"30 Rock" needed a live episode. No, not for the ratings boost it surely got, but for something completely different altogether. The "30 Rock" Season 6 live episode, appropriately titled "Live From Studio 6H," took all the press about the series being on its last legs and turned it into something exciting.
It all started with the sinking ratings. "30 Rock" replaced "Community" on NBC's Thursday schedule at 8 p.m. ET for a few months and sunk even lower in the Nielsen ratings than the struggling "Community." After a move to 8:30 p.m. ET, the show had even fewer viewers, pulling in series low ratings.
Then the tweets starting flying. While voicing frustration over NBC's "Today" having a crew outside his apartment to document a stalking story, series star Alec Baldwin tweeted, saying, "I think I'm leaving NBC just in time."
"30 Rock" star and creator Tina Fey was quick to put the fire out, telling the ladies of "The View" that if NBC orders "30 Rock" Season 7, Baldwin will be there; he just meant "that the end of the show is visible on the horizon."
Baldwin then clarified the tweet himself and said he'll be in "30 Rock" Season 7, but that the show is slated to end next year.
With the plunging ratings and "End of '30 Rock'" headlines, it became somewhat hard to enjoy what was once NBC's brightest comedy. As a viewer and fan, I just felt bad watching the show limp along. If "30 Rock" has a good joke, but nobody is watching it to laugh, is it still funny?
That all changed with the April 26 live episode. The cast seemed so energized. After all the negative press and speculation, there they were, Fey, Baldwin, Jane Krakowski, Tracy Morgan, Jack McBrayer, all ready to entertain. Everybody seemed so excited to be doing what they loved for an audience as enthusiastic as the performers were.
Even if the plot -- Baldwin's Jack Donaghy decides to stop doing the fictional "TGS With Tracy Jordan" sketch show live in order to save money, but McBrayer's Kenneth refuses to let the legacy of live TV die and tells the history of Studio 6H through flashbacks -- wasn't the strongest and didn't further the plot of the season along, the cast made it work. It was an excuse to play dress up and have fun -- and that's just what they did.
It's no secret that Baldwin is an ace at live TV; Fey and Morgan hail from "Saturday Night Live"; and Krakowski is a Broadway veteran. But the Season 6 live show really let Krakowski shine. From the theme song performance right down to the Prince Charles impersonation, Krakowski nailed it as Jenna Maroney. How she has not received an Emmy for her work is astounding. Do the Academy voters really have something against Mickey Rourke sex party jokes?
Along with the treat of seeing these supremely talented performers in their element, we finally got the coveted guest star. No, not Kim Kardashian or Paul McCartney: Amy Poehler. For years when asked about dream "30 Rock" guest stars, Fey would name her good friend, former "SNL" co-star and "Parks and Recreation" star Poehler. During both the East and West Coast versions of "Live From Studio 6H," Poehler appeared as a teenage Liz Lemon, chilling in a basement, making prank calls and eating a cheese steak. It finally happened and it was brilliant. Who would've thought the show could top Julia Louis-Dreyfus appearing as Liz Lemon?
Jon Hamm wasn't the only part of "30 Rock's" past to reappear. Old jokes "I want to go to there" and "Yaburnt!" made a comeback. Considering both of those phrases have made their way into my everyday conversation, it was thrilling to hear them booming from my TV set once again.
"30 Rock's" live show broke the tension surrounding the series and showed viewers this old show still has what it takes to crack smiles and achieve hearty laughs.
No, that's not Kim Kardashian naked in the kitchen, frying an egg.
On Thursday, MediaTakeOut posted a photo they claimed was an older snapshot of Kardashian before breast enlargement surgery, and today reps for the reality TV queen are denying it's her.
"It's not her. You can totally tell. It looks nothing like her," a rep for Kardashian told the Daily Mail.
To be fair, it looks exactly like her, but given that Kim already has a sex tape under her belt, has posed for Playboy (NSFW) and constantly tweets scantily clad photos, we're inclined to believe her.
The photo in question is actually quite flattering, and there is no real reason for Kim's camp to deny it's her, besides the fact that the website claims it's proof that the 31-year-old had breast augmentation. Kim is known for her curves and she's gone to great lengths to prove her assets are real. In 2008, she posted a photo of her teenage self looking busty in a bikini to prove she's never needed help filling out a shirt, and last year she even had her butt X-rayed to prove she didn't have implants.
Check out Kim's Killer Curves:
Rumors have been swirling this month that former "That '70s Show" co-stars Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher are dating, especially after the pair was photographed hanging out together. What fans may not know, however, is that Kutcher played a major part in Kunis' love life -- well, TV love life -- back in the day.
Our friends over at People recently dug into their archives and discovered that Kunis' first real on-camera kiss was with Kutcher, thanks to their romance on the Fox comedy.
Kunis revealed the tidbit to People in 2001:
"I was like, 'Oh, he's so cute, it's the Calvin Klein model!' ... Then I was like, 'I have to kiss him?' I was so nervous and uncomfortable. I had the biggest crush on him."
It should be noted that Kunis turned 15 years old just days before "That '70s Show" premiered in 1998. Kutcher, meanwhile, was 20.
Though both actors are currently unattached and were spotted out together this month, Kunis recently denied claims that they were anything more than good friends.
?It's absurd!? Kunis told "Extra" about the rumors while at CinemaCon 2012 in Las Vegas this week. ?A friend is a friend.?
