(NEW YORK) — After seven seasons, NBC’s award-winning but ratings-challenged comedy 30 Rock signed off Thursday night with a one-hour finale.
The finale featured Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon struggling to make the transition from employed TV producer to stay-at-home mom, and Alec Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy resigning from his new job as CEO of Kabletown after realizing he’s not happy.
California Representative Nancy Pelosi had a guest shot, and was seen on a cable news channel blasting Donaghy for being “an economic war criminal.”
Jack McBrayer’s Kenneth, the former NBC page-turned president, informed Tina Fey’s Liz that they had to do one more episode of the show TGS or else they would have to pay its star, Tracy Jordan, played by Tracy Morgan, millions of dollars.
The 30 Rock finale featured numerous references to past episodes, and return appearances by former guest stars Conan O’Brien, Selma Hayek, Al Roker and Julianne Moore.
During the finale, Jane Krakowski’s Jenna announced her big plans to advance her career. One career move included playing a talkative corpse on Law & Order: SVU. On the farewell episode of TGS, Jenna sang the theme from her new musical adaptation of Rural Juror. The Rural Juror was the title of Season One’s tenth episode.
Baldwin’s Jack Donaghy indicated that he might kill himself, but he was just faking so Liz would know what life was like without him. In a very roundabout way, he told Liz he loved her and she said she loved him. He sailed away on a boat, only to return moments later with an idea for a clear dishwasher.
In the show’s final moments, viewers fast-forward one year to see Liz balancing being a mom while working on a show; Jenna flashing her boobs at the Tony Awards; Scott Adsit’s Pete Homberger being found very much alive by his wife; Jack back in the corporate world; and Tracy bonding with his dad, who finally returns from buying cigarettes.
At the end of the show, McBrayer’s Kenneth is seen in his office in the distant future holding a snowglobe of 30 Rockefeller Plaza as a young woman named Lemon pitches a show based on the stories of her great-grandmother. The snowglobe is a reference to the finale of NBC’s 1980s medical series St. Elsewhere.
Tracy Morgan’s character perhaps said what the cast and crew of 30 Rock was feeling when he signed off his TGS show: “Thank you America. That’s our show. Not a lot of people watched it, but the joke’s on you because we got paid anyway.”
30 Rock won a total of 14 Emmy Awards during its run, including best comedy, best lead actress in a comedy for Fey and best lead actor in a comedy for Baldwin.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Brett Crandall, BYU-Idaho Communications
Frank Pallotta, CNN
Sandra Gonzalez, CNN