In this 2011 image released by NBC, Alec Baldwin portrays Jack Donaghy, left, and Tina Fey portrays Liz Lemon in the NBC comedy series, “30 Rock.” The series will broadcast live on Thursday, April 26, 2012. (AP Photo/NBC, Ali Goldstein)

‘30 Rock’ episode goes live Thursday night

SHARE ‘30 Rock’ episode goes live Thursday night
SHARE ‘30 Rock’ episode goes live Thursday night

In a move to inject new life into its kookiness, “30 Rock” is going live this week.

It will be the second such outing for the NBC comedy, which is normally a polished, single-camera filmed affair. It went live for a night in October 2010 with an episode performed during the show’s normal time slot, then re-staged for West Coast viewers.

The same plan will be followed this Thursday: Originating from NBC’s Studio 8H (fabled home of “Saturday Night Live”), “30 Rock” will air live for viewers in the Eastern and Central time zones at 8:30 p.m. EDT (7:30 p.m. in Chicago), then be reprised at 8:30 p.m. PDT for the rest of the country.

The theme of the episode plays into the idea of Live vs. Filmed. The Kabletown corporate bosses announce they will no longer pay for live production of “TGS” (the fictitious show-within-a-show produced by Liz Lemon, played by “30 Rock” star Tina Fey). After first resisting, Liz and NBC exec Jack Donaghy (co-star Alec Baldwin) realize their lives would be simplified by shooting “TGS” episodes on film, fast and cheap.

But Kenneth the Page (Jack McBrayer) objects, arguing that nothing can replace the excitement of live television.

Although highly acclaimed and richly awarded during its six seasons, “30 Rock” has never been a ratings juggernaut. It has seen its audience further soften this season (just 3 million viewers tuned in last week). AP

The Latest
The entertaining ‘Facing Nolan’ gets the taciturn pitcher to discuss his life and his competitive side.
The team has a waiting list of 140,000 for 81,441-seat Lambeau Field, which means a long time on the list.
Lesly Morales has been missing since late April, family said.
The Committee on Public Safety approved the mayor’s ordinance by a comfortable vote of 14 to 3 that did not reflect the barrage of concerns raised about a crackdown roundly condemned as a toothless and desperate headline-grabber that will have no impact on youth violence.