It has been a tale of two Emmys for “30 Rock” in its six season run.
The first three seasons were bountiful, with three straight wins as Best Comedy Series (2007 – 2009) and 14 trophies overall. The last three have been an absolute bust: 41 nominations with no wins.
With the seventh and final season debuting this Thursday on NBC, will creator and star Tina Fey be able to come up with 13 dazzling episodes to earn some Emmys next September? As it is a shortened season ending in January, the next cycle of kudos (Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild Awards and Emmy Awards) will be their last.
The premiere episode is appropriately titled “The Beginning of the End.” Liz Lemon (Fey) is alarmed by the shockingly bad fall program schedule put together by Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin). She is also caught up in the ultimate bridezilla wedding plans of Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski).
In addition to the three top Emmys, Fey herself won as Best Comedy Actress in 2008 and as the writer of the episode “Cooter” that same year. Baldwin prevailed as Best Comedy Actor in 2008 and 2009. They and the show contended unsuccessfully for each of the last three years.
“30 Rock” has also won for guests Tim Conway (2008) and Elaine Stritch (2007), casting director Jennifer McNamara (2008 and 2009), sound mixers Bill Marino, Tony Pipitone, and Griffin Richardson (2008), writer Matt Hubbard (2009) and picture editor Ken Eluto (2009).
Among the show’s impressive total of 90 Emmy nominations, supporting players Krakowski, Tracy Morgan, and Jack McBrayer have reaped bids as have a slew of guest stars — Alan Alda, Jennifer Aniston, Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Steve Buscemi, Margaret Cho, Matt Damon, Edie Falco, Carrie Fisher, Jon Hamm, Steve Martin, and Rip Torn.