey: how they loved Sports Night, couldn’t abide the last three seasons of West Wing, and still weren’t sure about Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but were willing to give it some time. And certainly willing to write for it.
But there’s more: these fans are being told that this reality show is the only reason that Studio 60 is being kept on the air, and if they don’t act in the way they understand that reality show participants are “supposed” to act, that Studio 60 will be canceled and this show will never air.
So get ready for plenty of exciting idea stealing, hard drive erasing, opportunistic hookups and, of course, pedeconferencing as people bounce one-liners off of each other.
The winner will get a snippet of their dialog in an episode in the next season of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip on NBC. If there is one. Of either.