Friday Night Lights and Studio 60 play swapsies

Friday Night Lights is getting Studio 60‘s time slot temporarily. Good news for the former, worrying news for the latter.

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BBC to launch online sci-fi drama series for kids

Axons£2 million ain’t bad. Oops. Bad Rob. Bad use of English. For Axon, a new £2 million sci-fi mystery for kids, is being commissioned for the BBC’s online education service, BBC Jam. It’s going to combine “linear drama, interactive documentary, games and activities as well as streamed video from archives” and, in the grand tradition of all British sci-fi, is going to be filmed in Wales (probably in a gravel pit).

Since it is a BBC education production, the groovy bit is that it’s going to be produced in four different languages: English and Welsh, with Irish and Scottish Gaelic to follow in 2007. First episodes are due to appear in January.

Axon, huh? As in brain fibre or campy Jon Pertwee Doctor Who monster (above right)?

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Studio 60’s ratings falling ever further

Sarah PaulsonIt might be from Aaron Sorkin. It might have a star-studded cast. It might have characters constantly going on about how, if you write a quality show, the US public will watch it. But Studio 60 really isn’t doing at all well in the ratings. Currently, it’s about third or fourth in its time slot, with ratings dropping 15% from last week’s episode to 7.8 million (or in ratings talk, 3.1/8 in 18-49, 7.8 million viewers overall).

It’s up against the jaw-droppingly stupid CSI: Miami (is it possible for David Caruso to have had Botox for his acting muscles?) so it’s undergoing a real-world empirical test of its own philosophy. Unfortunately, its theories are wrong: when the US public are presented with glossy, sexy, exciting but stupid versus well-written, wordy, intelligent but preachy drama, they’ll plump for the Caruso-bot every time, it seems.

No word from NBC about what’s going to happen to Studio 60, although there are various words being muttered about the quality of the viewers being just as important as the quantity: Studio 60 is delivering the same kind of people as The West Wing, who are generally smarter, richer, etc than the CSI: Miami crowd (ie everyone else). All the same, keep your fingers crossed and don’t be surprised if Studio 60 becomes Studio 13 episodes only.