Here's the problem with Studio 60, and I'm not the first one to say this so I can't take credit for the insight: a great deal of time is spent talking about how funny the show is and, in particular, what a brilliant comedy writer Matthew Perry is. But then when we see examples of sketches for this brilliant show, they're fucking lame. It makes it hard to take the show seriously, and the show took itself very seriously -- I think too much so, for the general audience's tastes.
The West Wing had the benefit of being about the leaders of the free world, under a lot of pressure to hold the country -- and really, Western civilization as we know it -- together. It's easy for an audience to get on board with the the drama of "oh shit, a leading and inspiring political figure has been shot and might die!" I haven't even seen West Wing and I can immediately see where it can be a powerful source of drama.
Studio 60 tried to apply the same level of drama to "oh shit, the FCC might not let fake-SNL air their 'Tourette's Jesus' sketch!" (Or whatever, it's been a while.) Generally speaking, who cares?
I liked Studio 60, because I'm interested and engaged in the backroom workings of entertainment. I thought it was cleverly- (if occasionally overly-) written, in that Sorkin way, and wanted to see it continue, but I'm not surprised that it didn't.
And I'm not surprised that 30 Rock is the one that did -- it's consistently funny in a slightly mad "Alice in Wonderland" way (the original story, not that Burton...thing), and while the show-within-a-show's sketches are just as lame as Studio 60's, that's part of the joke rather than being a failing of the premise. 30 Rock mocks the idea that television is SERIOUS BUSINESS, whereas Studio 60 tried to enshrine it.
With the premise "behind the scenes of an SNL-like show," 30 Rock is the manic version of that concept, and Studio 60 the depressive. I would have been happy to have both, I for one enjoyed the contrast; but if we can only have one, I'm personally glad it's 30 Rock.
I was hit by a car at the end of September, 2014.