Note to NBC- maybe if you had all the episodes available online, to anyone with a computer (not just those with a Viiv chipset) - or available through the iTunes store- maybe your viewership would go up. I wrote about this earlier: How not to tie TV to the Internet.
It’s hard to interest people in these very intense serial dramas if they don’t know what’s going on- sort of like walking into a movie halfway in- and going, hmmmmm?

High income viewers don’t want to have to struggle to watch a show- they have better things to do. They are least likely to go on BitTorrent etc. to get the show (although their kids know how).

TV Week

NBC is making good on its promise to stand by lackluster performer “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” making a full-season pickup order for the Aaron Sorkin drama.

The network has ordered an additional nine episodes of the series, which has been struggling in its Monday night, 10 p.m. time slot. “Studio 60” is averaging a 4.0 rating in adults 18-49 and 9.8 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen Media Research.

“I am pleased to show our support for this outstanding and ambitious effort,” said Kevin Reilly, president, NBC Entertainment. “From the start, they have delivered the superb show that we wanted. The critical support has been rock-solid and there is a passionate core audience. We can’t wait for what’s going to come in the remainder of the season.”

Mr. Reilly has said he supports “Studio 60” despite its low viewership because the show is fits NBC’s brand and attracts affluent, educated viewers.

I’ve enjoyed Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip- via TiVo, as always, Aaron Sorkin dialog requires frequent instant replays. The good thing about both TiVo and online viewing- is they both give real numbers- as opposed to Nielsen’s extrapolated data.

The future of television isn’t in ratings, it’s in the ability to target real people. If NBC changed it’s net strategy, the show might be able to deliver numbers that standard ratings won’t.

NOTE: 14 NOV 2006- Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip is now available on iTunes at $1.99 per show. Note- 30 Rock is available for free. NBC brass must be reading this site.
Studio 60 On the Sunset Strip