"30 Rock" cast preps for thrill of live TV episode

Tue Oct 12, 2010 5:12pm EDT
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By Lynn Adler

NEW YORK (Reuters) - TV industry spoof "30 Rock" is going out live for the first time this week, and the improv-happy cast on Tuesday was almost giddy at the prospect of things going wrong.

"So much can go wrong, but I came up through improv at Second City (sketch theater company) and there's a certain thrill to things going wrong," Emmy-winning executive producer and star Tina Fey told reporters.

Like a typical "30 Rock" episode there will be three different stories, said Fey, with one pegged around her character Liz Lemon's 40th birthday.

"One story is that no-one has remembered Liz's birthday, another is that Jack Donaghy (played by Alec Badwin) has tried to give up drinking while his fiancee is pregnant -- and he's not enjoying that -- and there's another story with Tracy Morgan making some discoveries about how fun it is to act up on live TV," said Fey.

Matt Damon and "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm are widely expected to guest star in Thursday's live episode on NBC, which was first inspired by the cast putting on a live benefit show during the 2008 Hollywood writers' strike.

The cast will perform one show for the U.S. east coast broadcast, and do it all over again for the west coast three hours later.

Fey, and "30 Rock" actor Tracy Morgan, are "Saturday Night Live" sketch show veterans; Baldwin has hosted SNL more than a dozen times, and actress Jane Krakowski is a Broadway veteran.

Morgan, who plays the unpredictable star of the variety show depicted on "30 Rock", is expected to be the wild card for the live performance as well.   Continued...

<p>Actress Tina Fey from the comedy series '30 Rock' poses at the 62nd annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California August 29, 2010. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>