Everyone loved SNL alum Tina Fey’s Sitcom “30 Rock”. The show, which ran for 7 seasons, was a beloved staple of NBC’s weekly sitcom lineup. Fans are familiar with with the show’s main character, Tina Fey, and her never ending quest to “have it all” and balance her crazy job as producer of a fictional comedy show. But did you know that the show was almost canceled after just one season? Read on for more shocking facts surrounding this beloved show.
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30 Rock Was Supposed To Be About A Cable News Show
When Tina Fey originally took the idea for her post-SNL show to NBC, it was pitched as a Fox News-like program similar to the one hosted by Bill O’Reilly with her as the liberal minded producer. NBC liked the idea, but had an even better one: why not use Tina’s experience as the head writer for Saturday Night Live as the basis for the show? All parties ran with it and the rest is history.
Alec Baldwin Coming Aboard Was A Fluke
Alec Baldwin is a well known alumnus of Saturday Night Live, having hosted the show a whopping 16 times. He also starred as Jack Donaghey, the right-leaning General Electric boss of Tina’s Fey’s Liz Lemon character on 30 Rock. What you may not know is that while the part was written for him, no one actually thought he’d take it. Alec Baldwin, who needed a role that would work with his parenting schedule as a newly divorced dad, was on board. Of course, hanging out with all his SNL pals was a bonus.
The Jack-Liz Relationship Was Always Tricky
Everyone knows that the relationship between Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin on screen, as Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghey, is tough to define. Jack is both Tina’s boss, mentor, sort of friend, and sometimes critic. This was tough to get to for writers, especially in the beginning. As Tina Fey said when asked about the relationship: It’s “somewhere between Mary Tyler Moore and Lou Grant and Han Solo and Princess Leia.” One thing was never considered: a romance.
The Character of Jenna Didn’t Always Belong To Jane Krakowski
Ever notice how 30 Rock has an SNL-feel to it? You’re not alone, and there is more than one SNL connection to the show. One of which is that SNL cast member Rachel Dratch, who worked with Tina Fey on the late night sketch show, was originally meant to star in 30 Rock as the Jenna Maroney character – which eventually went to Jane Krakowski. The switch was made, primarily, because of a change where they wanted the fictitious show featured in 30 Rock to go: shifting from a sketch show like 30 Rock to a longer term show.
Tracy Jordan’s Entourage Really Are Tracy Morgan’s Friends
Actor Grizz Chapman, who played Grizz in the show 30 Rock, really is good friends with Tracy Morgan. If that isn’t enough, the character of Dot Com is played by Kevin Brown who used to be Tracy Morgan’s manager when he did comedy! No wonder all of that on screen friendship appears real – it is!
Madmen’s Jon Hamm Auditioned for Alec Baldwin’s Role
Although he eventually guest starred on 30 Rock as a love interest of Tina Fey’s character, Jon Hamm had originally wanted to play the role of her boss, Jack Donaghey! Sound crazy? Apparently they didn’t think they would get him for the role either, given his success on “Madmen” which was then on hiatus, but 30 Rock producers had him audition for the role anyway. While the role of Jack eventually went to Alec Baldwin, Hamm has a good relationship with all concerned, which led to a role on Tina Fey’s latest project “The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt“.
Community’s Donald Glover Was A Writer For 30 Rock
We all love to binge watch “Community” starring Donald Glover, but did you know that before he hit it big on the hit show he was a writer for 30 Rock? In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Tina Fey said “Donald started right out of college as a writer at 30 Rock. He was actually still, I believe, living in an NYU dorm. He was an RA, and he would work and go home to a dorm.” You can catch Donald in a few earlier episodes of 30 Rock as well, before he went on to star in his own show!
Oprah Thinks Tina Fey Works Too Hard
The one and only Oprah guessed starred in an episode of 30 Rock to be aired in 2008 – the exact same time that Tina Fey was also playing Vice Presidential Candidate Sarah Palin in numerous skits for Saturday Night Live. Fey was so busy that she was running from set to set constantly, a fact that, when brought to Oprah’s attention, led her to suggest that Tina Fey might be overworking herself.