A ’30 Rock’ Reunion Is Finally Happening on NBC, But It’s Not What You Think

     June 16, 2020

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A 30 Rock reunion is finally happening. Kind of. In the wake of that Parks and Recreation reunion special earlier this year (even though it feels like it’s been decades since that aired), NBC announced today that the cast of 30 Rock will be reprising their iconic roles for a first-of-its-kind all-audience upfront event on NBC.

Traditionally, Upfronts are primarily a press affair during which the various networks showcase their upcoming new shows and parade the talent of said shows in front of the media, before the fall TV season begins. The media then writes up its first impressions and interviews cast and crew of the new shows.

This year, however, the NBC Upfronts will actually be presented to audiences on TV and on NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock. On Thursday, July 16th at 8/7c, Beloved characters from 30 Rock including Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer) and more will return for the one-time event to “celebrate the stories and talent featured in NBCUniversal’s 2020-21 television season.”

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Image via NBC

“We’re all happy to have this excuse to (remotely) work together again for NBC,” said Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, Executive Producers, 30 Rock. “To quote Kenneth the Page, there are only two things we love in this world, television and everyone.” 

“At NBCUniversal, we’re excited to produce an Upfront that reflects a new reality and celebrates our relationship with viewers and advertisers alike,” said Linda Yaccarino, Chairman, Advertising & Partnerships, NBCUniversal. “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. As the old saying goes… when life hands you Lemon, have her host the Upfront!”

“We put our fans first in everything we do at NBCUniversal, so of course our audiences are at the heart of our reimagined Upfront experience,” said Josh Feldman, Executive Vice President, Head of Marketing & Advertising Creative, NBCUniversal. “This very special 30 Rock event will bring together video, advertising, and humor to show the world the power of One Platform in a whole new way.”

The event will air on NBC and then will be rebroadcast across USA Network, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, and CNBC as well as available to stream on Peacock on Friday, July 17th at 9/8c.

One imagines the 30 Rock reunion will be shot from the respective actors’ homes, and it’ll be interesting to see how they thread the needle between the return of these beloved characters (as written by Fey and Carlock) and promoting new and returning TV shows. Could be, uh, a tricky fit.

NBC’s fall schedule was unveiled earlier today and it’s rather thin, as networks are adjusting to life in the age of a pandemic. It’s unclear exactly when productions will resume, and so the upcoming NBC schedule is mainly anchored by the return of Christopher Meloni as Elliot Stabler in the new series Law & Order: Organized Crime.

If anyone can have some meta fun with a situation like this, however, it’s the characters from 30 Rock.

Television