Update: July 17, 2007
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NBC Pulls Television Drama 'Black Donnellys', No Word on Studio 60
Wednesday, April 04, 2007 - reddit
Variety is reporting that NBC has pulled troubled drama The Black Donnellys off the air, with the remaining episodes likely to be burned off on the networks website. Donnellys has fared even worse than the critically acclaimed yet ratings challenged dramedy Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip by a fair margin.
NBC has announced that Donnellys will be replaced by yet another bizarre experiment called Thank God You're Here, some sort of improv comedy. Despite this, there are industry reports that Studio 60 is still in production as of the end of March. (Past Deadline)
I got the scoop this very afternoon from Lesley Cerwin, the NBC publicist assigned to the show, and she confirmed that production on episode 19 was scheduled to be completed today and work on episode 20 commenced on Thursday.
This isn't surprising given that NBC gave Studio 60 a full season order before it was pulled off the air in favor of Donnellys. It has raised questions about why NBC would continue to pay for the production of an expensive television show that it refuses to air, in favor of even lower rated failures.
Though you might as well say that Donnellys has been cancelled, Studio 60 most certainly has not. Believe me when I say that if and when that happens, you'll know about it rather quickly. Let this also be a lesson of just how tough it is to get and keep a successful show on the air.
Donnellys was created by Academy award winning writer Paul Haggis, and his show didn't even make it as far as Studio 60 managed to. 60 if you'll note was created and mostly written by Emmy Award winning writer Aaron Sorkin, an A-list commodity if there ever has been one in television.
In all likelihood, you'll see the rest of Studio 60 sometime this summer, and that'll be it. I'd like to think that it isn't really abnormal for something like this to happen. Take a sports analogy if you will, where even the highest paid player in baseball slugger of all-time walks back to the dugout an average of 70% of the time.
Sometimes you just have to shrug your shoulders and try again, and don't think for an instant that the feeding frenzy over another Sorkin drama won't be as big or bigger than this one was.
Update: I've been meaning to note on this page that while Black Donnellys has been canceled, Studio 60 will be returning to the lineup May 24th, Thursday nights at 10PM. My condolences to all you Black Donnellys fans. Rash decisions on new shows are becoming far too common these days.
Topics: Television, Studio 60, NBC, NBCU, Black Donnellys, Paul Haggis, News
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