That is not a typo, NBC’s Tina Fey-led comedy will go live from New York City on April 26th.
This isn’t the first time that 30 Rock has done a live show. In October 2010, 30 Rock went live for the first time from Studio 8H, the same stage that Saturday Night Live is shot on. The first time 30 Rock went live, it was brilliant. The show was taped in from of a live studio audience, which adds a little bit of spark and energy to the actors on stage, who aren’t used to the extra fanfare while shooting typical episodes. These episodes are more focused on physical comedy instead of fast-paced, offbeat comedy of usual 30 Rock episodes.
The first live episode featured guest appearances from Matt Damon, Jon Hamm, Rachel Dratch (who had a small role on the show during its first season), Chris Parnell, Bill Hader, and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss.
In addition to the rave reviews that was given the first time around, ratings were through the roof for that episode, due to viewer curiosity. According to the ratings for October 14th, 2010, 30 Rock drew 6.6 million viewers, and a 3.0 in the targeted 18-49 demo – an increase of 43% over the previous episode.
If NBC can stage another successful live outing for 30 Rock and get critics and viewers to tune in and fall in love again, it’ll be a small glimmer of hope for the struggling network.