Scoop! 30 Rock Role Brings Oscar Winner Tom Hanks Back to Network TV

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Film star Tom Hanks is poised to make his first acting appearance on primetime network TV in more than two decades when he guest stars on NBC’s 30 Rock this spring, TVLine has confirmed through a source.

Hanks himself announced the booking Friday night, on Twitter.

No details on Hank’s role are yet available — and as with some 30 Rock guest stars it’s possible he will appear as himself. But if he is playing a character, it will by and large mark the two-time Academy Award winner’s first network TV role since the early 1980s, when he guest-starred on multiple episodes of Family Ties as alcoholic Uncle Ned.

Prior to that, Hanks’ big break was of course the 1980 sitcom Bosom Buddies, where he starred alongside Peter Scolari.

Outside of broadcast TV, Hanks has made occasional cable cameos (in Band of Brothers and From the Earth to the Moon, both of which he produced) and played Abraham Lincoln in the 2003 PBS docu Freedom.

Hanks is but the latest film star to pay a visit to talent magnet 30 Rock, following in the footsteps of the likes of Susan Sarandon, Matt Damon, James Franco and young Chloe Moretz.

How would you like to see Hanks fit into the 30 Rock world?



Comments (20)

  • I’m pretty sure James Franco was last season, but I won’t hold that against you.

    Comment by Mike – March 25, 2011 08:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Pretty sure he guested on that ABC sitcom with Bonnie Hunt a few years back.

    Still it’s a big get for 30 Rock.

    Comment by chez – March 25, 2011 08:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes – AS HIMSELF.

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich, Editor-at-Large TVLine.com – March 26, 2011 05:54 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Oh please, give me a break. All they do is casting guest stars. 30 Rock has become as bad as other tv series.

    Comment by Nora – March 25, 2011 08:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Thanks for chiming in, Nora. It’s always nice to hear from the people who don’t “get” shows as good as 30 Rock. It makes the rest of us feel SOOOOO superior! ;-)

    Comment by TV Gord – March 25, 2011 09:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Heya, Gord! Yes, 30 ROCK’s pesky guest stars have only gone on to win two Emmys and 14 nominations beyond that ;)

      Comment by Matt Webb Mitovich – March 26, 2011 06:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Chez is right. He was totally a guest on Life With Bonnie. Maybe 2003 or 2004?

    That is all.

    Comment by holly – March 25, 2011 11:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m so excited! I honestly thought that last week’s episode was the best one in like three years. 30 Rock may once again be taking home a lot of gold come the fall.

    Comment by Sam – March 26, 2011 06:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He also guest starred on The Naked Truth as himself.

    Comment by n/a – March 26, 2011 07:28 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • great news! and i agree with Sam, this season is a great return to form for 30 Rock.

    Comment by JS – March 26, 2011 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Didn’t Tom Hanks guest starred in sitcom “The Naked Truth” starring Téa Leoni and his former “Bosom Buddies” co-star Holland Taylor. I don’t remember if he played himself or not.

    Comment by Buddy – March 26, 2011 11:40 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • OK, people, read the article carefully:

      “But if he is playing a character, it will by and large mark the two-time Academy Award winner’s first network TV role since the early 1980s…”

      MWM was very specific about “if he is playing a character”. Yes, he was in episode 2 (“Bald Star in Hot Oil Fest!”) of Season 1 of ‘The Naked Truth’, but as HIMSELF.

      Comment by Bob – March 28, 2011 07:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • You forgot Julianne Moore’s multi-episode arc on 30 Rock.

    Comment by Jon – March 26, 2011 12:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That’s best left forgotten…

      Comment by Buffy Freak – March 26, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • 30 Rock does have alot of guest stars but they weave them so well into the story unlike Will & Grace used to do.

    Comment by Buffy Freak – March 26, 2011 02:21 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think this is great news, and I can’t wait to see the episode. I still hope that they’re able to snag Meryl Streep for an eppy or two sometime; I know it’s been mentioned few times the past couple of seasons…

    Comment by kyrailbird – March 26, 2011 03:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • He should play Astronaut Mike Dexter.

    Comment by Lise – March 26, 2011 10:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • That would be EPIC. I hope he does play a character, actually — Hanks has played so many serious roles the past several years that it would be good to see him dive into a comic character again.

      Comment by Amy – March 27, 2011 08:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think it’s pretty clear…he has to guest as Uncle Ned

    Comment by Mike – March 27, 2011 07:03 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I can hardly wait to see this episode. I’ve seen most all of Tom Hanks’ movies. I have read some interesting facts about him here :
    http://www.browsebiography.com/news-tom_hanks_stars_in_30_rock_on_nbc.html

    Comment by Andrei – March 28, 2011 05:17 AM PDT  Reply To This Post

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