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30 Rock - Season 1

The first season of the television comedy series 30 Rock originally aired between October 11, 2006, and April 26, 2007, on NBC in the United States. The season was produced by Broadway Video, Little Stranger and NBC Universal, and the executive producers were series creator Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Joann Alfano, Marci Klein, and David Miner.

30 Rock - Season 1

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The series focuses on TGS with Tracy Jordan, a fictional sketch comedy series, and its head writer Liz Lemon, portrayed by Fey, as she juggles her job and her personal life. The season consisted of 21 episodes; 19 episodes were approximately 22 minutes long, and the other two episodes were approximately 26 minutes long due to NBC "supersizing" those episodes. The season moved timeslots three times during its run. The first four episodes aired on Wednesdays at 8:00 pm,[1] the next thirteen episodes aired on Thursdays at 9:30 pm, and the final four episodes aired on Thursdays at 9:00 pm.

The season received generally favorable reviews, and was nominated for ten Emmy Awards: six Primetime Emmy Awards and four Creative Arts Emmy Awards. Despite critical success, the series struggled in the ratings,[2] and the first season averaged 5.8 million viewers for all 21 episodes. The 30 Rock first season DVD box set was released on September 4, 2007, in Region 1 format,[3] and was released on March 17, 2008, in Region 2 format.[4]

The season begins with the introduction of Liz Lemon, the head writer of The Girlie Show, a live sketch comedy series which airs on NBC. When The Girlie Show's network executive Gary dies, Jack Donaghy replaces him. Jack, the head of east coast television and microwave oven programming, makes many changes to The Girlie Show, including adding Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), a loose cannon movie star, to the show's cast and changing the title of The Girlie Show to TGS with Tracy Jordan. Various story arcs are explored, including the rivalry between Tracy and Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), Liz's relationships with Dennis Duffy (Dean Winters) and Floyd Debarber (Jason Sudeikis) and Jack's relationship with Phoebe (Emily Mortimer). Most importantly, the relationship between Jack and Liz develops as he offers to be her mentor, which becomes the anchor of the show. A few minor story arcs are carried over into season two, including Cerie Xerox's (Katrina Bowden) ongoing engagement to the unseen character Aris and Pete Hornberger (Scott Adsit) living with Liz to deal with his marital problems with his wife, Paula Hornberger (later seen in "Greenzo" played by Paula Pell).

The season was produced by Broadway Video, Little Stranger, Inc. and NBCUniversal and aired on NBC in the United States. The executive producers were creator Tina Fey, Lorne Michaels, Joann Alfano, Marci Klein and David Miner, with Brett Baer, Dave Finkel, Jack Burditt, and John Riggi acting as co-executive producers.[5] Robert Carlock acted as co-executive producer from the episode "Pilot" until the episode "Black Tie." Carlock was then credited as an executive producer, starting with the episode "Up All Night" onwards, except for the episode "The C Word" which was aired out of production order. Producers for the season were music composer Jeff Richmond and Jerry Kupfer, with Irene Burns, Matt Hubbard and Diana Schmidt acting as co-producers.

There were eight different directors throughout the season. The staff writers were Tina Fey, John Riggi, Robert Carlock, Jack Burditt, Dave Finkel, Brett Baer, co-producer Matthew Hubbard and Kay Cannon who all wrote, or co-wrote at least two episodes. Daisy Gardner, who co-wrote the episode "The Source Awards" with Robert Carlock, was a guest writer. Those who directed more than one episode were supervising producer Adam Bernstein, Gail Mancuso, Don Scardino, Michael Engler, and Beth McCarthy. There were three directors who only directed one episode each throughout the season; they were Juan J. Campanella, Scott Ellis, and Dennie Gordon. Fey and Carlock acted as the show runners for the season.[6]

Seven actors received star billing during season one. Tina Fey portrayed Liz Lemon, the head writer of a fictitious live sketch comedy television series named TGS with Tracy Jordan (commonly known as TGS).[7] The TGS cast consists of three actors, two of whom are part of the main cast of the first season of 30 Rock. They are the loose cannon movie star Tracy Jordan, portrayed by Tracy Morgan[7] and the dense, limelight-craving Jenna Maroney, portrayed by Jane Krakowski.[8] Jack McBrayer played the naïve Southern-born NBC page, Kenneth Parcell.[9] Scott Adsit acted as the witty and wise TGS producer, Pete Hornberger.[10] Judah Friedlander portrayed the wise-cracking, trucker hat wearing, repulsive staff writer Frank Rossitano.[11] Alec Baldwin played the high flying NBC network executive Jack Donaghy who, at the beginning of the season, is employed to retool TGS.[12] Donaghy's full title at the start of the series is "Head of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming."[13]

