Fans of NBC’s 30 Rock will get a special treat this week as the show will go live during it’s normal time slot, but get this, the cast will re-stage and do it all over again for the West Coast viewers.
The same plan will be followed this Thursday: Originating from NBC’s Studio 8H (fabled home of “Saturday Night Live”), “30 Rock” will air live for viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones at 8:30 p.m. EDT, then be reprised at 8:30 PDT for the rest of the country.
The theme of the episode plays into the idea of Live vs. Filmed.
The Kabletown corporate bosses announce they will no longer pay for live production of “TGS” (the fictitious show-within-a-show produced by Liz Lemon, played by “30 Rock” star Tina Fey).
After first resisting, Liz and NBC exec Jack Donaghy (co-star Alec Baldwin) realize their lives would be simplified by shooting “TGS” episodes on film, fast and cheap.
“30 Rock” could use a little excitement. Although highly acclaimed and richly awarded during its six seasons, it has begun to lose the comic edge that set it apart. And, while never a ratings juggernaut, it has seen its audience further soften this season (just 3 million viewers tuned in last week).
The initial stab at live-ness by “30 Rock,” while whipped into something of an event, was a mixed blessing: For better or worse, the episode reveled in the sort of sitcom cliches and cartoonish excess that “30 Rock” so brilliantly resists any other week.
Meanwhile, there were no memorable glitches or flubbed lines, which surely disappointed viewers who came hoping for a train wreck.