‘Studio 60’: Trouble in the Writers’ Room

I cannot believe that the former head writers of Studio 60’s show-within-a-show have really left, because that would be disastrous for the beleaguered dramedy. In last night's episode, Ricky and Ron supposedly made their exit from the writing staff to take their pilot and six episodes to Fox. These characters represented the only real character-driven roadblocks to comedy writing for Matt Albie.

The rest of the show, as has been pointed out many times by many critics, does not revolve around its supposed premise: i.e., the writing and production of a sketch-comedy show. The show has focused on politics, censorship, religion, homophobia, the war in Iraq, and other real-world issues, and has spent precious little time focusing on how the comedy show was written.

Ricky and Ron meant actual scenes in the writers' room. They fought with Matt over their script minutes. Last night, they screwed up the page format, and it affected the telecast.

There is no way that their departure will lead to more screen time depicting how the show is created each week. Once Matt comes to the realization that he cannot write the show each week without the safety net of a complete writing team, and a new crew has been built up, Studio 60 will only focus less on the writing and production. So there has to be a plot twist–a point at which Ricky and Ron come back, or act as antagonists from their position at another network, or something.

Otherwise, Studio 60 may stop focusing on the writing and production aspects altogether, and will certainly lose even more viewers. That’s something it just can’t afford to do.

By Guest Blogger Liz McKeon