Oprah joins '30 Rock' -- for one episode
It's a great birthday gift for me: The queen of all media will join NBC's hippest comedy for one night only, as Oprah Winfrey makes a guest appearance on a 30 Rock episode airing on my 43rd birthday, Nov. 6.
Co-star Alec Baldwin had already blabbed about this gig, which was apparently filmed on Saturday and officially confirmed by NBC today.
The Queen joins a distinguished list of thespians who have come out to play with the 30 Rock gang, including Jerry Seinfeld, Will Arnett, Tim Conway, Edie Falco, Carrie Fisher and Jennifer Aniston -- who, according to Baldwin, plays a promiscuous friend of Tina Fey's Liz Lemon character, seducing his Jack Donaghey.
Gossip sheets also report that Aniston appears naked in a scene, which Baldwin somehow forgot to mention.
Oprah's galpal Gayle King hinted that Winfrey was playing herself; NBC hasn't dished yet on Winfrey's character or what she does in the show.
All I know is, if well-publicized cameos from Oprah and Jennifer Aniston can't boost ratings for this critically loved, criminally underwatched show, then network TV might as well clone five versions of Wipeout and leave the broadcast airwaves to viewers who find reurns of Jerry Springer too mentally challenging.
Click below to read NBC's release:
Episode to Air Thursday, November 6 at 9:30 ET/PT on NBC
NEW YORK – September 18, 2008 – Oprah Winfrey will guest-star in one episode of NBC's critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-winning comedy "30 Rock" in the season's second episode airing on November 6, 2008 (Thursday, 9:30-10 p.m. ET). Winfrey filmed her role at "30 Rock's" Silvercup studios in New York City on Saturday. The announcement was made today by Teri Weinberg, Executive Vice President, NBC Entertainment.
"Oprah Winfrey's presence on '30 Rock' makes this episode a television event," said Weinberg. "She is a true legend in her own time, and in this comedy's tradition, it provides the perfect showcase for stars of her renowned status. We are all thrilled."
""Oprah is very funny in the episode and we are beyond grateful to have her. Also, I would like to announce that we are officially best friends," Tina Fey, creator, executive producer and star of "30 Rock."
Honored with a record 17 Emmy nominations in 2008, "30 Rock" premieres on October 30 (Thursday, 9:30-10 p.m. ET).
Oprah Winfrey joins a growing list of high-profile guest stars this season, including Jerry Seinfeld, Megan Mullally, Jennifer Aniston and Will Arnett (2008 Emmy nominee for his role as Devin). In the past few seasons, 30 Rock has been honored to feature Emmy-nominated performances by Steve Buscemi, Edie Falco, Carrie Fisher and Rip Torn, as well as Tim Conway and Elaine Stritch who garnered an Emmy Award in 2008 and 2007 respectively.
Hailed by Entertainment Weekly as not only "the best comedy on TV this year" but "simply the best TV," the Emmy award-winning comedy "30 Rock" is told through the comedic voice of Golden Globe winner Tina Fey ("Liz Lemon") and features Golden Globe winner Alec Baldwin ("Jack Donaghy") as a top network executive and Tracy Morgan ("Tracy Jordan") as the unpredictable star of Lemon's hit variety show, "TGS with Tracy Jordan." Lemon constantly has her hands full, juggling corporate interference from Donaghy and off-the-handle star antics from Jordan, all while attempting to salvage her own personal life.
Also rounding out the cast are Jane Krakowski ("Jenna Maroney") as the co-star of "TGS"; Scott Adsit ("Pete Hornberger") as the variety show's producer; Jack McBrayer ("Kenneth the Page") as the over-eager and effortlessly endearing NBC page; Judah Friedlander ("Frank") as the sardonic slacker on the writing staff; Katrina Bowden ("Cerie") as Lemon's young, flighty assistant; and Keith Powell ("Toofer") as the sophisticated yet sarcastic, Harvard-alum writer.
"30 Rock" has been honored on a myriad of critics' year-end Best Of 2006 and 2007 lists. The show has received a 2007 Emmy Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, the Producers Guild Awards' Danny Thomas Producer of the Year Award in Comedy Episodic Television, a Writers Guild Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series and a Television Critics Association for Outstanding Achievement in Comedy. Also recognized by the AFI Awards as one of 10 Most Outstanding TV Programs of the Year, "30 Rock" was honored with nominations by the People's Choice Awards for Favorite New Comedy Series. Both Fey and Baldwin received the Golden Globe, SAG and TCA Awards for their portrayals of Lemon and Donaghy respectively.
"30 Rock" is from Broadway Video & Little Stranger, Inc. in association with Universal Media Studios. The executive producers are Lorne Michaels ("Saturday Night Live"), Fey, Marci Klein ("Saturday Night Live"), David Miner ("Human Giant") and Robert Carlock ("Friends").