The 30 Rock reunion special will air Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT on NBC. The episode will also be available on Peacock starting 9 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17. The hour-long special is billed as a “one time” event and will feature most of the original main cast, including Tina Fey, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer, Jane Krakowski and Alec Baldwin.
The NBC description of the reunion reads, “In a one-time special event featuring all the beloved characters from the original series, Liz Lemon and Jack Donaghy reunite the TGS team to help Kenneth Parcell with an advertiser presentation.”
Although the reunion is featured on NBC, not all network affiliates will be airing the show; according to Vulture, Gray Television, Hearst, Nexstar, Tegna, and Sinclair Broadcast Group have all decided against broadcasting the special, which means nearly half the country won’t be able to watch Thursday night. Vulture’s sources claim that the affiliate groups felt the reunion is “too much of a promotion for the company’s new Peacock streaming platform,” so they planned to preempt the special from Thursday’s schedule.
The Upfront Special Will Feature The Main Cast of 30 Rock Living During the COVID-19 Pandemic
According to Den of Geek, the 30 Rock special will catch up with Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan), Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski), Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer), and other fan-favorite characters as they remotely navigate life during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the brief teaser above, Liz Lemon can be seen shaming a passerby for not wearing a face mask outside. “No mask hot shot?” she shouts at the man, who replies, “We’re in an open-air system!” She then lunges at him and asks if he’s “scared of the virus now,” and as he runs off she exclaims, “BOOM! Another successful interaction with a man.”
The Upfront special will also introduce many of NBCUniversal’s titles across NBC’s channels and will feature special guest stars to boost “the stories and talent featured in NBCUniversal’s 2020-21 television season,” according to Den of Geek.
Several Older 30 Rock Episodes Were Recently Removed From NBC Due to Various Characters in Blackface
30 Rock aired for seven seasons on NBC between 2006 and 2013, according to NJ.com. The show brought home 16 Emmys, including three consecutive awards for best comedy. However, in June 2020, NBC removed several older 30 Rock episodes that featured characters in blackface at the request of series co-creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, NJ reports.
“As we strive to do the work and do better in regards to race in America, we believe that these episodes featuring actors in race-changing makeup are best taken out of circulation,” Fey said in a statement. “I understand now that ‘intent’ is not a free pass for white people to use these images. I apologize for pain they have caused. Going forward, no comedy-loving kid needs to stumble on these tropes and be stung by their ugliness. I thank NBCUniversal for honoring this request.”
The 30 Rock reunion special premieres Thursday, July 16 at 8 p.m. ET on NBC. In the meantime, you can keep up with all the latest in TV coverage and entertainment news here.