How long will 30 Rock keep rolling? Ball’s in your court, Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin.
30 Rock’s reputation in the comedy zeitgeist is only growing — the series added yet another Writers Guild award to its pile of trophies on Feb. 20. And its scribes are helping write jokes for star Alec Baldwin when he cohosts the Oscars on March 7. The burning question now is whether Baldwin and costar Tina Fey have the desire to keep the sitcom going beyond May 2012, when the show’s deal with NBC expires. As with any series in its fourth year, talk about the future has begun in earnest — particularly since Baldwin has been quoted as saying he wants to give up acting soon. Fey, for her part, is being predictably coy. ”Obviously, there are harder jobs in the world. It’s not coal mining,” she told EW recently. ”But it’s very exhausting in its own way.” NBC insiders aren’t exactly rubbing their worry stones just yet; after all, Baldwin originally committed to only 12 episodes of the comedy. And Fey has not only a financial incentive to keep the show going — she has a piece of the back-end profits — but NBC’s pending merger with Comcast could inspire her to create yet another bombastic boss.
If you FlashForward to September 2010, the troubled ABC series may live to see a second season
Sci-fi dramas aren’t exactly tearing up the airwaves — ABC’s FlashForward lost 43 percent of its viewers last fall, while the network’s V was down 35 percent over four airings — so it’s hardly surprising that none of the Big Four nets have a sci-fi show in development for the 2010-11 season. (ABC’s superheroes pilot No Ordinary Family starring The Shield’s Michael Chiklis comes close.) At least the ABC-owned FlashForward (unlike the Warner Bros.-owned V) has an ace in the hole: It does well in the U.K., Italy, and Spain, and the robust international sales could sway the network to pick up the Joseph Fiennes series for another season.
— Lynette Rice, with additional reporting by Missy Schwartz
After 5 years, George Lucas is directing again
George Lucas is heading back to the director’s chair whether he likes it or not. The Star Wars helmer had deputized TV director Anthony Hemingway to take charge of Red Tails, Lucas’ passion project about WWII’s Tuskegee Airmen starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. But now Lucas, who is also producing and financing, needs reshoots and must do them himself. According to two sources close to the project, Hemingway was hoping to stay on for the redos, but was already committed to direct episodes of David Simon’s New Orleans series Treme for HBO. (Lucas wasn’t willing to wait.) Lucasfilm confirms the directorial shift, which FirstShowing.net broke, but denies any conflict with Hemingway, saying Lucas and producer Rick McCallum will oversee the reshoot — with Hemingway’s approval — due to the director’s scheduling conflict. — Nicole Sperling