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Mary Steenburgen takes a trip to '30 Rock' -- EXCLUSIVE

Mary Steenburgen will join in on the fun at TGS when 30 Rock returns to NBC’s midseason lineup. (In other words, it’ll return later rather than sooner, dang it; NBC has yet to reveal its premiere date).

Steenburgen will play Charlotte, the highly spirited and attractive mother of Avery (Elizabeth Banks). The multi-episode role should be a gas because the uber-WASP Charlotte butts heads with Jack (Alec Baldwin).

The actress also begin a four-episode arc this Monday opposite husband/star Ted Danson on HBO’s Bored to Death. The role will be a huge stretch for Steenburgen: She’ll play a vocal coach-cum-love interest for her husband’s character George Christopher.

Steenburgen’s starred in this summer’s hit film The Help.

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James Marsden to guest star as … Liz’ love interest?

 

Alec Baldwin on '30 Rock' future: 'I really do want to move on to other things'

Alec Baldwin is preparing for life after 30 Rock, working with New York public radio on an interview show that will be available via podcast starting Oct. 24. The first interview posted will be with actor Michael Douglas, who talks about watching Glee with his young daughter. Other interviews to follow will be with Republican campaign strategist Ed Rollins, reality-show celebrity Kris Kardashian Jenner, comic Chris Rock, actress Kathleen Turner, author Erica Jong and veteran talk-show host Dick Cavett, station WNYC said Thursday. READ FULL STORY

James Marsden to guest star on '30 Rock'

An X-Men star is coming to the halls of 30 Rock. EW has learned that James Marsden will appear in an episode (or two?) when the Emmy-winning comedy returns to NBC later this season. (We wish we had an exact date, but the Peacock doesn’t have one yet).

Speaking of which, NBC is also remaining tight-lipped about Marsden’s role — but we’d like to think he’d make a fine new lover for Liz Lemon. Last month, the comedy put out a casting call for a man ages 36-40 who can play Tina Fey’s latest love interest.

Here was the official description: “California-bred with liberal values and a youthful innocence. Easy-going but confident with a strong sense of self.”  The role would definitely involve a multiple-episode commitment.

Can you see a love connection between Liz and the hunk who played Cyclops?

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30 Rock scoop: Who will play Liz Lemon’s next lover?

'30 Rock' scoop: Who should play Liz Lemon's next lover?

It would be pretty hard to top Jon Hamm and Matt Damon but 30 Rock is going to try: The NBC comedy just put out a casting call for a man ages 36-40 (talk about a very particular age window!) who can play Liz Lemon’s next love interest. Here’s the official description: “California-bred with liberal values and a youthful innocence. Easy-going but confident with a strong sense of self.” The role would definitely involve a multiple-episode commitment.

The comedy is asking for stars as well as lesser-known names, so just about any Hollywood hunk could get the chance to snuggle with Liz. Still, we prefer the idea of a big star to play opposite the great Tina Fey. Who says Armie Hammer couldn’t portray a California-bred babe? Or wouldn’t Channing Tatum pretty up the halls of TGS? (Okay, so maybe we’re not totally sticking to that 36-40 age window, but a girl can still dream, right?)

Help the good folks of 30 Rock and take our poll! Or suggest one of your own. Just remember: Patrick Wilson is booked on CBS’ A Gifted Man so that California babe is taken (for now). READ FULL STORY

Ashton Kutcher, Sofia Vergara, and Julianna Margulies headline Emmy presenters

Some of television’s most celebrated talents will present awards at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards. Nominees Will Arnett (guest actor on 30 Rock), Julianna Margulies, Amy Poehler and Sofia Vergara will share the stage with host Jane Lynch to hand out some hardware, as will high-profile new TV stars Zooey Deschanel (New Girl) and Ashton Kutcher (Two and a Half Men). The shows airs live on FOX on Sunday, Sept. 18 at 8 p.m. ET.

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Alec Baldwin to host 'Saturday Night Live' for record-16th time

Alec Baldwin will host the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, as first reported by the New York Times. It will mark the 16th time that Baldwin has hosted the show, a record. NBC has also confirmed that Bridesmaids‘ break-out star Melissa McCarthy will host the season’s second episode. Both actors will be surrounded by familiar faces; producer Lorne Michaels told reporters at the Television Critics Association press tour that the entire cast will be returning for this season, the show’s 37th.

