Some Thanks, Some Love, and a Little Bit of Begging

First and foremost, I want to thank all of you who voted for me over the past month in the "Best Blog/Writer Competition." I really appreciate it. It's not so much that I thought I would (or even cared to) win, it's just that I wanted to get my name (and blog) out there. The contest (and the promotion from you guys) has brought new readers to my blog. My traffic, my subscriptions, my comments have all grown (a lot) over the last month. So thanks, I'll try to deserve it.

I would be remiss (and possibly beaten) if I didn't mention the anniversary that I am celebrating (since I refuse to celebrate Halloween). Today is the third anniversary of the day I met my wife, Mrs. Rogue (Rogue, by the way is her married name, lest you think it tremendously coincidental that I married a girl named Rogue). To be regaled with the story of that night (and some more of the wit and wisdom of the Drunken Rogue) check out my post from earlier today, "Halloween, It's Not Just for Candy Anymore." I love you, Ella.

Now, to the task at hand. I'm scared. Not of ghouls and ghosts (although, I am a little scared of the dark), I'm afraid of cancellation. Not my own, obviously (MySpace loves me), but the cancellation of my favorite new show, "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." I've already written about the brilliance that is "Studio 60" here on this blog, but in the last few days dark clouds have shown up on the horizon and I feel compelled to do something. So (and this is literally the height of my dorkiness) I'm writing a letter to NBC (sent electronically of course). I'm posting that letter here as well, for you to read and (hopefully) pass on to friends. If you are watching the show, thank you. If you are not, give it a try. Even if it's not your cup of tea, you have to admit that television is better off with it on the air than another hour of "Sleeping with Celebrities" or whatever the next reality show craze will be. Thanks ahead of time for your help.

To Whom it May Concern:

I am writing in support of a fantastic program which, I fear, your network has already written off. "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" is everything that hourlong drama's should aspire to be. It is touching, funny, entertaining, well written, directed and acted. It carries on a great tradition of quality programming at NBC. I know that Television is a business, and the bottom line is always the most important factor in programming decisions, but there has got to be room for pride alongside profit. "Studio 60" is a show you can be proud of.

In a time when reality television, and mindless game shows are watched by millions while costing pennies, I understand it is difficult to stick with a mediocre hit, particularly one as expensive as Aaron Sorkin's latest effort. I know that you could easily replace "Studio 60" with another hour of "Deal or No Deal" or a show much like it, and probably improve your ratings in the timeslot. But will "Deal or No Deal" win you awards? Will it bring you acclaim from critics and discerning viewers? Will it foster a culture of class, and sophistication in your network? Will it bring the next talented writer to your studio instead of one of the ascending cable channels, with his or her brilliant idea? "Studio 60" has asked some of these very same questions in the show, and I think we all know the answers.

This is not to say that the show is without flaws. I often think it is "too smart" for its own good. Mr. Sorkin's pop culture (and occasionally not so 'pop') references are often above the head of the average viewer. While in the short term that may keep "Studio 60" from being a smash hit, in the long term that could be the very reason it lasts. I would ask that you, the executives of NBC, allow us to find out if "Studio 60" has the legs to last. Perhaps the answer is no, but the show at least deserves a chance.

Since the loss of hit shows like "Friends" and "Seinfeld" and the arrival of phenomenons like "Lost" and "American Idol," NBC has had some difficult times and has fallen from the heights it once ascended to. In the past few years, quality new shows like "Scrubs", "The Office", and "My Name is Earl" have joined stalwarts like "E.R." and the "Law and Order" franchise as jewels in the NBC crown. This season, three fantastic shows have joined those ranks. "Heroes" is exciting television in a genre that has rarely, if ever, been done justice. "Friday Night Lights" is a fantastic view of small town life, and America's real pastime. "Studio 60" has already proven its value, being praised almost universally by critics before the season even began. Quality programming will do more for you in the end than just help your bottom line. Quality begets quality, and that's always good business.

Respectfully Submitted