"STUDIO 60" GETS A NEW SCRIPT ORDER
NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" as well as three series on ABC ('Men in Trees', "Help Me Help You' and 'The Nine') have all been given additional script orders. NBC has ordered 3 new scripts, while all ABC series got four.
Broadcast networks in the US normally give additional script orders to show faith in quality or potential of a new show which is struggling in the ratings, sending positive signals to their limited fan base and potential new viewers.
With only two new shows officially cancelled (NBC's Kidnapped and CBS' Smith) and several shows on indefinite hiatus (FOX's "Happy Hour" and NBC's "20 Good Years") almost all new shows have either received a new script order or they have been picked up for a full 22-episode season.
"Studio 60" had a solid start back in September (over 13 million viewers), but has lost almost half that audience by now. "Help Me Help You" and "The Nine" scare away half of their lead-in audience ("Dancing with the Stars" and "Lost", respectively).
"Men In Trees" is doing quite poorly on a weak night (Friday, less than 7 million). Some analysts suggest that ABC move the Anne Heche Alaska-based romantic drama to Thursday night after "Grey's Anatomy" as they believe ABC's 10pm drama JJ Abrams' "Six Degrees" may not necessarily be the best fit.
In an apparent lack of confidence for the show, ABC not only failed to give "Six Degrees" a new script order, but also pre-empted the show this week with a "Grey's rerun".
Recently CBS also asked for four additional scripts for its sitcom "The Class".
Although a script order is hardly as good as a full-season pick-up, the networks get to see where the show is headed creatively which helps them make a decision whether they want to continue to support it or not. Also, if the ratings do spike up, the writers are ready to keep the new episodes rolling.