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Fall 2006 Preview Guide

The Not Ready for Prime Time Playoff

How to tell the difference between NBC’s dueling SNL-inspired shows.

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Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip
NBC; premieres September 18 (10 p.m.)

THE HEROIC CREATIVE TYPE
Matthew Perry and Bradley Whitford star as Matt and Danny, a writer-and-director duo once fired from Studio 60. When a Lorne Michaels–esque producer wigs out, the network’s rookie president lures them back to save the show.

THE MEDDLING SUIT
Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) has been hired as president of the fictional network NBS. One character questions her chops: “I’m not like every other heterosexual man in show business. I don’t find you charming.”


THIS SHOW JUST MIGHT REVIVE THE CAREER OF …
Matthew Perry, who, as the troubled but brilliant writer, hopes to make us forget all about Chandler Bing.

REAL-LIFE TRIVIA TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS
Matt splits with his cast-member girlfriend when she shills a gospel album on The 700 Club. Creator Aaron Sorkin once dated Kristin Chenoweth, a West Winger who appeared on The 700 Club.

BOLD SWIPE AT THE NETWORK OVERLORDS
“I have no reason to trust you and every reason to not.” “Why?” “You work in television.” Runner-up: “If you pointed a camera at two people masturbating, it would be among the least embarrassing things on [NBS].”

30 Rock
NBC; premieres October 11 (8:30 p.m.)

THE HEROIC CREATIVE TYPE
Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon, the brain behind The Girlie Show, a “real fun ladies comedy show for ladies.” Lemon clashes with a boorish NBC executive.

THE MEDDLING SUIT
Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is promoted after his successful marketing of “the trivection oven.” His approach to comedy: “Sometimes you have to change things that are perfectly good to make them your own.”

THIS SHOW JUST MIGHT REVIVE THE CAREER OF …
Tracy Morgan, who, as the troubled, semi-delusional black superstar Tracy Jordan, hopes to make us forget all about The Tracy Morgan Show.

REAL-LIFE TRIVIA TO IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS
Tracy Morgan’s character is plagued by bad press; thanks to his own shirt-doffing antics, Morgan’s a fixture on “Page Six,” which has dubbed him the “nightclub nightmare.”

BOLD SWIPE AT THE NETWORK OVERLORDS
“Standards has a problem with that Michael Jackson bit. Apparently you can’t say he has a vagina.” Runner-up: “Surely our massive conglomerate parent company could spring for a samovar of coffee?”


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