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The Daily Beast: "30 Rock Wraps Up Seven Iconic Seasons"

Blerg. 30 Rock will end its seven-season run later this month, meaning that we'll have to say goodbye to Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, and the TGS crew... though the show's creator, Tina Fey, isn't going anywhere just yet. In this week's Newsweek (and over at The Daily Beast), you can read my latest feature, " 30 Rock Wraps Up Seven Iconic Seasons," in which I examine the comedic legacy that the show leaves behind. Back in 2006, one of the year’s most highly anticipated new shows was a roman à clef set at a Saturday Night Live–style sketch comedy show. No, it wasn’t Tina Fey’s 30 Rock, but Aaron Sorkin’s Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which also aired on NBC and died in 22 episodes. In fact, 30 Rock was very nearly canceled right out of the gate, with nearly half its 8.2 million viewers fleeing by the fourth week. But instead of being axed, 30 Rock became a sleeper hit. The show that gave us Liz Lemon and launched a thousand catchphrases (“Blerg!”) wraps up

Trying Not to Break: Quick Thoughts on 30 Rock Live Experiment

I'll admit that I had very low expectations going into this week's live episode of 30 Rock ("Live Show") as I wasn't really sure how the multi-camera format and live audience would work with 30 Rock 's narrative structure, given the series' use of quick-cutaway reaction shots, smash cuts, and imaginative structure. However, I have to say that I was extremely pleasantly surprised. While the first few minutes of live laughter shocked me, I quickly settled in for what ended up being an entertaining experience, filled with more than a few laughs along the way. Kudos to Julia Louis Dreyfus for being game enough to tackle Liz Lemon alongside Tina Fey herself; the smash cuts to "Liz" were not only surprising but managed to capture the fast-paced magic of the series and its often non-linear structure of flashbacks and flash-sideways, something impossible to do when filming live and without the slight-of-hand normally afforded to the editors. High ma

The Daily Beast: "TV's Pop Art Boom"

Law & Order: SVU valentines, anyone? Over at The Daily Beast today, I offer a look at "TV's Pop Art Boom." In my latest feature , I talk to graphic artists Dyna Moe and Ty Mattson about their Mad Men -, Lost -, and Dexter -inspired artwork, which has redefined the term "fan art" and taken it to an entirely different level, where television-inspired pieces are challenging the way that we look at the medium and offering a new perspective to the atmosphere, characters, setting, and tone of some of our favorite series. Plus, I offer a gallery of television-inspired pieces of art from Dyna Moe, Ty Mattson, Brandon Bird, and others, including some must-see Law & Order -inspired pieces.

Channel Surfing: Starz to Recast Spartacus, Warehouse 13 Renewed, Mad Men's John Slattery to 30 Rock, Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. It was only a matter of time, really. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello (who is soon to depart the magazine/website ) is reporting that Starz has begun the search for a replacement for Spartacus ' Andy Whitfield, who was forced to drop out of the production due to a recurrence of cancer. "According to the just-released casting notice, producers are searching for a Caucasian male in his mid to late 30s to play the 'smart, intense, passionate' title role," writes Ausiello. "Interested parties must have an authentic British accent and be prepared to sign a three-year contract." ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) The Hollywood Reporter 's James Hibberd is reporting that Syfy has renewed Warehouse 13 for a third season, with 13 episodes on tap for next season. Additionally, Jack Kenny will remain aboard the series as the showrunner and has signed a development deal with the cab

The Daily Beast: "Fall TV Preview: Grey's Anatomy, Dexter, 30 Rock and More"

With so many new fall series premiering over the next two weeks, it's possible to forget that some of our favorites are heading back to the airwaves as well. Can’t remember how Grey’s Anatomy or 30 Rock ended? Head over to the Daily Beast to read my latest feature, "Here Comes the TV Season!" , in which I round-up 13 cliffhangers for returning shows—and offer previews of what’s to come. (It goes without saying: minor SPOILERS aheads.) The series in question? Oh, the usual suspects, including Dexter, The Good Wife, Fringe, Grey's Anatomy, Desperate Housewives, Chuck, Private Practice, Brothers and Sisters, Friday Night Lights, Bones, Community, Castle , and 30 Rock , presented in order of premiere dates. (Which means Chuck is up first.) Plus, you can watch video previews for all 22 new network series , to boot. Which returning series are you most excited about watching this fall? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Emmy Nominations Unveiled: Love for Friday Night Lights, Modern Family, Mad Men, Lost, True Blood, and More

It's that time of year again: Emmy nominations. Modern Family 's Sofia Vergara and Community 's Joel McHale were on hand bright and early this morning to announce the Primetime Emmy Award nominations. (I stayed home to watch E! Online's stream of the press conference rather than drive over there bleary-eyed and unable to conceal my frustration about overlooked performances and series in person.) While Vergara ultimately walked away with a nomination for supporting actress for Modern Family (as did most of her co-stars, in fact), McHale was sadly shut out of the nominations, as was Community , a real slap in the face (along with that for Parks and Recreation ) considering that Community and Parks were both streets ahead of The Office and 30 Rock this season. Grr. So which series did the best overall? HBO's The Pacific walked away with an impressive 24 nominations, followed closely by FOX's Glee at 19 nods, AMC's Mad Men at 17, and 15 nominations

Channel Surfing: Mark Pellegrino Bites into Being Human, Weeds Snares Richard Dreyfuss, Marg Helgenberger Staying on CSI, and More

