“30 Rock” gave us many gifts over its seven seasons, and its fictional TV series were some of the best. After all, “30 Rock” was Tina Fey’s spoof of what it was like to work on a sketch variety program like “Saturday Night Live,” which also has given us the gift of many faux shows. It’s just so meta, it’s surprising we don’t already have world peace.
So as “30 Rock” reaches the 10th anniversary of its premiere, we wanted to highlight some of its best fake shows that could work in today’s TV landscape. Sure, we’re in the time of “peak TV,” so what’s a few more? In no particular order:
- “Black Frasier” – It took “Game of Thrones” to topple the most Emmys for a scripted show record held by white “Frasier,” but that doesn’t devalue the impact of all things “Frasier.” Not only does TV love a remake, but a remake with inclusivity? Double win. We can’t wait to see Eddie the dog reimagined as a — gasp — cat! And even though Toofur’s BET series failed because it aired at 9:15pm, in this digital age no one watches anything live anymore, so that shouldn’t be a problem.
- “MILF Island” – “25 hot moms, 50 8th grade boys, no rules,” was the series’ original tagline, which is problematic. But if you update the boys to legal age, this show would still be so wrong… and irresistible to Mark Burnett.
- “Sports Shouting” – There is nothing more entertaining than people trying to shout over each other on TV (unless it’s a critical presidential debate overshadowed by anger and anxiety). This format of four guys simultaneously and vociferously trying to express their opinions about sports (which might bear a resemblance to ESPN’s “Around the Horn”) should in fact be extended to cable news programs and baking shows, especially for the souffle episode.
- “Let’s Stay Together” – Move over, “This Is Us.” Dotcom’s heartwarming pitch never made it to series, but it was probably ahead of its time. The drama centers on a black family in Chicago living in the 1970s, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Motown and Nixon. We can just smell the Emmys now. Tracy Jordan also wanted to add a talking dog to the mix, so this would be a great fit for ABC (see: “Downward Dog”).
- “Queen of Jordan” – Starring Tracy Jordan’s wife Angie, it’s basically already a fully realized Bravo program. Built-in sponsor idea: Ham.
- “Dealbreakers” – In the vein of “He’s Just Not That Into You,” Liz Lemon’s drops of wisdom about certain men’s unfitness for relationships is just the straight talk we need. We think it would play well after TBS’ “Full Frontal With Samantha Bee.” Two women back-to-back wearing pantsuits and ranting? Sign us up! Unfortunately, Liz’s talk show got torpedoed when it brought out her inner Jenna Maroney, but it was still an excellent idea. Here’s a taste of the sage “dealbreaker” advice she gave when she was on “The Vondella Show.”
- “God Cop” – Fox, how is this not a real show yet? Even though Jack Donaghy conceived this show — starring himself as a cop who happens to be God — to bring NBC down, it is procedural gold with a faith-based guarantee of a strong moral lesson. Also, think of all the wacky “Oh, God” or “God only knows” or “Goddammit” jokes!
- “Homonym” – Way, weigh. Bail, bale. Titan, tighten. The wordplay and frustration will keep you entertained until “Curb Your Enthusiasm” ever decides to return. (Suggestion, change it to “Homophone (W.T.)”?)
- “Los Amantes Clandestinos” – Thanks to “Ugly Betty,” “Jane the Virgin” and “Devious Maids,” we’ve already seen that America has an appetite for telenovelas. Donaghy’s Latin alter ego Hector Moreda commands respect as the evil Generalissimo and makes for a great, snazzily dressed anti-hero.
How viable do you think these shows are? Did we miss any of your faves?
All seven seasons of “30 Rock” are currently available to stream on Netflix.
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