30 Rock Returning

30 Rock is about to be proud as a peacock to return to NBC with cast members Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski, Jack McBrayer, and more reprising their series roles for a remotely produced hour-long special. However, this will be a little bit different from the quarantined special that Parks and Recreation put together for NBC, because the 30 Rock revival will also double as a primetime upfronts special to promote new NBCUniversal shows for the 2020-2021 TV season.

Variety has news on 30 Rock returning to NBC on Thursday, July 16 at 8:00 P.M. ET as a commercial-free block of programming. The network describes the show’s return as “a first-of-its-kind all-audience upfront event” that will have Liz Lemon (Fey), Jack Donaghy (Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Krakowski), Kenneth Parcell (McBrayer) and more introducing the upcoming shows and stars from the new season of television that begins this fall. But there will also be a new story at the center of the special too.

Following the premiere on NBC, the 30 Rock special will also be aired again on Friday, July 17 at 9:00 P.M ET on USA, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, and CNBC, not to mention being available on the new NBCUniversal streaming service Peacock.

Considering the number of jokes about corporate synergy on 30 Rock, it’s rather amusing to see the show used like this. At the same time, having a show like 30 Rock do something so blatantly self-serving for NBC will probably make it a pill that’s much easier to swallow than any other network show trying to pull it off, and the premise of the series itself makes it infinitely easier to craft. 30 Rock has never been shy about poking fun at NBC and they’ll bring a meta comedic tone that should spice things up.

This year’s upfronts might feel a little weird though, since the future of television won’t include nearly as much new programming as previous years. Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising and partnerships, NBCUniversal, said:

“Historically, this event is about the future of programming; this year, it’s about the future of our industry — a future where we can meet audiences wherever they are, with the stories that move them.”

We’re not sure exactly what that means, but for their part, 30 Rock executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock are psyched to be getting the gang back together, albeit virtually. In a joint statement, they said:

“We’re all happy to have this excuse to (remotely) work together again for NBC. To quote Kenneth the Page, there are only two things we love in this world, television and everyone.”

Saturday Night Live director Oz Rodriguez will be at the helm of the special, which will be produced by Broadway Video, Little Stranger Inc., Universal Television and NBCUniversal Creative Partnerships.

Hopefully it will go a little better than the last time Tracy Jordan did promos for NBC:

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