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EW's season finale calendar

Each year, the month of May brings the promise of warmer weather, the start of big summer movies…and the torturous, agonizing time when we have to bid farewell to our favorite primetime characters. TV addicts that we are, we feel your pain. So to curb the stress, we’ve put together a master list of when your beloved shows will be signing off.  Grab your remotes and ready those DVRs as we present this year’s finales: READ FULL STORY

Live '30 Rock' rises in ratings

NBC’s 30 Rock hit a six-week high in the ratings with a live episode, while ABC’s Scandal managed to rival CBS’ usual 10 p.m. victor The Mentalist. Both gains are offset, however, by the fairly low ratings levels we’re talking about for all the shows involved.

Thursday night saw broadcasters airing all-original episodes as we near May sweeps. Here’s how the night breaks down:

Fox won the evening with a steady American Idol (14.4 million viewers, 3.9 adults 18-49 rating) and Touch (6.5 million, 1.9), the latter falling 10 percent to a new low.

CBS was second with Big Bang (12.5 million, 4.0) down 9 percent to a low and Rules of Engagement (8.3 million, 2.5) up 14 percent. Person of Interest (12.5 million, 2.4) dropped 20 percent to low and The Mentalist (11.9 million, 2.1) was down 13 percent to a low. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' LIVE: On the set with Jack McBrayer and Jane Krakowski! - EW VIDEO

Right about now, Jack McBrayer is probably knocking back a diet Mountain Dew — his caffeinated beverage of choice, he told EW — to power through tonight’s live 30 Rock episode. At 8:30p.m. ET, the show will be broadcast in real-time for the second time in series history.

When EW caught up with McBrayer and co-star Jane Krakowski earlier this week, the pair said the cast has wanted to have a second live outing ever since wrapping up their first. “It’s so exhilarating,” said Krakowski. “We have such a great group for this. A lot of us have training and a history of working in live productions and theater and improv, and so it was really wonderful that we got to come back.”

Check out our short (and giggle-filled) on-set chat below! READ FULL STORY

Tina Fey on upcoming '30 Rock' live show, Donald Glover and the season finale -- EW Q&A

A peek at the sets for 30 Rock‘s upcoming live show inspires great confidence that the show’s sophomore live performance will prove to be a memorable one.

And as crews put finishing touches on the sets this morning, EW caught up with Tina Fey during a visit to show’s set at Rockefeller Center to talk about what’s in store for the big episode and chat about the end of the season.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Another live show. Is it easier going into the second one?
TINA FEY: It’s still a lot of work, and I’m sure we’ll have some moments in the next couple of days that are harrowing of like, “Wait, how long is it?” But I think we’re definitely excited to be asked to do it again. NBC asked us if we would consider doing another one and we were like, “Yeah. Sure.”

[Any] fears going into it for a second time?
No — just dumb enough to say yes. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock': Where can a girl wear a Princess Leia outfit? Let Liz Lemon count the ways -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

On Thursday’s episode of NBC comedy 30 Rock, Jack (Alec Baldwin) arranges a blind date for Liz (Tina Fey) to… perhaps prove to her that her relationship with Criss (guest star James Mardsen) is about as sturdy as a North Korean rocket? Of course, everyone knows that Liz’s heart will always truly belong to… Princess Leia! No, she’s not wearing another Leia outfit to shirk her civic duty — she’s giving one to Jack’s daughter, Liddy.

Click on the video below to see how this tiny gift will be functional far beyond Halloween. READ FULL STORY

Alec Baldwin says he's staying on '30 Rock'... and that the show is ending next season

Alec Baldwin has been on the brink of leaving 30 Rock since basically the beginning of 30 Rock. Playing Jack Donaghy revitalized Baldwin’s career — and helped to define the resurrection-through-self-deprecation second-act playbook of our modern reboot era. But the actor has regularly expressed an interest in leaving the show — usually in the winter, which either proves that he enjoys negotiations with NBC or that he suffers from a nasty case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Most recently, Baldwin had tweeted “I think I’m leaving NBC just in time” in the context of a rant about the Today show, which had sent cameras to his apartment. However, Baldwin now tells the Associated Press that “time” is relative: He’s sticking with 30 Rock through next season. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock': Liz & Co. tackle self-evaluations -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

30-Rock

What would you say Liz Lemon’s greatest weakness is? I’d have to go with anything related to cheese, but she surprised most everyone with her answer on her Kabletown self-evaluation: “humility.” She wasn’t the only member of the TGS staff who struggled with honesty — although Jenna provided uncharacteristic candor.

