So that long-awaited 30 Rock reunion special? Chances are you’ll have to wait even longer to watch it. (Blerg, indeed.)
More than half of the country’s NBC affiliates are opting not to broadcast the one-hour special set to air this Thursday at 8/7c, according to a report from Vulture. That includes big media conglomerates Gray Television, Hearst, Nexstar, Tegna and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which combine to bring NBC to the majority of the country.
So why the blackout? Sources tell Vulture that the affiliates view the special as a mere promotional vehicle for NBCUniversal’s new streaming service Peacock (conveniently debuting this week as well); they also see Peacock as direct competition, since it will offer next-day viewing of NBC shows to paid subscribers.
The 30 Rock special will bring back original cast members Tina Fey (Liz), Alec Baldwin (Jack), Tracy Morgan (Tracy), Jane Krakowski (Jenna) and Jack McBrayer (Kenneth) in scripted bits filmed remotely during the coronavirus pandemic. But it also doubles as an upfront presentation for NBCUniversal’s slate of programming, highlighting new and returning programming from NBC, USA, Syfy, E!, Bravo… and yes, Peacock.
But don’t despair, TGS fans: The special will still air on NBC-owned affiliates in New York City, Los Angeles and other big markets in about 40 percent of the country. And even if it’s preempted by your local affiliate, it’ll be available to watch Friday on NBC.com, NBCU cable networks like USA and E!, on-demand — and hey, Peacock!