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’30 Rock’ returning this summer with hour-long special

Cast members from '30 Rock,' including front row from left, Jack McBrayer, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski celebrate the 100th episode taping of the show at Silver Cup Studios on March 10, 2011 in New York City.
Cast members from '30 Rock,' including front row from left, Jack McBrayer, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Jane Krakowski celebrate the 100th episode taping of the show at Silver Cup Studios on March 10, 2011 in New York City. AP Photo/Evan Agostini

This July, the cast of 30 Rock will officially reunite for a one-hour reunion special, which will also double as a network-wide promotion for NBC and NBCUniversal’s newly-revealed schedule for its upcoming 2020-2021 TV season.

That’s right, rather than a traditional episode of the much-beloved show, series leads Liz Lemon (portrayed by Tina Fey) and Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) will reunite to quite literally advertise for NBC — the media giant they all worked for in the much-beloved TV series between 2006 and 2013 — making it perhaps the series’ most meta “episodes” to date.

The “one-time, commercial-free event” was announced by the American TV network on Tuesday and will see not just Fey and Baldwin in character again after seven years off the air, but stars Tracy Morgan, Jane Krakowski and Jack McBrayer too.

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While it’s unclear if any of the actors will physically return to 30 Rockefeller Plaza ⁠— New York City’s Comcast Building ⁠— it was revealed that the special was “remotely” produced as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We’re all happy to have this excuse to (remotely) work together again for NBC,” series executive producers Fey, 50, and Robert Carlock said in a statement.

“To quote Kenneth the page (McBrayer), there are only two things we love in this world, television and everyone,” they joked.

READ MORE: Jimmy Kimmel returning to host 2020 Emmy Awards

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Following in the footsteps of NBC’s recent Parks & Recreation reunion, the upcoming 30 Rock special was born of the novel coronavirus.

Rather than serving as a fundraiser to fight the life-threatening illness, however, the episode will make up for the delay of NBCUniversal’s annual presentation for their upcoming TV schedule — which after a month, was officially announced on June 16.

The 30 Rock special will feature the new and returning shows from the broadcasting giant and include guests from entertainment, sports and news, the company said, with further details to be announced.

NBC’s fall lineup will include the renewed Manifest and previously announced spin-off Law & Order: Organized Crime, with Christopher Meloni reprising his character from Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, comedian and ’30 Rock’ star Tracy Morgan attends the L.A. premiere of ‘What Men Want’ at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.
In this Jan. 28, 2019, file photo, comedian and ’30 Rock’ star Tracy Morgan attends the L.A. premiere of ‘What Men Want’ at the Regency Village Theatre in Los Angeles, Calif.

The mid-season will bring freshman series including Mr. Mayor, a Fey-Carlock sitcom starring Ted Danson and Holly Hunter, and Young Rock, inspired by Dwayne Johnson’s life and produced by and starring the pro-wrestler-turned-actor.

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The 30 Rock reunion special will air on July 16 at 8 p.m. (ET).

READ MORE: Dwayne Johnson surprises graduating high schooler after answering his call for leadership

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus:  The show must go on? How the entertainment industry is dealing with the pandemic' Coronavirus: The show must go on? How the entertainment industry is dealing with the pandemic
Coronavirus: The show must go on? How the entertainment industry is dealing with the pandemic

To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

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In situations where you can’t keep a safe distance from others, public health officials recommend the use of a non-medical face mask or covering to prevent spreading the respiratory droplets that can carry the virus.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

— With files from the Associated Press

adam.wallis@globalnews.ca