Broadcast TV goes back to the day of live TV when “30 Rock” takes a stab at an episode live from studio 8H on Oct. 14.
The cast will actually perform the episode twice – once at 8:30 p.m. eastern time for the East Coast audience and then at 11:30 p.m. (eastern), for the West Coast. Those in the Central time zone will see the show at its regular time slot from the East Coast – at 7:30 p.m.
“We’ve had great success with live episodes in the past, both in a creative sense and in the ratings,” said Angela Bromstad, president of primetime entertainment for NBC. “I can’t imagine a series more suited to do an incredible live episode, thanks to its many cast, writers and producers who hail from TV’s most reknown live series, ‘SNL.’
Chief among them are star and creator Tina Fey, cast member Tracy Morgan and executive producer Lorne Michaels.
Live shows have been tried before in recent years, by “E.R.,” “The West Wing” and “Will & Grace.”
Bromstad said it was the network’s idea, but added, “Tina is up for it.”
“Coming from ‘Saturday Night Live,’ Lorne and Tina are very up for it,” she told reporters at the TV Critics press tour. “And we are just doing as much as we can to sort of garner attention for the shows and stay true to them creatively. So Tina and Lorne agreed to it, and we think it’s a great idea.”