This episode has minor differences from the version that was released on DVD by NBC on August 5, 2006. For details on that version, please see Pilot (DVD).
Season 1, Episode 1
Full episode promote new 01
Air date September 18, 2006
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Thomas Schlamme
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The pilot is the first episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Thomas Schlamme. It premiered on September 18, 2006.



At the home of Jack and Marylyn Rudolph, a dinner party is underway. The guest of honor is Jordan McDeere, recently hired as President of NBS. Wilson White, Chairman of the Tunney Media Group, praises Jordan. He congratulates Jack Rudolph for hiring her and asks for “unprecedented success”. Jordan is thanking her hosts when a message is delivered to her: something has happened at Studio 60. She responds that nothing bad could happen on her first day. The phones and pagers of everyone in the room begin to come alive, proving her wrong.

Matt and DannyEdit

The Big ThreeEdit





  1. Matthew Perry as Matt Albie
  2. Amanda Peet as Jordan McDeere
  3. Bradley Whitford as Danny Tripp
  4. Steven Weber as Jack Rudolph
  5. D.L. Hughley as Simon Stiles
  6. Sarah Paulson as Harriet Hayes
  7. Nate Corddry as Tom Jeter
  8. Timothy Busfield as Cal Shanley

Guest stars

  1. Jayma Mayes as Daphne (Studio 60 publicist)
  2. Donna Murphy as Blair (Danny's agent)
  3. Wendy Phillips as Shelley Green (NBS public relations)
  4. Michael Stuhlbarg as Jerry Jones

Special guest stars

  1. Ed Asner as Wilson White
  2. Judd Hirsch as Wes Mendell


  1. Three 6 Mafia as Themselves - Musical Guests
  2. Simon Helberg as Alex Dwyer
  3. Nate Torrence as Dylan Killington
  4. John F. Carpenter as Herb Sheldon
  5. Emiko Parise as an Associate Producer
  6. Jennifer Pennington as a Control Room Assistant
  7. Clement Blake as Cue Card Man
  8. William Stanford Davis as Floor Manager
  9. Merritt Wever as Suzanne
  10. Kirstin Pierce as Marylyn Rudolph
  11. Amy Honey as P.A. #1
  12. Jah Shams as P.A. #2
  13. Dave Allen Clark as Monitor Reporter #1
  14. Glen Walker as Monitor Reporter #2
  15. Shaun Robinson as Monitor Reporter #3
  16. Dilva Henry as Monitor Reporter #4
  17. Andrew Friedman as Alan
  18. Vernee Watson-Johnson as Zelda (NBS Advertising Relations)
  19. Joshua Weinstein as Michael
  20. Mandy Siegfried as Julie
  21. Kris Murphy as Karen
  22. Josh Phillips as M.C.
  23. Akiva Goldsman as Himself
  24. Rod Tate as a Security Man
  25. Samantha Coker as a Waitress
  26. Samantha Schacher as a Waitress


  1. Diana-Maria Riva as Lilly Rodriguez
  2. Felicity Huffman as Herself - Guest Host


Opening credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Creator
  2. W.G. Snuffy Walden - Music
  3. Sarah Caplan - Producer
  4. Francine Maisler and
  5. Camille H. Patton - Casting
  6. Rob Seidenglanz - Editor
  7. Carlos Barbosa - Production Designer
  8. Thomas Del Ruth - Director of Photography
  9. Aaron Sorkin - Writer
  10. Thomas Schlamme - Director

Opening credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Executive Producer
  2. Thomas Schlamme - Executive Producer
  3. Desiree J. Cadena - Associate Producer
  4. Julie DeJoie - Associate Producer
  5. Mindy Kanaskie - Associate Producer
  6. Lauren Lohman - Associate Producer


  • Jordan McDeere was originally called Jamie and Danny Tripp was initially written as Danny Moore. [1]
  • The quote "It took four years, but the show collapsed without him," could be a sly reference to the end of Aaron Sorkin's previous show "The West Wing". [2]



Wes Mendell: Who's it gonna offend, huh? Tell me.
Jerry Jones: Wes...
Wes Mendell: Just give me the names.
Jerry Jones: People who, religious people. God, Wes, and you knew that when you... What do you want me to say to the fifty million people who are gonna go out of their minds as soon as it airs?
Wes Mendell: First of all you tell them that we average nine million households, so that's at least 41 million who are full of crap. And the second, you can tell them that living where there's free speech means sometimes you get offended.

Wes Mendell: This show used to be cutting edge satire but it's gotten lobotomised by a candy-ass broadcast network hell-bent on doing nothing that might challenge their audience.
We were about to do a sketch you've already seeen 500 times. Yeah, no one's going to confuse George Bush with George Plimpton, no, we get it. We're all being lobotomized by this country's most influential industry which has thrown in the towel on any endeavor that doesn't include the courting of 12-year-old boys. And not even the smart 12-year-olds, the stupid ones, the idiots, of which there are plenty thanks in no small measure to this network. So change the channel, turn of the TV. Do it right now.
Yes there's a struggle between art and commerce. Well there's always been a strugle between art and commerse, but now I'm telling you art is getting its ass kicked, and it's making us mean, and it's making us bitchy, and it's making us cheap punks and that's not who we are. People are having contest to see how much they can be like Donald Trump...
We're eating worms for money. "Who Wants To Screw My Sister". Guys are getting killed in a war that's got theme music and a logo. That remote in your hand is a crack pipe. Oh yeah, every once in a while we pretend to be appalled...

"It's turning us into pornographers, and it's not even good pornography. It's just this side of snuff films, and friends, that's what's next 'cause that's all that's left.

"And the two things that make them scared gutless are the FCC and every psycho-religious cult that gets positively horny at the very mention of a boycott.

"These are the people they're afraid of, this prissy, feckless, off-the-charts greed-filled whorehouse of a network you're watching. This thoroughly unpatriotic motherf..."

Matt Albie: I like Felicity fine, but the woman I broke up with is a cast member, and it would be awkward if I went to the party and, y'know, killed her in front of all those people.

Cal Shanely: Okay, tell the writers' room they're gonna have to stretch it another twentyfive seconds and I'm sure that making it longer was the missing ingredient in making it funny.

Danny Tripp: I have no reason to trust you and every reason not to.
Jordan McDeere: Why?
Danny Tripp: You work in television.

Jack Rudolph: There's gonna be a press conference at noon on Monday announcing that you two are running Studio 60. I know I can count on you to answer questions in a way that doesn't embarrass the National Broadcasting System. Will that be hard for you?
Matt Albie: I wouldn't think it would be hard for anybody. 'Cause if you pointed a camera at two people masturbating it'd be among the least embarrassing things on the National Broadcasting System. I'll tell Blair to start working on the deal.



  • Schlamme, T. & Sorkin, A. (Executive Producers). (2006, September 18). Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip [Television program]. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Television.
  • Wes Mendell's Speech
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