Welcome to your (slightly delayed) Thursday morning television briefing. A few headlines to get through on Emmy nomination day... Score another genre hit for Mark Pellegrino. The former Lost and Supernatural co-star is heading to Syfy's US adaptation of supernatural drama Being Human , where he will play Bishop, described as the "charismatic and menacing mentor" to Sam Witwer's vampire Aidan. Pellegrino's casting nearly rounds out the cast for the American adaptation, though there's still one role outstanding (that would be Josh, the werewolf, though there have been rumblings about several actors auditioning for the role). Elsewhere, Patrick J. Adams ( Friends With Benefits ) has been cast as the lead in USA legal drama A Legal Mind , where he will play Mike Ross, described as "a brilliant but unmotivated college student who gets recruited by a top Manhattan corporate law firm despite not being a lawyer" and who must "use his book and street

Channel Surfing: Starz Developing US Underbelly, Tim Kring Talks Heroes' Movie Chances, Charice Heads to Glee, and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. Vulture's Josef Adalian is reporting that Starz is developing a US adaptation of Aussie crime series Underbelly , which has aired Stateside on DirecTV's Channel 101, following a deal to acquire the U.S. rights to the gritty crime drama, which some have likened to Australia's answer to The Sopranos ... which Starz topper Chris Albrect himself oversaw when he headed up HBO. "Albrecht is clearly hoping Underbelly ’s phenomenal success in Australia (its 2008 premiere drew more viewers there than any other non-sports broadcast, and the show won the country's equivalent of the Emmy for best drama) can be replicated here," writes Adalian. "Since the show is based on real events that took place in Australia starting in the 1970s, Starz can't simply film the original scripts using American actors. But the network is currently researching various American crime families that they can build effective story ar

Channel Surfing: "24" Producer Urges Patience, More on Matt Damon and "30 Rock," "Mad Men" Looks to Diversify Emmy Noms, "Grey's," and More

Welcome to your Thursday morning television briefing. Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello talks to 24 executive producer Howard Gordon about this season's ridiculous storyline involving Katee Sackhoff's Dana Walsh. "God almighty there has been a Dana backlash," Gordon told Ausiello. "I understand how it appears [to be] tiresome and lazy storytelling, but I really would betray anyone to try to sit in our chair and figure out how to do 24 continuous, real-time episodes, without using certain devices. I would implore people to be more patient with Dana." [Editor: out of curiosity, I'd love to know what readers think of Dana's plotline...] ( Entertainment Weekly 's Ausiello Files ) E! Online's Kristin Dos Santos has more details on Matt Damon's upcoming appearance on 30 Rock, where he'll be playing--gasp!--a love interest for Tina Fey's Liz Lemon and he may appear in more than one episode. "Though 30 Rock 's pro

NBC Renews "Community," "30 Rock," and "The Office"

Oh, happy day. NBC has announced that it will keep its Thursday night lineup intact next season, renewing Community, The Office , and 30 Rock for the 2010-11 season. The news comes on the heels of an early third season pickup for fellow Thursday laffer Parks and Recreation . "We are happy to give these early pickups to these critically acclaimed, incredibly funny comedies," said Angela Bromstad, President, Primetime Entertainment, NBC and Universal Media Studios, in a statement. "As a result, we look forward to continuing our rewarding partnership with the respective creative teams and talented show-runners for 30 Rock, The Office and Community as they all consistently deliver quality shows.” The news is especially good for Community , the sole freshman comedy among the pack, which will be returning for Season Two this fall. Renewal comes after Bromstad yesterday said she was "hopeful" about the Sony Pictures Television-produced series returning next seas

Channel Surfing: Mystery Men Back on "Lost," "Rex" Not Dead at NBC, Slew of Guest Stars for "30 Rock," "Mad" Man to Wisteria Lane, and More

Welcome to your Monday morning television briefing. Looks like the Final Battle isn't over yet. The Hollywood Reporter 's Nellie Andreeva is reporting that Titus Welliver ( The Good Wife ) and Mark Pellegrino ( Supernatural ) will return for Season Six of Lost . Welliver will reprise his role as the mysterious man in black during the second half of Lost 's final season while Pellegrino will return as Jacob in at least six episodes of Season Six of Lost . ( Hollywood Reporter ) [Editor: Meanwhile, also be sure to check out Part Two of Maureen Ryan's fantastic and in-depth Q&A with Lost showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse here .] Entertainment Weekly 's Michael Ausiello is reporting that NBC has yet to make a decision about the fate of legal drama pilot Rex Is Not Your Lawyer, starring David Tennant ( Doctor Who ). But while the pilot's sets are being dismantled this week, the project isn't dead. "The sets are on fold-and-hold," an un

HFPA Announces 2010 Golden Globes Nominations: "Glee," "Big Love," "Damages," "Dexter," "Mad Men," "30 Rock" Get Love

Another December, another batch of Golden Globe nominations. I got up very early on this very brisk Los Angeles morning to watch the nominations live as they were announced on-air by John Krasinski, Diane Kruger, and Justin Timberlake. (The latter of whom stole the show a little bit with his comment to Krasinski, "Someone's gonna have a good night tonight," after Emily Blunt earned a nomination for her role in The Young Victoria .) But onto the nominations themselves. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association this morning announced its nominees for the 2010 Golden Globes, which will be handed out at a live telecast on NBC on January 17th. Glee was the clear favorite this year, walking away with four nominations this morning, followed closely by 30 Rock, Big Love, Damages, Mad Men, and Dexter , each of which garnered three nominations in their respective categories, along with telepics Georgia O'Keeffe and Grey Gardens . I'm thrilled, first off, that so many fa