30 Rock

2006, TV Show

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NBC Bets It All on a (Journey)Man and a (Bionic) Woman

The message from NBC's new 2007-08 schedule is pretty clear: The network wants another Heroes. Badly.Entertainment president Kevin Reilly picked up three fantasy/sci-fi-type shows that all could have been compatible with Heroes and thrive the 10 pm on Monday time slot, now the most attractive piece of real estate for a new NBC series. Journeyman got the nod, thanks to being the network's highest-testing drama pilot in five years. Chuck — about a geeky guy who has government secrets planted in his head — will do battle on Tuesday at 9 pm because it didn't seem to boast the same broad appeal.Oddly enough, it was Bionic Woman — which had terrible buzz during the development season — that looked best when it was presented to advertisers at NBC's presentation at Radio City Music Hall. Although clips can be deceiving, the lavishly produced remake of the '70s fave looked intriguingly dark (though not depressing), and had great action sequences. The network placed it on ... read more

Upfront Thoughts: NBC

Here's my quick take on the Fall 2007 primetime schedule that NBC announced earlier today....MONDAY8 pm Deal or No Deal9 pm Heroes10 pm JourneymanMonday has the potential to be NBC's biggest night. DOND is a game show juggernaut. Heroes will have a make or break sophomore season and Heroes: Origins better not be too gimmicky. Journeyman will try to carry the futuristic vibe of Heroes, but will fare about as well as Studio 60 did.TUESDAY8 pm The Biggest Loser9 pm Chuck10 pm Law & Order: SVUHistorically, this is the night where NBC shows go to die. The Biggest Loser has a small but loyal following. Chuck will be this season's failed attempt at government geek gone good. SVU just rolls on.WEDNESDAY8 pm Deal or No Deal9 pm The Bionic Woman10 pm LifeHey, it's another non-scripted show at 8 o'clock for NBC! DOND on Mondays and Wednesdays will wear thin. The Battlestar Galactica team is involved with The Bionic Woman, so I'll give Jamie Sommers the benefit of the doubt. Life is this ... read more

Brothers & Sisters, Heroes, Studio 60, Ugly Betty, 30 Rock, Friday Night Lights

A funny thing about buzz: You never know where it's going to lead you. Sometimes into a dead end, other times into the Next Big Thing. (Hi, Heroes.) Looking back over the wild zigs and zags taken by the winners and losers from this year's freshman TV class, it's hard not to notice how many sleepers became keepers and how few of the sure things lived up to their hype. With the networks unveiling their new fall lineups this week, I found myself reflecting on the shows we'd labeled "buzzworthy" in our Fall Preview issue last September (Heroes wasn't among them). As always in TV land, you win some, you lose some. And some things you can't possibly see coming. Case in point: ABC's family saga Brothers & Sisters, which generated negative publicity during a turbulent gestation of recastings and rewrites. The final pilot was read more

Alec Baldwin's True View on 30 Rock and More

Alec Baldwin on The View by Heidi Gutman/ABC

Second- and third-hand accounts, be gone. Alec Baldwin's pre-taped appearance on The View unspooled Friday, and here is what he said about:The message he left for his daughter: "There's nothing wrong with being frustrated or angry about something. I took it out on the wrong person because I'm unable, under the current dynamic, to address the other person," meaning ex-wife Kim Basinger.Why he was frustrated: After Basinger neglected on three occasions to cede custody of their daughter, Ireland, when she went to work on projects, "We pressed a contempt charge, because... we had no other outlet for enforcement. Finally they said, 'We will obey the order' [and] I was given my daughter. I had two blissful weeks.... The mother comes home and the phone gets turned off and I don't speak to the child again for 10 days."The "pig" word: "I've had a lot of people say to me that if all of us were to lose our custody rights because you said something inappropriate, we would have a parentless soci... read more

Dr. Phil Steps In to Counsel Distraught Alec Baldwin

Dr. Phil McGraw by Scott Garfield/ABC

On Tuesday's Larry King Live, Dr. Phil explored the point of view of the child involved in a heated custody case such as the one Alec Baldwin is currently fighting with Kim Basinger — and ultimately offered his counseling services to the highly combatant exes. Now he's had that offer accepted — by at least one of them. Not long after the program aired, Baldwin (who likely had tuned in because his brother Stephen was also a guest) reached out to Dr. Phil, and engaged in a long first talk with the iconic psychologist, TV Guide has learned. According to Dr. Phil, Baldwin insisted that “he recognized the inappropriate nature of his comments to his daughter, and using her as the misguided target for his frustrations. One of his fears is that people, including the court, would have the misconception that this characterizes his persona as a father.”Baldwin also told Dr. Phil that he is "completely and totally committed to continuing his fight to have access to a full... read more

April 26, 2007: "I Nearly Wet My Other Pair of Underpants!"

