Sorkin Returns with “Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip”


Aaron Sorkin is back on television with an amazing cast. It was strange to see Stephen Weber play the straight laced Chairman of the network, as I’ll always think of him as Brian Hackett on Wings. It’s always great to see Lou Grant, I mean Ed Asner again, as well as Timothy Busfield (Elliot Westin of Thirtysomething and Danny Concannon of The West Wing). The show opens with Jud Hirsch doing a fantastic Howard Beale (Network) type rant.

Bradley Whitford (who previously played Josh Lyman on The West Wing) and Matthew Perry (like there’s anybody who doesn’t know he was Chandler Bing) will likely dominate the show, but Amanda Peet was the highlight tonight. Seeing Amanda Peet in the pilot of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip made me think of one of my favorite movies, Something’s Gotta Give. I could come up with an excuse tying these pictures into tonight’s show, but who really needs an excuse to either recall a favorite movie or look at pictures of Amanda Peet?


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10 Comments

  1. 1
    janet says:

    Ha! Ha! We watched last night and frankly, I don’t think Amanda is nearly the actor my daughter is. My daughter had more expressions as Rizzo in her high school musical, Grease. BUT, my hubby would agree with you. When I said this to him he said, “who cares?”

    We liked the show and the cast and I have to admit, I’m glad Amanda is in it.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    It’s her stage presence, not her acting ability. Plus, the episode was more written around her having to deal with the crisis as incoming network President.

  3. 3
    Todd Mitchell says:

    It was strange seeing Steve Weber in that role, especially after making me laugh for 8 years on Wings (as you mentioned). But he nailed the a-hole network president perfectly. Kudos to Sorkin on what looks like another hit.

  4. 4
    kj says:

    We just watched Studio 60 last night. I thought I saw just the tiniest speck of “Brian” in Steven Weber, and can only hope Sorkin lets Steven exercise his comic chops in later episodes. I mean, he has to. It would be a waste of talent!
    (Also notice that Tim Daly is coming back via The Nine? Yeah!)

    It was great to see all the nods to “Sports Night,” one of my all-time favorite shows.

    I thought the actress that played Harriet wasn’t quite up to the rest of the cast, but giving her the benefit of the doubt, maybe Sorkin wrote her to play the calm, centered one in the show. (That doesn’t quite square with this previous work, however.

    Also, Ron, I read a rumor that Lauren Graham might guest-star in a two-episode arc this October!

  5. 5
    kj says:

    ps. Re: Wings. Just re-watched the entire series a year or two ago. Stands up to the test of time. Love it as much the second time as the first. Great, classic comedy with one of the best series-enders in history, imo. (Helen’s sister, a royal pain and not one of my favorite characters, goes around the island to tell everyone off, returns to Sandpiper, only to find she’s inherited Helen’s diner. Loved it!)

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    I doubt Steven Weber will be allowed to be like Brian in this role, but I would hope that we will see some more complexity to his character in the future. There’s a limit to what can be done with characterication in one hour.

    The nods to his previous shows was expected from the start, considering how the show opened with Felicity Huffman. Of course we knew that from the cast. Besides Bradley Whitford, even Matthew Perry had a brief role working at the Bartlett White House.

  7. 7
    kj says:

    Ron,

    I read on the internets that Amanda Peets is preggers. I wonder if she and Jack (Weber’s character) will have a backstory?

  8. 8
    Ron Chusid says:

    It will be interesting to see if they write the pregnancy into the script, or just try to hide it.

  9. 9
    kj says:

    Ron, I agree. I’m not all that familiar with Amanda Peet, but thought she was great in the Studio 60 pilot. Actually, I thought she became the calm center, the container, of the story and handled herself really well. I’m looking forward to see her character develop.

  10. 10
    Ron Chusid says:

    kj,

    That’s the type of thing I meant–not that she is the world’s greatest actress. I bet that Whitman and Perry dominate the show, but for the pilot (starting before they were hired), Amanda Peet’s role was the central role.

    In Something’s Gotta Give she didn’t have the lead. Jack Nicholson winded up dating her mother (Diane Keaton) after having a heart attack when he came home with Amanda’s character. It might not have been the world’s greatest acting job, but she had a stage presence, among a great cast, which still made her role memorable.

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