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C'mon, Gina, Find a Way to Turn That Frown Upside Down!
NBC has finally declared the winner of its Battle of the SNL-ish Series:
Tina Fey's "30 Rock," starring Tina Fey as the head writer on a live weekly sketch-comedy TV show shot in New York City who butts heads with idiot network suits, received the coveted second-season order.
Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip," starring Matthew Perry as the head writer on a live weekly sketch-comedy TV show shot in Los Angeles who butts head with idiot network suits, did not.
"Studio 60" is, in fact, gone from NBC's lineup for the rest of the TV season, and its time slot will become home to a reality series featuring engaged couples who are convinced their exchange of wedding vows will prove utterly tedious to their nearest and dearest unless improv actors are brought in to wreak havoc on the proceedings and the whole thing is replayed for the handful of Americans not yet addicted to CBS's body-parts-in-Miami drama on Mondays at 10 p.m.
"From the beginning, '30 Rock' has proven to be the kind of quality comedy that doesn't come around very often and we are very pleased to have this show back for a second season," NBC Entertainment chief Kevin Reilly said in yesterday's announcement. "We expect it to continue to build its increasingly loyal audience and become another of NBC's classic comedy series."
The decision to give an early green light to Fey's show for a second season, rather than Sorkin's, was a no-brainer.
For instance, NBC pointed out that, season to date, "30 Rock" is averaging 2.7 percent of the country's audience of 18-to-49-year-olds. That's the age bracket advertisers pay a premium to reach and NBC therefore targets with its entertainment series.
"Studio 60" is averaging only 3.6 percent of the audience in that age bracket.
Well, how about this: "30 Rock's" overall audience, season to date, is a solid 5.8 million viewers, NBC says in its announcement.
"Studio 60's" season-to-date overall audience is just 8.5 million.
[Crickets.] Upscale -- "30 Rock" is very upscale. NBC likes upscale. According to NBC, "30 Rock" is one of the most upscale comedies on television. In fact, NBC says, it rates 28 percent higher among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000-plus incomes than it rates among all adults 18-49.
"Studio 60"? Well, "Studio 60" rates 28 percent higher among adults 18-49 living in homes with $100,000-plus incomes than it rates among all adults 18-49.
Now that it's become so transparent why one show got picked up but not the other, it's barely worth mentioning that NBC Universal 2.0 owns "30 Rock" but not "Studio 60" -- that's owned by Warner Bros.
So "30 Rock" is returning to the NBC schedule, where it will, according to NBC, settle into its new time period of 9-9:30 p.m. on Thursdays, starting April 12, for the remaining episodes of this season's order.
By the way, that was to be "Studio 60's" time slot. The one NBC yanked it out of before it ever debuted there. Because NBC wanted to "protect" "Studio 60" from "Grey's Anatomy," after ABC announced it would move that show to the 9 p.m. Thursday hour.