How to watch 30 Rock – what’s it about and who’s in the cast?

Anchored by star and co-creator Tina Fey, NBC's self-deprecating series about a live sketch comedy show is a frenetic and satirical look at life on set

30 Rock

Developed by and starring Mean Girls’ Tina Fey, 30 Rock is a satirical look at life behind the scenes of a live comedy sketch show — one much like Saturday Night Live, the programme that launched Fey into the spotlight.

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The frenetically-paced comedy used its zany trademark humour not just to parody its real-life counterpart, but also the corporate structure of NBC, the network it aired on.  Over the course of its seven seasons, 30 Rock was nominated for a staggering 103 Emmy Awards, taking home the best comedy trophy for three consecutive years.

Where can I watch 30 Rock?

 30 Rock is available on All4, iTunes, Amazon Prime and NOWTV. You can also purchase the series on DVD.

 How many episodes and seasons are there of 30 Rock?

 There are seven seasons of 30 Rock, ranging from 13 to 23 episodes long.

 What is 30 Rock about?

Showrunner and head writer Liz Lemon is outraged when her sketch comedy show, The Girlie Show, is taken over by Jack Donaghy, an egotistical corporate executive who insists on making sweeping changes as soon as he arrives. His first order of business is hiring a new star, the erratic and rambunctious Tracy Jordan, thereby demoting Liz’s best friend, actor Jenna Moroney.

The series follows Liz as she navigates her changing workplace and clashes with both the arrogant Donaghy and the unpredictable Jordan, as well as a number of other quirky co-workers including eager NBC page Kenneth and reliable producer Pete.

Each season has a variety of story arcs that include both workplace and personal plotlines, from Liz’s string of unsuitable love interests to Jack’s bid for corporate power and Kenneth’s trip to the Beijing Olympics.

Who is in the cast of 30 Rock?

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Honoree Tina Fey attends the 2017 New York Stage & Film Winter Gala at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers on December 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, BA)
Tina Fey (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images, BA)

The multi-talented Tina Fey (Mean Girls, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) stars as Liz Lemon, head writer and showrunner of The Girlie Show, immediately renamed TGS With Tracy Jordan by Jack Donaghy, Liz’s new boss. Alec Baldwin plays the stubborn executive in a career-reviving role.

Alec Baldwin (Getty, EH)
Alec Baldwin (Getty, EH)

Jane Krakowski is jilted Girlie Show star Jenna Maroney, who is replaced by movie star Tracy Jordan, played by SNL alumni Tracy Morgan.

Before he was cast as enthusiastic NBC page Kenneth Parcell, Jack McBrayer starred in comedy sketches on Late Night with Conan O’Brien.

Second City comedian Scott Adsit plays Liz Lemon’s producer friend and confidante Peter Hornberger.

Judah Friedlander’s Frank Rossitano, a TGS with Tracy Jordan writer, is known for his rotating collection of amusing trucker hats. He works with fellow writers Toofer (Keith Powell), Josh (Lonny Ross) and J.D Lutz, played by John Lutz.

The show also features a set of high-profile guest stars and cameo appearances featuring celebrities like Chris Parnell, Jason Sudeikis, Jon Hamm, Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, and Salma Hayek.

Where is 30 Rock set?

30 Rock is short for 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, where the real-life NBC studios are located and where the fictional series takes place. The iconic art deco building, also called the Comcast Building, is part of Rockefeller Center.

Where was 30 Rock filmed?

The show was filmed primarily at Silver Cup Studios in the New York City borough of Queens, though some exterior shots were filmed on location at Rockefeller Center.

Why was 30 Rock cancelled?

With characteristically wry humour, Tina Fey said: “All good things come to an end. And all good things decline dramatically in the ratings over the years, and all good things have lower ad rates than they used to. That’s not really why. Because it’s time… we’ve told a lot of good stories, I think, and we’ve had a lot of fun. We’ll all be friends in syndication.”


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