30 Rock

8:00pm – Monday, November 14 on FOUR

Originally broadcast LIVE in the U.S., this week’s 30 Rock sees Lemon (Tina Fey) growing increasingly infuriated when no one seems to remember that it’s her 40th birthday. 30 Rock’s “LIVE Show” screens on Monday, November 14 th at 8pm on FOUR. In the lead up to this very special episode, Tina Fey and company have been working to convert Studio 8H in Rockefeller Plaza, currently home to late night show Saturday Night Live, into the world of 30 Rock, including Jack’s (Alec Baldwin) office, Tracy’s (Tracy Morgan) dressing room and the TGS set (the cast typically shoots on a stage in Long Island City).

But it’s the LIVE aspect of the episode that has the cast excited. “You almost don’t want it to go too smoothly because you want to know that it’s LIVE,” Fey explains. “I feel like we have found a good way to do some of our cutaways and flashbacks.”

“It’s going to have to be very choreographed on and off camera,” adds series star Jane Krakowski. “We’re already meeting with hair and makeup, and I know myself and Tracy have large costume changes.”

As for which cast member is most likely to break during the LIVE episode, Fey is quick to name Morgan, and cast members Krakowski and Jack McBrayer agree. “He said that he was not going to be preparing at all prior to the four rehearsals,” Krakowski explains. “That’s how he rolls.” But Morgan says viewers won’t have to worry about any unscripted on-screen antics. “Everybody keeps saying the words ‘mess up’ in front of me, but it’s not going to happen,” he says. “If I was going to mess up, I would have done that a long time ago. We’re going to make it happen. How long have you been riding with us, five seasons? We got you guys!”

Make sure not to miss this very special LIVE episode when 30 Rock continues its latest fifth season on Monday, November 14 th at 8pm on FOUR.

8:00pm – Monday, November 7 on FOUR

Things don’t go very well for Jack (Alec Baldwin) when he makes it down to Washington D.C. to lobby Congress and meets a congresswoman (guest star Queen Latifah) committed to diversity in 30 Rock, screening on Monday, November 7 th at 8pm on FOUR. “Queen Latifah is playing a congresswoman who has a bullseye on the NBC/Kabletown deal,” series writer Robert Carlock explains. “She and Alec’s character butt heads a little bit.”

“I play Regina Bookman – she’s a congress woman who’s hell-bent on making sure that NBC is diversified in terms of its programming, it’s hiring practices… you name it,” adds Latifah.

“Jack and Regena go toe-to-toe,” Latifah continues. “Because she’s powerful, she kind of has him in a tough position, because she could literally stop him from making a major deal and that’s not what Jack wants.” “He’s all about his business and she kind of pushes him to some interesting points and he goes off on a tangent.”

When asked about being a fan of the series, Latifah says: “I was definitely a fan of 30 Rock before I came on, this show is insane and I’m actually sitting inside the room where the writers write… so I’m kind of tripping out that I’m in here.”

Make sure not to miss this fan-become-guest-star when Queen Latifah joins 30 Rock on Monday, November 7 th at 8pm on FOUR.

Downton Abbey given third season

Downton Abbey has been picked up for a third season by ITV in the UK. The series will return for another run that is set in 1920 and 1921, covering an 18 month period in the life of the Crawley family.

Alcatraz filming delayed

Filming on new sci-fi series Alcatraz has been delayed due to complete reshoots on several previous episodes. Since the Sam Neill drama has an early 2012 premiere date, producers have opted to go back and improve on the seven completed episodes.

Steenburgen joining 30 Rock

Actress Mary Steenburgen has signed on to feature in the new season of 30 Rock, playing the mother of Avery (Elizabeth Banks). The actress has previously featured in the likes of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Joan of Arcadia.

Spartacus returning in January

The Starz network has confirmed the return date of Spartacus: Vengeance as January 27 with new lead actor Liam McIntyre. The actor replaces Andy Whitfield in the role, with Whitfield having to leave due to his non-Hodgkin lymphoma diagnosis. He passed away in September.

8:00pm – Monday, October 17 on FOUR

Guest starring Matt Damon, this week’s highly anticipated return of 30 Rock sees Jack (Alec Baldwin) interfering with Liz’s (Tina Fey) blooming romance with Carol (Damon) in an effort to help her finally win a man’s heart. 30 Rock premieres its fifth season on Monday, October 17 th at 8pm on FOUR. 30 Rock fans rooting for Liz Lemon and her former pilot boyfriend Carol should know that the fate of their relationship lies in the hands of one woman alone – Tina Fey.

“I love that show and I had a great time doing it so if Tina wanted to bring back Carol Burnett, that would be fine with me,” Damon explains about his character becoming a series regular.

“Hopefully he will [be back],” adds Fey. “He lives here. He was like, ‘I live here and my wife wants me to stay home’, so hopefully he’ll be back.”

“When he’s between movies we’ll grab him, hopefully. We had a great time in the episode, so yeah, hopefully he’ll be back.” “At 30 Rock they made it really easy for me,” Damon continues. “The writing is so good on that show.” “I never say never [to 30 Rock becoming permanent], but I’m having a great time making movies. And it gives me a lot of freedom when I’m not working to spend time with the kids.”

In that case, make sure not to miss the film star making an out-of-character guest TV appearance when 30 Rock begins its fifth season on Monday, October 17 th at 8pm on FOUR.