The season also includes a number of secondary characters including Keith Powell as James "Toofer" Spurlock, a writer for TGS, and Lonny Ross as Josh Girard who is a staff writer of TGS as well as a TGS cast member. Katrina Bowden was TGS's general assistant, Cerie Xerox. These actors were promoted to main cast members in season two.[14] Other recurring roles include Maulik Pancholy as Jonathan, Grizz Chapman as "Grizz" Griswold, Kevin Brown as "Dot Com" Slattery,[15] John Lutz as J.D. Lutz,[16] and Chris Parnell as Dr. Leo Spaceman.[17]

Christopher Monfette of IGN thought that season one was "well-written and hilariously-performed" and that it was "refreshing to travel through the season and watch these characters grow and evolve". Monfette gave the season a score of 8 out of 10.[45] UGO Entertainment's Kyle Braun said that the season "didn't start out as the funniest new show of 2006", but he praised the seasons progression, proclaiming "now that the show has found its audience, it's hard to argue with the laughs thrown down from high atop 30 Rockefeller Plaza."[40] Anna Johns of TV Squad said that she was "particularly excited for the later two-thirds of the season, when Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan got into their groove and the supporting characters started getting better story lines."[46] After six episodes, NBC picked 30 Rock up for a 21-episode season on December 1, 2006.[47][48][49]

Rounding out the cast are Jenna Maroney, the jealous costar of TGS, and Kenneth Parcell, an NBC page. While the series and the season was critically lauded and won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, there were some episodes that simply worked better than others. Here are, according to IMDb, the ten best episodes of the first season of 30 Rock.

"The Rural Juror" shares its name with one of the longest-running jokes in 30 Rock, so it's no surprise that it ranks highly in the season. Jenna stars in a film called The Rural Juror, a title that no one understood until they saw it written out.

The season one finale, "Hiatus," picks up where "Cleveland" left off. Tracy is still hiding from The Black Crusaders, and the rest of the TGS staff searches for him in time to film the finale. This episode is also the proper introduction of Colleen Donaghy, who immediately takes a strong dislike to Jack's fiance Phoebe, but takes to Liz quickly.

More than any other episode in the first season, "Black Tie" sees 30 Rock settle into the tone that it would carry through the rest of the series. Jack, Liz, and Jenna attend a birthday party for Prince Gerhardt Habsburg, portrayed by guest star Paul Reubens. Despite his decrepit nature, Jenna convinces herself she wants to marry him to become the modern-day Grace Kelly.

Peter Hermann is now known for his role as Charles Brooks on "Younger," but back in 2006, he guest-starred in the season-one episode "The Head and the Hair" as Gray, a handsome CNBC guy Liz (Tina Fey) meets in the elevator and agrees to join for a date.

The screen and style icon (and daughter of Ingrid Bergman) Isabella Rossellini graced "30 Rock" with her presence a couple of times during season one as Bianca, Jack Donaghy's (Alec Baldwin's) ex-wife who appears very elegant and put-together.

"30 Rock" loved to bring well-known figures on the show to play themselves, and on season one's "Hard Ball," they welcomed MSNBC host Chris Matthews and Fox News personality Tucker Carlson to interrogate Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) over some misleading quotes from a Maxim magazine interview.

He played Floyd, Liz's super-compatible boyfriend who ultimately leaves her to move to Cleveland, Ohio. We first meet Floyd during season one's "Up All Night," but he also reappears on 11 other "30 Rock" episodes.

On the season-two episode "Greenzo," David Schwimmer shows up as Jared, an actor Jack hires to play an eco-conscious but business-friendly character (named Greenzo, obviously) in order to get environmental groups off of NBC's back.

Carmela Soprano and Nurse Jackie herself, Edie Falco, guest-starred on multiple season-two episodes of "30 Rock" episodes as C.C. Cunningham, a liberal Democratic congresswoman from Vermont who has a passionate (but ill-fated) love affair with the uber-conservative Jack.

On season two's finale episode "Cooter," actor Matthew Broderick steps in to play the eponymous Cooter Burger, a Bush-administration staffer who develops an immediate dude crush on Jack when the latter abandons NBC to try his hand at government work.

Steve Martin played the title role on season three's "Gavin Volure." His character is a wealthy recluse friend of Jack's who develops an interest in Liz, but things quickly get complicated, to say the least.

A few years before winning an Emmy for completely slaying the role of Tyrion Lannister in "Game of Thrones," Peter Dinklage took a guest spot on the season-three episode "Senor Macho Solo" as Stewart, a UN delegate who meets Liz when she touches his head on the sidewalk. 041b061a72


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