On this day in 2006, 30 Rock debuted on NBC, starring Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin among others. A brilliant satirical situation-comedy based around the crew and cast behind a fictional version of Saturday Night Live, quirky producer Liz Lemon played by Fey struggles by with an office full of eccentrics. The show was wildly successful, and ran for 7 seasons over 139 episodes. Its series finale in particular has been named as one of the greatest in television history by several publications. READ more… (2006)
30 Rock won several major awards (including Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Comedy Series in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and nominations for every other year it ran). Over the course of the series, it was nominated for 103 Primetime Emmy Awards and won 16.
The idea came to Fey in 2002, when at the time she was the head writer and a performer on Saturday Night Live (SNL). She pitched the show that became 30 Rock to NBC, originally as a sitcom about cable news. NBC Entertainment president Kevin Reilly felt that “Fey was using the news setting as a fig leaf for her own experience and [he] encouraged her to write what she knew.”
Often the episodes involve disagreements between the more liberal Liz Lemon and her conservative boss Jack Donaghy, played brilliantly by Alec Baldwin.
MORE Good News on this Day:
- Dr. Kathryn D. Sullivan became the first American woman to walk in space (1984)
- U.S. President Reagan and Soviet leader Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, to continue disarmament talks on intermediate missile arsenals in Europe (1986)
- The AIDS Memorial Quilt from the NAMES Project was unveiled on the Washington Mall attracting an estimated 200,000 gay and lesbian mourners and activists (1987)
- The Lord of the Rings movies began principal photography (1999)
- Former US President Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize in honor of his Middle East diplomacy in the 1970’a and “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development” (2002)
- Liberia held its first general elections for President and House of Representatives and Senate since the 2003 peace accords ended their second civil war and unseated warlord Charles Taylor (2005)
- 30 Rock, created by and starring Tina Fey, with Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, debuted on NBC (2006)
- Gwyn Roberts began his 347-day, 27,000 mile “Overland in the Sun” adventure, driving an old Landcruiser outfitted with solar power from London to Cape Town (2009)
138 years ago today, Eleanor Roosevelt, the First Lady for 12 years and the political powerhouse who fought for human and labor rights, was born. She persuaded her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt to stay in politics after he was stricken with paralysis—and he served four terms as the U.S. president. Outspoken, particularly on civil rights for African-Americans, she was the first presidential spouse to hold regular press conferences, write a daily newspaper column, and speak at a national party convention, as well as a range of appearances on behalf of the President.
Eleanor advocated for expanded roles for women in the workplace, and she, herself, after her husband’s death pressed the US to join the United Nations and became its first delegate. Regarded as “one of the most esteemed women in the world”; The New York Times called her “the object of almost universal respect” in a 1962 obituary. (1884)
And, on this day in 1975, Saturday Night Live debuted on NBC-TV.
George Carlin hosted and Chevy Chase premiered at the “anchor desk” of Weekend Update. The original 1975 cast of SNL, officially known on-air as “The Not Ready For Prime-Time Players”, a term coined by writer Herb Sargent, included Laraine Newman, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, Garrett Morris, and Chevy Chase. Watch a clip…
Happy 76th Birthday to the soul singer-songwriter and musician Daryl Hall. As a teen musician in Philadelphia, he played with Smokey Robinson and the Temptations before partnering with classmate John Oates to make history, becoming the #1-selling duo in music history.
Together they had a 30-year gold-record spree—and are still touring today, playing major hits like Rich Girl, Kiss on My List, Private Eyes, Maneater, I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), Sara Smile, One on One, Out of Touch, Everytime You Go Away, You Make My Dreams, and Say It Isn’t So.
In 2007, Hall created the award-winning free web show, Live from Daryl’s House, reinventing himself in the digital age by collaborating with both established artists and newer performers—and cooking with him at his rustic home/studio. He also runs a music club and restaurant on the property in Millerton, New York. See the show archives that includes artists like Jason Mraz, , Joe Walsh, and Smoky Robinson. After 50 years of partnership, Hall and Oates are reported to be commencing work on their first LP of new songs since 2003. WATCH them perform… (1946)
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