NBC Picks up Studio 60's Back Nine

Variety just reported that NBC has decided to place a full order for the "back nine" remaining episodes of "Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip" giving the show a full season run.

I bet Roger Friedman feels pretty stupid right about now.

The Fox News (so you KNOW they'll get the story right) reporter boisterously declared in one of his recent articles, "Studio 60 Cancellation Imminent" and proceeded to point out how cast members of Aaron Sorkin's supposed Titanic were heading to the lifeboats and confiding in friends that the end was near.

But apparently that was all just wishful thinking for Friedman, who, according to his article has held a grudge against the show since the start.

Friedman's article only added fuel to the fire over the the debate of whether or not NBC would pull the plug, which has been the topic of more than average watercooler discussion within Tinseltown. Almost everyone involved or even interested in the broadcasting industry has been discussing the fate of Sorkin's pride and joy since the pilot episode premiered to critical acclaim and lackluster numbers.

When "Friday Night Lights" was dropped into S60's time slot two weeks ago, ratings for the high school football drama pulled better numbers than S60 had managed in the same slot, fanning the flames to rumors that this time slot test shuffle spelled the death knell for Sorkin's baby. But NBC stood firm that Studio 60 was pulling in decent enough numbers, especially in the highly-marketable (and network profitable) upscale audience demographics, which was enough for the Peacock boys to warrant at least a wait and see stance.

In the past few weeks, S60's numbers have improved slightly and the speculation evolved, suggesting that perhaps the show was starting to take hold and grow an audience following. But skeptics wondered that in light of the recent "NBCU 2.0" paradigm shift with the network, would it be enough for NBC to give it the nod for a full run?

Yesterday, NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly finally assuaged the speculation:
"It's a bull's-eye at the core of our brand," he told Daily Variety. "I love the talent onscreen and off, and I want to give it the full season to work it out and fully discover its audience."
So the full order for shows has now been given, firmly placing the onus of Studio 60's fate on Sorkin's savvy to wrangle the show into an audience growing money maker for NBC.

And now Hollywood's eyes and gossip mongering will turn to the fate of Friday Night Lights and 30 Rock, which according to Variety, we should hear about within the next week or so.

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