NBC’s “30 Rock” unveiled a few details of its live May-sweeps episode — the second live show produced by the ratings-lean, but demographically and critically adored Thursday comedy.
In the episode, when the bosses at Kabletown — new owners of NBC – announce they will no longer pay for the network’s weekly late night sketch comedy series “TGS” to be a live show, show exec producer Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) and network suit Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) focus on how much easier their lives will be if the show is canned, fast and cheap.
It’s left to Kenneth the Page to carry the flag for the communal experience of live television. He tries to convince the “TGS” staff to fight to remain a live show, by taking them through a look back at the illustrious history of Studio 6H. (The real NBC’s Studio 8H is the famed studio that has been the home to “Saturday Night Live” — which, like “30 Rock” is exec produced by Lorne Michaels — and many other well-known NBC television and radio programs. Apparently NBC changed the name of the studio to 6H for purposes of “30 Rock” to protect the innocent and the departed)
Beth McCarthy-Miller, who directed “30 Rock’s” other live episode, which aired on Oct. 14, 2010, will be back to direct the new live episode. Because, no, not just anyone can direct live TV. It’s hard– just ask Don Misher, who got sucker-punched for more than three hours by audio problems, Angelina Jolie’s rogue leg, and a sleep-walking host while running the most recent Academy Awards broadcast.