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’30 Rock’ to Return on NBC with Scripted Upfront Special in July

The stars of "30 Rock" will reunite for an hour-long scripted special that will highlight NBCUniversal's talent and upcoming programming.

Tina Fey, "30 Rock"

“30 Rock”

NBC-TV/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

One of the greatest comedies in TV history is coming back; “30 Rock” will return for a hour-long special on NBC on Thursday, July 16.

Most of the standout characters from the hit series are expected to return, including Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), and Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer). The special is being billed as an upfront event to celebrate the stories and talent from NBCUniversal’s 2020-21 television season, and the episode will feature guest appearances from talent across NBCUniversal’s various brands, as well as the company’s new and returning programming.

“30 Rock” centered on an eclectic staff at a fictional live sketch show and parodied many entertainment industry practices. “30 Rock” originally aired on NBC from October 2006 to January 2013 and won 16 Emmys during its run, including three consecutive wins for Outstanding Comedy Series. IndieWire ranked the series as the seventh best television show of the decade.

The one-time scripted special airs ad-free at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. The episode will be rebroadcast across USA Network, Bravo, E!, Oxygen, SYFY, and CNBC, and will be available to stream on Peacock at 9 p.m. ET.

“We’re all happy to have this excuse to (remotely) work together again for NBC,” “30 Rock” executive producers Tina Fey and Robert Carlock said in a statement. “To quote Kenneth the Page, there are only two things we love in this world: television and everyone.”

Given the special’s billing as an upfront event and its apparent focus on NBCUniversal’s portfolio, the project is likely intended to woo advertisers who would normally attend the company’s physical upfront event. NBCUniversal, like most other entertainment conglomerates, was forced to cancel its physical upfront event due to the ongoing pandemic.

“At NBCUniversal, we’re excited to produce an upfront that reflects a new reality and celebrates our relationship with viewers and advertisers alike,” Linda Yaccarino, chairman, advertising and partnerships, NBCUniversal, said in a statement. “Historically, this event is about the future of programming; this year, it’s about the future of our industry — a future where we can meet audiences wherever they are, with the stories that move them.”

The upcoming “30 Rock” special was announced several weeks after NBCUniversal’s successful “Parks and Recreation” one-off reunion, which reunited the sitcom’s characters as they reconnected via video conferencing. The “Parks and Recreation” special raised $3 million for charity within a day of its original airing.

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