Wednesday, September 10, 2008

30 Rock is the New Will & Grace!

Stunt casting is a well-known phenomenon in Hollywood, especially in the TV world, when producers bring in the big names to boost ratings or give their shows a much-needed buzz. Probably the biggest stunt casting this year so far was Britney Spears's two appearances on How I Met Your Mother. But before Britney and before HIMYM, there was a show known for its stunt casting, and it was Will & Grace. To name a few of the stars who had made an appearance on the show in its 8 year run: Britney, Jack Black, Macaulay Caulkin, Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Damon, Madonna, Demi Moore, Seth Green, Luke Perry, J.Lo, Janet Jackson, Elton John. And I've only named a couple. =P While stunt casting can be fun and bring tons of publicity for the show, it can totally backfire by making the show look desperate and therefore, have fans screaming that it "jumped the shark."

One of our favorite shows, 30 Rock, has been making headlines recently for its stunt casting, and the season hasn't even begun yet. In the first 2 seasons, 30 Rock has had an impressive number of big names already- Al Gore, Conan O'Brien, Jerry Seinfeld, LL Cool J, Paul Reubens (aka Pee-wee Herman), David Schwimmer, to name a few. Well, what can you expect in the coming season? First there was news that Will Arnett would be returning. Cool, LOVE HIM. Then came word that Jennifer Aniston will be playing Tina Fey's character's ex-roommate, marking her first return to TV since Friends. And last week, it was reported that media goddess herself, Oprah Winfrey, is in final talks to make an appearance. Hey, 30 Rock! You're SO the new Will & Grace.

Except... I for one, am very excited. I'm excited about TV season in general, and the return of the show. Stunt casting is only stunt casting when the show is in the creative dumps and the producers are scrambling to substitute star power in place of quality. 30 Rock has had a stream of guest stars since the beginning, and creatively, it's still been the same hilarious show. And since brilliance doesn't always translate into ratings gold, I hope these stars give the show the push it needs to give it a season pass on people's Tivos. 30 Rock returns Thursday, Oct. 1.


Anonymous said...

I would have guessed that 30 Rock was more like the new Arrested Development with the guest stars (ok, not as high power), ratings troubles, critical love, and make-me-laugh humor that kept me watching.

I mostly mention this because Will and Grace was so "eh" for me.

les said...

30 rock is awesome at life, so i say, bring on the stunt casting! although, i'm most excited for the "mean girls" bit with s&b...and hey, as it's a ratings-starved show, i say GO FOR IT. maybe if oprah showed up on veronica mars, she coulda saved it :(

sang said...

"House M.D." also has alot of stuny casting as well. I always enjoy the episodes when they have someone famous, partly because I'm not too sure if that person is famous or not.