Two on-the-bubble NBC shows have officially been given the order for new seasons. The critical favorite yet ratings challenged drama Parenthood has been renewed for a 15-episode fourth season (per TV Line). Showrunner Jason Katims is no stranger to ratings issues despite favorable reviews, as he led the stellar Friday Night Lights through five seasons of “will it be renewed?” drama. I’m a fan of the ensemble and tone of Parenthood, but Katims will most likely have his hands full next season as his medical pilot County is said to be close to a pick up. That show will star Jason Ritter, who led the doomed The Event and has been a frequent guest star on Parenthood.
Hit the jump for news regarding renewals for The Office and a final season for 30 Rock, as well as speculation about the fate of Community and Parks and Recreation. [Update: The Office hasn't officially been renewed yet, but with deals almost done for the main cast members a renewal is expected]
This afternoon at a gathering of The National Press Club, during some lobbying for Americans for the Arts, a nonprofit group that advocates for increased federal funding of the arts, The Huffington Post reports that Alec Baldwin dropped some good and bad news for fans of the NBC comedy series 30 Rock. Apparently the actor will definitely be sticking around for the series’ entire seventh season this fall, but apparently that season of the Tina Fey show will be the last. Honestly, it makes sense considering the show would really lose one of its strongest parts if Baldwin were to really leave, and seven seasons is enough for almost any series, especially a comedy that runs an average of 24 episodes a season. The series is still going strong with outrageous jokes and hilarity, and while I’ll be sad to see it go, I’d rather see it finish on top rather than puttering out and getting canceled.
Just as the series did back in 2010, 30 Rock is going even more meta again as the series, which has a sketch show similar to Saturday Night Live inside of the series (Inception!), will be doing another live episode. Tina Fey took on the task back in 2010, and now on Thursday, April 26th, the show will again be live from Studio 8H.
When their Kabletown bosses announce they will no longer pay for TGS to be a live show, Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) realize their lives will actually be easier if they shoot canned episodes fast and cheap. Only Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) objects, urging that nothing can replace the communal experience of live television. He tries to convince the TGS staff to fight for their right to be live by taking them and our audience through a magical look back at the illustrious history of Studio 6H. See what they did there? The episode will be done twice so both East and West coast audiences get the live treatment. The first live episode was a great success and it was clear the cast was having a lot of fun. There were plenty of cameos as well and this one should be no different.
30 Rock has come a long way from being the “Untitled Tina Fey Project”. While it hasn’t been a ratings blockbuster, it’s crawled its way inside pop culture in a way other shows would kill for. It’s also launched (and relaunched) the careers of its leads, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. The fifth season of a show is a milestone of its success, since it now has enough episodes to sell to syndicators. Being able to sell the same work multiple times is always a good feeling. Does the show still have what it takes? Hit the jump to take a look at how season five pans out.
After winning 3 consecutive Outstanding Comedy Emmys, how do you stay fresh? This was the question facing NBC’s 30 Rock going into its 4th season. For it’s 3rd season, 30 Rock revolved most episodes around a big-name guest star each week. The show took a different approach for its 4th season, focusing on more overarching storylines, with typically hilarious results. Even though it was shut out of it’s 4th consecutive Emmy by Glee, 30 Rock totally delivers in it’s 4th season. Hit the jump for my review: