Even though Tina Fey’s been getting laughs for her dead-on Sarah Palin impersonation, her critically-acclaimed, ratings-challenged show (the one she left SNL for), 30 Rock, hasn’t even premiered yet. So what gives? Well, NBC co-chairman Ben Silverman explains that this is all part of a plan to increase viewership for 30 Rock, and if it helps the new shows he premieres before then, even better. Which makes sense: we all know what could happen if those shows don’t do well.
NY TImes: The problem, Mr. Silverman said, was that NBC had committed early to several program moves that were intended to give “30 Rock” the best possible chance to emerge finally as a hit.
One of those moves was scheduling three special editions of Ms. Fey’s old show, “Saturday Night Live,” at 9:30 on Thursdays leading up to the election.
That’s where “30 Rock” will eventually land, and Mr. Silverman said the network wanted to build up to that premiere with a promotion campaign that highlighted the roster of guest stars the show has lined up, including Oprah Winfrey, Steve Martin, Jennifer Aniston and Salma Hayek.
But several of those “30 Rock” episodes are completed and could have been broadcast this week in the thick of the Fey-Palin fascination. Mr. Silverman said NBC could possibly have substituted “30 Rock” for the new comedy “Kath and Kim” at 8:30, delaying the premiere of that series, but that move would have undone the overall strategy.
“We want to make sure ’30 Rock’ goes on at 9:30, where it can benefit from the lead-in from ‘The Office,’ ” he said.
And “Kath and Kim” is a new show and thus vital to his future at the network. But we wonder how the suits already upset with a 30 Rock delay will feel if that show bombs because of time off the air.
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