Sunday, December 30, 2007

30 Rock is a Rock-Solid Comedy

NBC's Thursday night primetime lineup is moving closer to its glory days in the 1980s which was branded as "Must See TV" with shows like The Cosby Show, Family Ties and Cheers. Former Saturday Night Live head writer and weekend update host Tina Fey has created the witty, edgy, quirky comedy, 30 Rock. Sandwiched between My Name is Earl at 8pm and The Office at 9pm, the show is a behind-the-scenes look at an SNL-type of program. Fey plays Liz Lemon, and is joined by cast members Alec Baldwin, Judah Friedlander and fellow SNL alum Tracy Morgan. The current American Express commercial is a takeoff on her 30 Rock alter ego. Various other SNL players guest star occassionally. Recently The Sopranos' Edie Falco guested as Alec Baldwin's love interest. 30 Rock came out at the same time as Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which was another NBC show based around an SNL-type of show. It was created by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin. Studio 60, although excellent, did not last, perhaps due to its time slot opposite CBS' juggernaut, CSI:Miami. Maybe people did not watch it due to confusing it with 30 Rock. My Name is Earl, along with 30 Rock, provide a powerful 1-2 punch for the peacock network. Advertisers like airing spots on Thurdays since it is just before the weekend, when lots of people spend their disposable income, and TV viewing on Friday and Saturday tends to be low. The only concern I would have with 30 Rock lies in its marketability in syndication. The fictional show that the program is based around is taped at 30 Rockefeller Center, the home of NBC, and there are many references to NBC during the show. So, will non-NBC stations want to air this program in syndication?