Watch the exclusive clip below, as Jack suffers through the evaluations — a process he calls the “biggest waste of time since NBC’s diversity writing program” — and watch the episode this Thursday on NBC for more laughs. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' to stage second live episode

Live from New York, it’s… 30 Rock!

Yup, Tina Fey and Co. apparently had a grand ole time doing their first live episode last season and are set to do another this season, EW has confirmed. It will air April 26.

The NBC comedy, currently in its sixth season, staged two live performances in October 2010 (one for each coast) that were not only relatively well received but also highly rated, posting a 43 percent gain in the key demo.

The episode featured guest appearances from Matt Damon, Rachel Dratch, Chris Parnell, Bill Hader, and Jon Hamm, who talked about his testicles.

High hopes for live episode No. 2, readers?

Related:
’30 Rock’: Hurricane Shamrock
Erin go ’30 Rock’! — EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

Erin go '30 Rock'! -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

The gang at TGS are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day this week with the rest of us. Only things get a little hairy when new Page Hazel Wassername (Kristen Schaal) doesn’t quite grasp the ego politics underlying Jenna and Tracy’s frenemy relationship. A serious snafu sends Pete spinning (what’s new?) and opens up the possibility of a Kenneth return. Check out our exclusive peek at tonight’s 30 Rock below. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock': Watch what happens when Kenneth comes to power -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

TGS staffers and fans of 30 Rock have always thought of Kenneth Parcell as the permanent page: A possibly immortal and always endearing NBC mascot, who has pledged his life to dutifully serving the Peacock as a low-level staffer. Well, in this Thursday’s episode, semi-bigwig Liz Lemon is going to have to deal with the fact that Kenneth, now a card-carrying member of the censoring Standards Department, has a voice. And it does not take kindly to swear words.

Watch the exclusive clip below for a brief lesson in proper argumentation (“I’m responding, I am matching your tone, and making my own point.”) and watch the episode this Thursday on NBC for more laughs.

READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock': Beware the Scotch stealer! -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

There’s a thief in 30 Rock‘s midst! Last week’s Leap Year celebration continues as the gang prepares to ring in Pete’s birthday. Or will they? In our exclusive clip, someone (a black-hearted individual, perhaps) has swiped the Scotch Pete has been saving for his big day, subsequently ruining the Hornberger Hang. His fears should be assuaged, however, because J. Mo’s supreme sleuthing skills (courtesy of her stint as crime-fighter Alexis Goodlooking) should no doubt come in handy. We think. READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' celebrates 'Leap Day' -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

You may not have remembered that 2012 is a leap year, but the writers of 30 Rock did. The TGS crew celebrates “Leap Day” a little early this Thursday, and, as you can tell from our exclusive clip below, Kenneth (a.k.a. Leap Day William, pictured) continues to be the closest thing we have to Rose Nylund on TV while Liz remains a party pooper (though she does get points for working Rumspringa into the conversation). READ FULL STORY

Shipper Nation: A Valentine's Day treat for 'Fringe' lovers and a salute to TV's most romantic, creative (and arguably strangest) fans

Last Friday, Fringe fans were treated to an instant-classic installment of the Fox sci-fi series, one that significantly advanced the season’s defining storyline: Peter Bishop (Joshua Jackson) — marooned in a new rendering of history in which he has not existed since he was a child – trying to return home to his own timeline. Yet for one particular, peculiar subset of loyal Fringe viewers, “Welcome to Westfield” was nothing short of an early Valentine’s Day gift. They’re the fans for whom the dream sequence spectacle of Peter and Olivia Dunham (Anna Torv) making love was a dream come true. They’re the fans that got goosebumps when Olivia planted a kiss on Peter, as if this “reboot” version of his ladylove had suddenly reverted back to the original iteration of her. They’re fans known as ‘shippers, and if you’re a Web-chatty TV watcher or pop culture aficionado who tends to fixate on romantic relationships in your favorite fiction or fantasize about the mere possibility of amorous activity between your favorite make-believe people, then you’re probably one of them.

In the current issue of Entertainment Weekly, we explore how the shipper phenomenon — which began with The X-Files and until recently has been more associated with sci-fi and fantasy fandom — has gone mainstream and how shippers themselves can impact the creative process. An added bonus for Fringe fans: Exec producers Jeff Pinkner and J.H. Wyman tell EW that an episode scheduled to air next month, entitled “A Short Story About Love,” will be a shipper milestone. READ FULL STORY

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