Marsden and Richards to guest on 30 Rock

James Marsden has signed on for a role in 30 Rock’s sixth season. Denise Richards has also landed a role on the comedy series.

Snoop Dogg to feature in new sitcom

A new family sitcom pilot featuring Snoop Dogg has been picked up by the NBC network. The comedy is written by a writer who has been involved in the likes of Everybody Hates Chris and Two and a Half Men.

Second cancellation of the season

The second new season series to be cancelled is comedy Free Agents which starred Hank Azaria. The cancellation followed NBC’s earlier axing of The Playboy Club this week.

Simpsons producers will take pay cut

Several producers of The Simpsons have indicated they will be happy to take a pay cut in order to keep the cartoon on the air. The series is in danger of being axed due to a contract dispute between the show’s voice actors and 20th Century Fox.

New comedy developed for Garcia

A new comedy series is being developed for JoAnna Garcia, who previously featured in the axed comedy Better With You. The series will supposedly revolve around Garcia’s character moving in with her husband’s family.

Arnett confirmed to return to 30 Rock

Will Arnett has been confirmed to return to 30 Rock for a second stint as Devon Parks after last appearing in the show’s first season. The actor earned three Emmy nominations for his previous guest stints on the comedy series.

Mann lands Modern Family role

Actress Leslie Mann has signed on for a guest role on Modern Family’s third season. Mann will play a love interest for one of the characters.

First new season show cancelled

The first series to be cancelled from the new US TV season is the controversial drama series The Playboy Club. The 1960s-set series was criticised by parents groups in the US and rated poorly after its first three episodes.

The Simpsons in danger

20th Century Fox Television has said that it cannot afford to continue producing The Simpsons under its current financial model. They released this statement today: “23 seasons in, The Simpsons is as creatively vibrant as ever and beloved by millions around the world. We believe this brilliant series can and should continue, but we cannot produce future seasons under its current financial model. We are hopeful that we can reach an agreement with the voice cast that allows The Simpsons to go on entertaining audiences with original episodes for many years to come.”

Kutcher plugs companies on Two and a Half Men

Ashton Kutcher has caused a bit of a stir in his second episode on Two and a Half Men thanks to a bunch of stickers on his character’s laptop. The stickers were for companies in which Kutcher himself has a stake and CBS apparently had no idea.

Fey and Longoria highest-paid actresses

Tina Fey and Eva Longoria have been named TV’s highest-paid actresses. The pair are said to have earned $13 million each between May 2010 and May 2011.

Director developing new series

Easy A and Friends With Benefits director Will Gluck is working on a new comedy for the Fox network. The show is described as a “family comedy” that will examine relationships with neighbours and the “American Dream”.

Monk returning to Grey’s

Reports are suggesting that actress Debra Monk will reprise her role in Grey’s Anatomy. The actress, who plays the mother of George, was last seen on the show in 2009.

Garner working on new TV project

Jennifer Garner has begun work on a new comedy series for ABC in the US. The actress will executive produce the project, entitled Cartoon Marriage, that centres on a book by cartoonists Michael Maslin and Liza Donnelly.

Baldwin denies Emmy snub

30 Rock actor Alec Baldwin has denied that he skipped the Emmys yesterday because his pre-filmed sketch was cut from the final broadcast. Baldwin says he had a prior engagement.

Modern Family and Downton Abbey big Emmy winners

Modern Family and Downton Abbey were the big winners at the Emmy Awards yesterday. Modern Family picked up five awards including the major comedy award while Downton Abbey won in four categories.

Cox and Arquette working on new sitcom

Courteney Cox and David Arquette are said to be developing a new television series together. It is believed the pair are working on an ensemble sitcom through their joint production company Coquette Productions.

Tudors actor involved in possible suicide attempt

The Tudors actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers has been hospitalised after what is believed to be a suicide attempt. The actor has spent several stints in rehab clinics over the past few years with the latest being earlier this year.

30 Rock’s Morgan in more trouble

30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan is again under fire for borderline jokes during his stand-up routine, this time regarding “retarded” kids and “cripples”. The actor and comic was criticised earlier in the year for his jokes regarding homosexuals.

Being Human actor to guets in Sherlock

Russell Tovey of Being Human has landed a guest role in the second season of Sherlock. The actor, who plays George in Being Human, will feature in the second episode The Hound of Baskerville.

An Idiot Abroad returning in September

An Idiot Abroad has been confirmed to return in September this year in the UK for its second season. Karl Pilkington will again be sent by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on a world tour to complete a “bucket list” of activities in various locations.

American remake of Misfits on the cards

Misfits executive producer Murray Ferguson has confirmed that there are talks about a US remake of the series. Ferguson confirmed at the Monte Carlo Television festival that there is American interest in remaking the British series.

Morgan apologises for homophobic jokes

30 Rock’s Tracy Morgan has apologised for homophobic jokes in his stand-up routine after being slammed by both the media and gay rights groups. Morgan said: “I’m not a hateful person and don’t condone any kind of violence against others…even in a comedy club this clearly went too far and was not funny in any context.”

Yankees guest on Entourage

New York Yankees players Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixera have reportedly filmed guest spots for the eighth season of Entourage.

Ice-T signs for more Law & order: SVU

Ice-T has signed on for two more years on Law & Order: SVU, it has been announced. The rapper – real name Tracy Marrow – announced the news via Twitter: “I’ve just locked in my new SVU deal. So I’ll officially be back for the next 2 years at least. DONE. (sic).”