NBC’s 30 Rock recently received 10 Emmy nominations, to the utter delight of show creator and star Tina Fey, who is hoping that the recognition will attract more viewers to tune in to the upcoming season.
“It’s very flattering that we’re well thought of among our peers,” Fey, who also serves as executive producer and writer, told the Los Angeles Times. “I’m hoping that maybe this will help other people know that the show even exists, and maybe we’ll be able to pick up some viewers.”
30 Rock, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at a late-night- sketch-comedy show, struggled all throughout its first season, despite receiving good reviews. The series averaged only 5.8 million viewers, placing it on the brink of cancellation. Fortunately, the network decided to renew the show for another season.
Having been given a second chance, Fey said she recognizes the need to come up with a better way to gain viewers.
“We do think about that a little bit because we want the show to be the show that we like, the show that we want to make, but we also want it to be accessible,” she said. “So, definitely, that’s one of our goals for this year – to really try to invite people to watch.”
One of the things Tina Fey has planned for the new season of 30 Rock is shorter scripts.
“We were shooting scripts that were 33-34 pages long, and then jamming that into 21 1/2 minutes by talking fast and not letting anything breathe,” Tina Fey explained. “While I think it makes the show good for reviewing, maybe we could leave a little more air around the jokes.”
The series is Fey’s first primetime venture. Five years ago, she pitched a project with a similar concept to NBC, but the network turned it down. Last year, then-entertainment president Kevin Reilly told her to revise her project by setting it in a late-night comedy show, an environment the 37-year-old actress knew well given her work on Saturday Night Live. Thus, 30 Rock, a series that features an ensemble cast that includes Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, was born.
“[In the beginning,] part of me still was, like, just couldn’t believe it actually was on TV and that my friends across the country could see it,” Fey told the Los Angeles Times. “I took a lot of pleasure in that. But then it sort of was, like, ‘Well, we are working pretty hard here. It would be nice if we could get more people to watch.”
Although Tina Fey admits that her workload on 30 Rock is much heavier than she expected, she knows the show has helped her grow as a writer and an actress.
“Everyone on our writing staff had more half-hour experience than I did, and I’ve learned a lot about story and that kind of stuff,” she said. “And just getting to sit opposite Alec Baldwin, hopefully, I’ve learned a little bit from him because he’s just such a great actor. I think a paper bag would learn something.”
In the series, Fey plays Liz Lemon, a character who the actress says is “pretty realistic and truthful… in that she’s not constantly in fabulous environments with beautiful people hooking up. Watching that show about midgets and eating a block of cheese is a big night.” Fans should not expect this to change in the upcoming season, as Fey has no plans of giving her character any form of personal victory.
“I like her better when she’s down,” she said.
The second season of 30 Rock will premiere on October 4 with guest star, Jerry Seinfeld (Seinfeld).
-Lisa Claustro, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
Source: Los Angeles Times
(Image Courtesy of NBC)