NBC is airing a 30 Rock reunion on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET. The special features most of the main cast, including Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan and Jane Krakowski playing their characters from the critically acclaimed series, which ran from 2006 to 2013. The special will also air on NBCUniversal's cable stations, including USA Network, Bravo, Oxygen, E! Network, SyFy and CNBC. It will be available on the new Peacock streaming service on Friday.
Unlike the Parks and Recreation reunion, which was produced for charity in April, the 30 Rock special was produced in place of NBC's upfront presentation. This means it will involve highlights from other upcoming shows on NBC, NBCUniversal cable channels ad Peacock. Upfront presentations are typically given in person in New York before a new TV season starts to get advertisers interested, but that could not happen this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The special will give viewers a look at a process usually reserved for the media and corporate partners. The special was directed by Saturday Night Live's Oz Rodriguez.
Due to the nature of the special, most viewers will not get to see it. Sources told Vulture earlier this week that Gray Television, Hearst, Nexstar, Tenga and Sinclair Broadcast Group, which own NBC affiliates across the country, have refused to air the show because they believe it is just promotion for Peacock. Considering that Peacock's existence can be perceived as a threat to station owners, this is not completely a surprise. However, NBC owns its local stations in the 10 biggest markets in the U.S., including Los Angeles and New York, so 40% of viewers will still get to see the 30 Rock special when it airs.
If you happen to live in an area where your local station is not carrying the 30 Rock special, you will still get to watch it. As previously noted, it will air on USA Network, Bravo, Oxygen, E! Network, SyFy and CNBC Thursday night. It will also be available on Peacock and on-demand services.
This is not the first time NBCUniversal has clashed with affiliates over a Peacock decision. Affiliates were not happy with the idea that Peacock will feature episodes of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and Late Night With Seth Meyers hours before they air. NBCU Television and Streaming chairman Mark Lazarus told Vulture they were working with affiliates to reach a deal to keep both sides happy in that situation.