"The Focus Group"
Season 1, Episode 3
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Air date October 2, 2006
Written by Aaron Sorkin
Directed by Chris Misiano
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The Focus Group is the third episode of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. It was written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Chris Misiano. It premiered on October 2, 2006.



A network focus group sends a scare through the company that the ratings success of Matt and Danny's first show might have been a one-time thing. Harriet expresses her jealousy at Matt having spent the night with Jeannie so shortly after breaking up, accusing him of rubbing it in her face. The team is pleased to have had a high rating for their opening week with Matt and Danny's return, but fear they won't retain momentum in the ratings in the follow-up show. Jeannie is disappointed by the focus group's score for her sketch "Commedia Dell'Arte". Matt makes a deal with Jeannie regarding the success of the sketch on the live broadcast.





  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
  9. Evan Handler as Ron Oswald
  10. Carlos Jacott as Ricky Tahoe

Guest stars

  1. Ayda Field as Jeannie Whatley
  2. Simon Helberg as Alex Dwyer
  3. Wendy Phillips as Shelley Green
  4. Michael Hyatt as Maisie
  5. Lucy Davis as Lucy Kenwright
  6. John Ennis as Denny
  7. Mircea Monroe as Crystal
  8. Rob Nagle as the Moderator


  1. Nate Torrence as Dylan Killington
  2. Camille Chen as Samantha Li
  3. John F. Carpenter as Herb Sheldon
  4. Kirstin Pierce as Marylyn Rudolph
  5. William Stanford Davis as the Floor Manager
  6. Tom Ayers as a Participant
  7. Bayana Ison as a Concierge
  8. Nathan Dana Aldrich as a Fan


  1. Rob Reiner as Himself - guest host


Opening credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Creator
  2. W.G. Snuffy Walden - Music
  3. Patrick Ward - Producer
  4. Mark Goffman - Producer
  5. Eli Attie - Co-executive Producer
  6. Dylan K. Massin - Produced by
  7. Aaron Sorkin - Writer
  8. Chris Misiano - Director

Opening credits

  1. Aaron Sorkin - Executive Producer
  2. Thomas Schlamme - Executive Producer
  3. Julie DeJoie - Associate Producer
  4. Mindy Kanaskia - Associate Producer
  5. Lauren Lohman - Associate Producer
  6. Dana Calvo - Story Editor
  7. Jessica Brickman - Staff Writer
  8. David Handelman - Staff Writer
  9. Cinque Henderson - Staff Writer
  10. Melissa Myers - Staff Writer
  11. Amy Turner - Staff Writer

Host and Musical GuestEdit

Rob Reiner
Gwen Stefani


  • All in the Family was one of the shows given as examples of shows that did well after extremly poor focus group tests. This week's Studio 60 host is Rob Reiner, who co-starred on that show.




  • Schlamme, T. & Sorkin, A. (Executive Producers). (2006, October 2). Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip [Television program]. Burbank, California: Warner Bros. Television.
  • Trivia
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