Kunis and Kutcher's "That '70s Show" co-star Wilmer Valderrama also spoke to E!'s Marc Malkin about those pesky relationship rumors.
"At this point, after 15, 16 years of our career, we've heard it all," he said. "So it is what it is, to be honest. We don't ever have a real opinion about it. We don't ever read. We don't even listen."
For more on Kunis and Kutcher's past, including Kutcher's reaction when he found out he was Kunis' first kiss, head over to People.
Thursday night Jimmy Kimmel was back with another batch of his ode to the FCC, "This Week in Unnecessary Censorship."
The past seven days provided some pretty phenomenal fodder for superfluous bleeping and blurring -- with everyone from "Dora the Explorer" to "Dancing with the Stars" getting their moment in the sun.
So if you need something a little goofy to help start your day out right, you're in luck.
It?s rare that a contestant commits the three mortal sins of ?Idol?. In the world of shilling for America?s votes, there are three ways to fall into the doghouse. Three separate kisses of death tha...
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It's a good week to be a fan of "Fringe" (Fridays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox); April 26 brought the welcome news that the show has been renewed for a fifth and final season, while April 27 offers an action-packed new episode that will reunite our core characters with some familiar faces from their (alternate?) past.
HuffPost TV was on set for the filming of episode, entitled "Worlds Apart," and from what we observed, the episode holds plenty of payoffs for loyal fans, both in terms of the show's mythology and some long overdue interaction between the two universes. Check out our exclusive video interviews with Joshua Jackson, Seth Gabel, Anna Torv and John Noble below, and read on to find out what else you can expect from this week's episode.
After "Letters of Transit's" stunning detour into a bleak future populated by megalomaniacal Observers, Episode 20 sees Fringe Division back on the trail of the elusive David Robert Jones (Jared Harris), whom Joshua Jackson (who plays Peter Bishop) describes as a "very bad man ... continuing on his wicked ways." Anna Torv (Olivia Dunham) expanded on Jones' most recent scheme when we sat down with her between takes: "We've found that there have been these earthquakes happening, these kind of strange things going on. But they've been happening on both sides, so our two Fringe teams have to come together in order to try and find what the cause of this is. A few faces from the past pop up, which is always fun."
According to John Noble (Walter Bishop), the connection between the two universes is the primary focus of the episode. "At the end of Season 3, we joined the deteriorating worlds together with this bridge, as a result of which the universes started to heal themselves. We're now faced with the situation that any great discovery could be used for good or evil," the actor explained. "So, what happens if that bridge now begins to be used as a conduit for evil? That's the issue we're facing. What do you do? What do you do with this wonderful discovery? Do you keep it? What do you lose if you lose it? For example, if we didn't have that [link], we wouldn't have Bolivia. We wouldn't have Walternate. We wouldn't have Alt-Astrid. We wouldn't have all these wonderful characters that we've grown to love. What would happen? I think we have to face that issue. We have to face the issue of 'How long can you keep this alive, this link between interlacing the two universes?'"
That issue will hit home particularly hard for Lincoln, who -- following the death of his alternate version and his unrequited crush on our Olivia -- traveled to the other universe to assist Bolivia with her cases. "Lincoln's interest is being piqued by this other side, because there are other opportunities that exist," Seth Gabel teased, talking to us before we learned that his character, the other Lincoln would die. "It's not even that there's more fish in the sea, there's more than one sea."
Not only will the episode feature a "beautiful scene" between Walter and Walternate (and will see "all the doppelgangers talking to each other"), Noble also shared a few details about the reappearance of Nick Lane, played by David Call. "They're bringing back characters that were introduced in Seasons 1, 2 and 3; suddenly this rich history that was built up is coming back," he enthused. "We've already brought David Robert Jones back; he's one of our two great villains, Newton was the other. But Nick Lane, [one] of our established Cortexiphan kids, will be brought back into it again ... with the powers that Walter gave him, but not necessarily for good. Our key player in that has to be the leader of the pack, which is Olivia, as we've established previously. She was the leader. She was the most naturally gifted and remains so. This episode is bringing those things back together for us as we face the decision of what to do. Do we keep the worlds together? How do we keep them together without creating the monster that is happening? How do we stop this monster from happening? That's what this is all about."
Nick Lane (or his alternate version) might not be the only one potentially using his powers for evil in this new timeline; Noble also hinted that a "major, major player from the past" comes back within the next three episodes, but couldn't reveal more than that.
At the time of our visit, the show's future was still uncertain, but Noble proved surprisingly prescient in predicting the 13-episode pick-up that the show would ultimately receive for its final season. "If I was a betting man, and I'm not, but if I was, I think we'll probably get 13 more. It kind of makes sense to allow a great story to finish its telling over such a long period of time," he observed. "Thirteen would give our writers the chance to work things out."
We're just relieved that his psychic powers seem to be in working order. Maybe he can suggest some lotto numbers for us?
Are you relieved that "Fringe" was renewed? Which familiar faces do you think will reappear in the next three episodes?
Weigh in below, and don't forget to tune in to "Worlds Apart," Friday, April 27 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.
The soulful season 11 elder made it to sixth place on Fox's singing competition. Next: she brings the rock on the road.
Mr. Media is recorded live before a studio audience of middle-aged Al Bundys who hope we spend the entire interview talking about what it?s like to be in the same room with Sofia Vergara? in the NEW new media capital of the world? St. Petersburg, Florida! By Bob Andelman Mr. Media® Radio Network ? Email
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