Good news for fans of New York City–set TV programming that's actually produced in New York City: 30 Rock now looks likely to return for a second season. This year, NBC didn't place a full-season order for Tina Fey's critically admired but audience-deprived sitcom until December, and its recent ratings in Thursday night's post-Scrubs slot haven't been too impressive; in the important 18–49 demo, the show lost more than 25 percent of its lead-in audience last week. But hey, funny is funny, as NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly acknowledged yesterday, when he told the TV Critics Association press tour in California that he expects to order another season.
30 Rock is currently the only sitcom produced in New York — it shoots at Silvercup Studios in Queens, not actually at Rockefeller Center — and the last in a relatively meager list that includes The Cosby Show, Spin City in the Michael J. Fox years, and Hope & Faith. The series has emerged as a showcase for New York's underused non–Law & Order acting community, including erstwhile Oz star Dean Winters as "Beeper King" Dennis Duffy and ex-SNLer Chris Parnell as Dr. Leo Spaceman (it's pronounced "spa-chemmon"), the show's fertility, dentistry, meth-addiction, and child-psychology specialist with a degree from the Ho Chi Minh City School of Medicine. Think you can find one of those in L.A.? (Well, actually, probably yes.) —Ben Wasserstein