NBC very nearly returned to the world of 30 Rock, it seems, as the advent of Tina Fey’s new untitled NBC sitcom with Ted Danson brought to light some fascinating details of its origin. Alec Baldwin was reportedly in negotiations to reprise his role as 30 Rock boss Jack Donaghy for a new series, but ultimately declined the opportunity.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the notoriously unpredictable Baldwin was in “extended negotiations for the better part of a year,” before formally pulling out. The series was developed for Comcast’s new streaming service, and would have seen 30 Rock’s former General Electric/Kabletown/NBC executive in a new role as mayor of New York, complete with writing overseen by original creative pairing Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.
Once Baldwin opted out, Fey and Carlock approached The Good Place star Ted Danson for the role, intending to shoot after he wrapped work on the show’s fourth and final season. Danson agreed, but declined to move to New York for production of the untitled mayoral series, necessitating a change to Los Angeles (and thereby any association with 30 Rock).
Amusingly, this isn’t the first time Baldwin flirted with the prospect of portraying New York’s mayor, as a 2015 HBO project took a dramatic approach to the subject. Nor is it the only time Fey and Carlock have envisioned potential expansions to 30 Rock, as Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt has occasionally featured cameos and easter eggs connecting to Fey’s breakout sitcom.
The untitled Fey-Danson sitcom was ordered straight-to-series at NBC, but may not make the 2019-20 broadcast season, given Danson’s commitment to The Good Place.
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