’30 Rock’ – A reunion and a roll-out
Reunion specials are nothing new but in the age of the pandemic, they’ve become prolific and virtual.
The latest comes Thursday, July 16, on NBC, when the cast of “30 Rock” regroup for an hourlong program titled simply “30 Rock.” Filmed remotely (of course), it doubles as an introduction to NBC Universal’s 2020-21 lineup of new series in what it calls “a first-of-its-kind all-audience upfront event.” Few other details were available at this writing except for the fact that regulars from the 2006-13 sitcom about the behind-the-scenes goings on at a sketch comedy series – among them Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer – will be involved.
” ’30 Rock’ has always celebrated the battle between art and commerce,” series executive producer Robert Carlock says. “We thought we’d come back one last time and declare a clear winner.”
The special will then be rebroadcast on USA Network, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, Syfy and CNBC and be available to stream on NBCU’s new service Peacock on Friday, July 17 – two days after the streamer’s launch.
It joins a laundry list of other recent cast reunions, including the following.
“Parks and Recreation”: The challenging times of 2020 catalyzed the storyline for the special that aired on NBC this past April 30, which showed how the residents of Pawnee, Ind., were coping with the isolation and social distancing wrought by the pandemic. Filmed remotely, it starred Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aziz Ansari, Nick Offerman, Aubrey Plaza, Chris Pratt, Adam Scott, Rob Lowe, Jim O’Heir and Retta.
“The Office”: In May, John Krasinski brought his castmates from the 2005-13 NBC sitcom – including Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson, Jenna Fischer and Mindy Kaling – back together for an amusing, albeit brief post-wedding dance following a virtual wedding for a Maryland couple on his weekly life-in-lockdown YouTube series “Some Good News.” It also featured country artist Zac Brown performing a song he wrote just for the occasion. Needless to say, the couple were blown away.
“Melrose Place”: The pandemic also inspired the April reunion of the 1992-99 Fox nighttime soap, with series stars Josie Bissett, Thomas Calabro, Marcia Cross, Laura Leighton, Doug Savant, Grant Show, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith, Daphne Zuniga and Heather Locklear talking about old times via video chat for Seth Rudetsky and James Wesley’s web series, “Stars in the House.”
“Desperate Housewives”: Rudetsky and Wesley were at it again in April, this time virtually reuniting Eva Longoria, Marcia Cross, Dana Delany, Renee Perry and Brenda Strong to reminisce about making the 2004-12 ABC drama for “Stars in the House.” Notably absent were Felicity Huffman and Teri Hatcher.
“Frasier”: The love was still evident 16 years later in this April installment of “Stars in the House,” as Kelsey Grammer, David Hyde Pierce, Jane Leeves, Peri Gilpin and Dan Butler, among others, got virtually together to talk about their lives, making the much-lauded 1993-2004 NBC comedy series and working with their late co-star John Mahoney.