On Sept. 18, 2006,
debuted a highly anticipated series from one of TV's hottest writers, taking viewers behind-the-scenes of a variety show with more than a passing resemblance to “Saturday Night Live.”
Three weeks later, the network introduced a similarly themed show that faced even longer odds.
You're forgiven if you didn't know the show was closing up shop. NBC has been too busy heralding the wonders of "The Biggest Loser" to give the series a proper sendoff. Maybe it's because viewership has been slipping since the 2008-09 season, and even then it only finished 69th in the Nielsen ratings.
That's too bad. “30 Rock” deserves better, as does Fey, the ringmaster both on camera and behind the scenes.
-Get by with a lot of help from your friends. Thanks to a nine-year stint at “SNL” and her non-diva personality, Fey has one of the richest Rolodexes in show business. She used it to recruit
Comedy isn't pretty
. Anyone who watched the
knows that Fey can look va-voom gorgeous. But on “30 Rock,” Lemon mostly favored sweatpants - with Cheetos stuck in her unkempt hair. Like Lucille Ball, Fey knows that silly has more comedic juice than sexy.
The rest of the cast proved equally game to get down and dirty, starting with Morgan's tendency to remove his shirt and show-off his baby-fat belly, while McBrayer made the best out of the world's most unflattering uniform. Even blonde bombshell Krakowski, who was hired by the network to replace Fey's original choice,
-Boldly go where no woman has gone before. If you didn't think “30 Rock” reveled in breaking taboos, you weren't watching closely enough. I can't think of any comedy in the past 20 years that dealt so directly with race, whether it was Lemon dating a black man just to prove she's not prejudiced (then accidentally shooting him backstage at