NBC knows how to treat its comedies that spawn from their comedian talent search that has become Saturday Night Live. Tina Fey writes and stars in 30 Rock that airs on Thursdays at 9:30 as part of the traditional NBC comedy night. A television show about a television show, 30 Rock goes through the humorous process of getting a variety show on network tv on a weekly basis. Tina Fey stars as Liz Lemon, the producer of the show who often clashes in many ways with the hilarious Alec Baldwin’s network executive. Tracy Morgan is the lead actor of the show that often lands beside himself as to who to listen to more.
30 Rock has won multiple awards including Golden Globes and Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series. Tina Fey has also won individual awards for writing and acting as well as fellow actor Alec Baldwin.
As with many NBC comedies that do well, many of the cast has been taken from other hit shows such as SNL. Tina Fey got much lauded attention for her portrayal of Sarah Palin during the last presidential election. Alec Baldwin has been in Hollywood for ages and has made a living off of network television now that his career is in its twilight. Tracy Morgan is another SNL alum making a name for himself.
Guest stars have included Conan O’Brien, John McEnroe, Whoopi Goldberg, Isabella Rossellini, and Rip Torn. Many other guests have also appeared on Saturday Night Live.
30 Rock has anchored NBC’s Thursday nights along with The Office for a few years now. As listed in Radio Business Report, the show recently brought in 6.8 million viewers for the thirty minute comedy. It is also one of the top ten scripted shows this year.
30 Rock is done much in the tradition of Seinfeld and apparently the formula works. It’s not a show about nothing but it is a show about inner workings of television production and getting shows on the air. For some reason, NBC excels at these shows. Maybe they should change their name to National Broadcasts of Comedy as their permanent name. Ever since Cheers debuted it has been expected that the entire country watched NBC on Thursday nights. Seinfeld, Friends, and The Office have all been a part of this lineup that is always a ratings powerhouse as well as award-winning television.
I can’t decide if it is just the formula works or if American audiences are just programmed to change the channel to NBC on Thursdays. It’s probably a bit of both as television is very hard to be unique in a sea of networks today.