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.
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 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.
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.
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.