WASHINGTON, January 31, 2013 —Tonight, one of the slickest, smartest shows ever made, 30 Rock, wraps up its highly successful seven-season run. The show’s creator, Saturday Night Live alumna Tina Fey, will ride off into sitcom sunset, but only after raising the comedic bar for all that come after her. More than any kinky Cosmo article, and more than any salacious, revelatory autobiography, Tina Fey’s role in 30 Rock unapologetically laid bare the trials and tribulations encountered daily by professional working women, all without exploiting them for cheap sympathy or clichés.
In addition, Fey’s writing was so dead-on topical that viewers needed to be current with pop culture just to keep up with the show’s snappy dialogue. This made 30 Rock a critical success, even though the sharp-witted, world-weary and egocentric story lines proved to be too much work for viewers to make the show a ratings winner. The societal mirror that was 30 Rock revealed a little too much of whom we have become, and found us lacking when given a closer look. Despite being nominated for 22 Primetime Emmys in 2009, 30 Rock never posted the big numbers one would expect from a show characterized by the superior writing and talented ensemble cast that made each episode pop.
As dubious reality shows and unimaginative sitcoms continue to proliferate on TV, there will no doubt be a day when critics and audiences alike will wistfully recall the clever and cutting-edge cast, crew, and stories of 30 Rock. Take a break Tina Fey, but never stop letting us peek inside your mind and into the world as you see it. With a little luck, Sarah Palin will do something stupid enough to warrant the return of your mocking brilliance to Saturday Night Live. We can always hope.
All times are EST:
ABC: Shark Tank: (Repeat) Singer-songwriter Ingrid Michaelson helps an entrepreneur from California pitch his music software product; a couple seek an investment for a solution to cellulite; a wine server presents a aerating device that could change the way wine is sold.
CBS: The Big Bang Theory: (New) Sheldon is forced to work with Barry Kripke and faces a crisis of confidence. Meanwhile, Howard and Raj spend $1,000 on action figures of themselves.
FOX: American Idol: (New) The search for the next superstar continues as the judges attend the final auditions in Oklahoma.
NBC: 30 Rock: (New) One-hour series finale! Liz rallies the gang together for one final episode.
CW: Vampire Diaries: (New) When Rebekah turns down Klaus’ plea to stop Kol and protect Jeremy, Klaus turns to Stefan for help. After an angry confrontation with her father, Mayor Hopkins (guest star Rick Worthy), over his unconventional approach to ending the violence in Mystic Falls, Bonnie has a frightening run-in with Kol, followed by an unexpected visitor.
CBS: Two and a Half Men: (New) Walden commiserates with Judith’s husband, Herb, his business partner, Billy, and Lyndsey’s gynecologist, Dr. Staven, about women and relationships.
ABC: Grey’s Anatomy: (New) Derek and April fight to find a solution for the hospital; Cristina works to respect the wishes of a dying boy’s family; Arizona identifies with a teenager who is facing similar problems.
CBS: Person of Interest: (New) Reese is kidnapped by an old acquaintance who is plotting a destructive act of cyber warfare.
FOX: Glee: (New) The glee club puts together a calendar to raise money for regionals.
NBC: The Office: (New) 1 hour special: Full Hour of The Office! Looking for a new sales rep, Dwight must choose between his friends and Clark. Pam discovers a dark secret.
CW: Beauty and the Beast: (New) Vincent (Jay Ryan) is torn between his new feelings for Cat (Kristin Kreuk) and his old memories with Alex (guest star Bridget Regan). J.T. (Austin Basis) learns that Evan (Max Brown) is planning to propose a task force to catch the beast and must figure out how to stop him.
ABC: Scandal: (New) Olivia unravels as her colleagues learn the truth about the rigged election; Mellie tries to reel Fitz in.
CBS: Elementary: (New) Sherlock investigates a suspicious hit-and-run accident that involves a conspiracy theorist. Meanwhile, Watson tries to mend the fractured relationship between Holmes and Gregson.
NBC: Do No Harm: (New) After five years of peace, Dr. Cole’s sinister alter ego is back with a vengeance.
New episodes of:
The Real Housewives of Atlanta at 8:45 and 9:45 p.m. on BRAVO
The First 48: Missing Persons at 9 p.m. on A&E
North Woods Law at 9 p.m. on Animal Planet
Anger Management at 9:30 p.m. on FX
Beyond Scared Straight at 10 p.m. on A&E
Kathy at 10 p.m. on BRAVO
Property Wars at 10 and 10:30 p.m. on DSC
Chef Wanted With Anne Burrell at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
Archer at 10 p.m. on FX
King of the Nerds at 10 p.m. on TBS
What Not to Wear at 10 p.m. on TLC
Suits at 10 p.m. on USA
Lost and Found at 10 p.m. on OWN
For movie lovers:
The Transporter on AMC
I, Robot on CINEMAX
Striking Distance on ENC
Unzipped on FLIX
Taken on FMC
Gangs of New York on IFC
Joshua on SUND
Cat Ballou on TCM
The Italian Job on TMC
Letters to Juliet on ABCFAM
Wrath of the Titans on HBO
Larry Crowne on MOMAX
The Iron Lady on SHO
Van Helsing at 9:45 p.m. on ENC
Tombstone at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Bridesmaids at 10 p.m. on HBO
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