And here we are the first season finale of NBCs 30 Rock Before we get started I want to thank all of you who have frequented this blog and supported the show Because of such passion for quality comedy the TGS gang earned that early Season 2 pickup much to everyones reliefDue to a FauxVo glitch I missed the first few seconds of this episode but ultimately deduced that what Kenneth was narrating a Previously on 30 Rock sort of thing Cute All in all I didnt find this episode quite as manic as the previous few but thats probably because it had actual story to progress and threads to tie up Make no mistake I love the Jim-Pam kiss last May but every post-Cheers sitcom neednt taunt us with cliff-hangers Just make us laughWhat a one-two punch of guest stars this week Sean Hayes well we knew hed be spot-on as Kens cousin and he was I wasnt sure what to expect from the great Elaine Stritch in this sandbox but her take on the hypercritical mother figure wa read more

I enjoy your column and ...

Question: I enjoy your column and generally find myself nodding along to your answers. But not regarding Lisa M.'s letter (and your agreement) about Jane Krakowski on 30 Rock: I have actually kind of missed her, just a teeny tiny bit. I'm not saying she necessarily needs to be in every single episode, and it's true that the character works much better in small doses. I do, however, think there needs to be a Jenna on the show as the traditionally feminine foil to Liz. One of the great layers in 30 Rock is how Liz is a dork who doesn't live up to the standards of femininity that Jenna has so obviously bought into: It's like she didn't get the "How to Be a Girl" handbook. (Like that scene where she's at a singles bar and Jenna tells her, "That guy wanted to buy you a drink," and Liz responds with, "I already have a drink. Do you think he'd buy me mozzarella sticks?") Liz needs to have a "girlie" girl around, and I think Krakowski is plenty funny in the role. As for "TGS," I kind of like ... read more

Grading My Fall 2006 Forecast: How Did I Do?

Two of my first Trivial Matt'rs blogs were dedicated to my early thoughts on the 2006-07 TV season, and at long last I have a few minutes here to revisit that "forecast" and see how I did. This is literally the first time I have looked back at those blogs, so here we go.Brothers & SistersI said: "Expectations were modest" given "foreboding backstage shuffles," but "by the end I was pulled in." Outcome: Lotsa critical acclaim and an early Season 2 pickup by ABC!The ClassI said: "The cast threatens to be unwieldy, but... I smell another [How I Met Your] Mother." Outcome: Some avid fans, some "decent" ratings, but no renewal yet. (Oh, and they shed one cast member.)RunawayI said: "The concept is nifty" and "good casting."Outcome: Far from a runaway hit, it was shelved after just a few airings.VanishedI said: "I need more answers, or at least hints of answers." Outcome: Fox's answer was, "Nope," and Vanished... quickly did just that.HeroesI said: "This show will be full of surprises... read more

Thursday Night Delights

Justin Chambers and Elizabeth Reaser by Ron Tom/ABC

How great did it feel to have Ugly Betty and Grey’s Anatomy back on with new episodes this week? Such a scrumptious double feature of feel-good TV. I’m especially keen on Betty these days, this colorful and vibrantly funny new geek on the block. As others have said, it’s the perfect appetizer to the main course of Grey’s, with its usually irresistible blend of suds, scrubs and heartache.Best move both shows made this week: Ditching subplots that were going nowhere. On Betty, that meant saying goodbye to Ignacio’s case worker (who really wasn’t), the crazily smitten Constance (Octavia Spencer). On Grey’s, that meant saying goodbye to the arrogant Dr. Marlow, played by a miscast Roger Rees, a fine actor who came off more like a creepy Dracula than an intimidating Dr. McBrilliant. Of all the misbegotten love matches we’ve been forced to consider on this show, asking us to believe Cristina ever had a thing for this ghoul was almost as ewww-inspiri... read more

Jane Krakowski has been ...

Question: Jane Krakowski has been absent for the past two 30 Rock episodes, and I think I speak for everyone when I say, "Hooray!" Her character does not work on that show. She's more conventional sitcom-ish, and this show is anything but conventional. Do you think Tina Fey and Co. have caught on to that and are phasing her out? I'd love to see a story line on the show in which they fire Jenna and do auditions for a new actress. Answer: Wow, it's official: You guys are meaner than I am this week. I'm a fan of Jane Krakowski, both on TV and on stage (especially on stage), but I have to admit that on 30 Rock, she is neither well used nor particularly effective. In fact, I'd like to see an entire overhaul of the "TGS" aspect of 30 Rock in the second season. It doesn't look like the sort of show you'd ever want to watch, and it would be nice to think that Liz (Fey) is actually producing something worth rooting for. I haven't a clue if Jenna is on her way out, but given that we don't reall ... read more

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Premiered: October 11, 2006, on NBC
Rating: TV-14
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Premise: A female TV writer tries to control the behind-the-scenes antics of a live, prime-time variety show and deals with interference from a network bigwig.

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