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Tracy Morgan returns to stage post-controversy

30 Rock star Tracy Morgan returned to his hometown Saturday night to take the stage for the first time since his infamous homophobic rant in Nashville earlier this month. Earlier this week, Morgan returned to Nashville and personally apologized for the tirade, but did the comedian stay serious during his set last night? (Not quite.) Read more after the jump. READ FULL STORY

Tracy Morgan apologizes to Nashville audience for homophobic tirade

Tracy Morgan, who’s spent the last week apologizing for a homophobic rant that culminated in him saying that he’d stab his own son if he acted gay, returned to the scene of the crime, so to speak, to apologize to the Nashville audience that attended his notorious performance. Morgan met with offended audience members at the Nashville Convention Center this morning, and later told reporters, “I just wanted to take this opportunity to help and not hurt,” according to the Associated Press. Video after the jump. READ FULL STORY

'Mad Men,' 'Modern Family,' John Noble, and Christina Hendricks among Critics' Choice Award winners

The Critics’ Choice Television Awards — created by the recently established Broadcast Television Critics Association — were designed in part to be a counterpoint to the annual Emmy Awards (and the more established TCA Awards). The winners of the first annual CCTAs, however, echoed several Emmy winners of the recent past: AMC’s Mad Men took home Best Drama; ABC’s Modern Family won Best Comedy; Best Actress in a Comedy went to 30 Rock‘s Tina Fey; and The Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons earned Best Actor in a Comedy.

The majority of winners, however, have not snagged an Emmy award — or, in some cases, even a nomination — but remain long-standing fan favorites.  READ FULL STORY

Emmy nominating ballots due a week from today! Five burning questions answered.

On June 24, Emmy nominating ballots are due. (View the ballot listings online here. Fringe‘s Joshua Jackson and Mike & Molly‘s Melissa McCarthy will announce the nominees on July 14.) To celebrate, we phoned John Leverence, the Television Academy’s SVP of Awards, and asked a few evergreen burning questions.

• Who decides whether a show like Glee or Castle enters as a comedy or drama? Producers submit themselves, and then there is a review. Leverence says there have been ongoing discussions about whether to split the comedy category into two — sitcoms and dramedies. “When the Board was thinking about this, the feeling was that no, comedy is a broad spectrum, but we think that the comedy series category can accommodate that broad spectrum. You have the same kind of thing going on in the drama series. You have something like The Killing, which after every episode you want to go kill yourself … But you have things like Castle and White Collar,” he says. “The awards committee did a review, looked at the lineup, and they said, ‘The hell with it, let’s leave comedies where they are.’ The Board of Governors does not want to get into a game of Whac-A-Mole.”  READ FULL STORY

Marlon Wayans speaks out on Tracy Morgan: 'He has to be a little more responsible'

Everyone from Tina Fey to Chris Rock seems to have an opinion about Tracy Morgan, who made headlines after he made a series of homophobic jokes during a stand-up show in Nashville last week. Now Marlon Wayans — who co-starred with Morgan in the 2006 comedy Little Man — has added his voice to the fray. “He has the right to say what he says,” the comedian told reporters at the 15th Annual Webby Awards yesterday. “But he has to be a little more responsible and write a little bit and think a little more before he does it next time.”

“But that’s why I don’t like people having cameras in the comedy clubs,” Wayans continued. “Because you’re just throwing thoughts out there, and that’s the creative process. READ FULL STORY

Should NBC replace Tracy Morgan on '30 Rock'?

Four years ago, Grey’s Anatomy star Isaiah Washington was fired from the hit ABC series after using a homophobic slur during an off-camera altercation with co-star Patrick Dempsey. This week, in the wake of 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan’s anti-gay comedy routine during a stand-up show, everyone from NBC Programming Chief Robert Greenblatt and 30 Rock creator/executive producer Tina Fey to Morgan’s openly gay co-star Cheyenne Jackson have issued sternly-worded responses denouncing Morgan’s ill-conceived jokes. But even though Greenblatt went so far as to say “this kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” there’s been no talk so far about replacing Morgan on the Emmy winning comedy series. READ FULL STORY

Tracy Morgan: 'I know bullying can hurt'

More words of regret from Tracy Morgan, who came under fire last week for homophobic comments he made during an appearance in Tennessee. Today, the 30 Rock spoke with GLAAD and plans to meet with lesbian and gay teens in New York. “I know how bad bullying can hurt. I was bullied when I was a kid,” he told GLAAD. “I’m sorry for what I said. I didn’t mean it. I never want to use my comedy to hurt anyone. My family knew what it was like to feel different. My brother was disabled and I lost my father to AIDS in 1987. My dad wasn’t gay but I also learned about homophobia then because of how people treated people who were sick with that. Parents should support and love their kids no matter what. Gay people deserve the same right to be happy in this country as everyone else. Our laws should support that. I hope that my fans gay, straight, whatever forgive and I hope my family forgives me for this.” READ FULL STORY

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