Brian Williams Still Thinks NBC's 'Rock Center' Might Confuse '30 Rock' Fans (Video)
The anchor discusses his love of live television and channels his own "30 Rock" cameos in the newsmagazine's first official promo.
Rock Center with Brian Williams makes its debut on Oct. 31, and in anticipation of his new NBC newsmagazine, Williams tells the New York Times that he actually likes how the title isn't that far off from NBC sitcom 30 Rock.
“People could tune in expecting to see Tina,” he says, referring to 30 Rock star Tina Fey. “I think the name confusion can only help us, right?”
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The new weekly program, filling the Monday night gap left by the canceled Playboy Club, will air live between the pre-taped segments. This is a departure from many newsmagazines, including CBS standby 60 Minutes, but Williams says that's the way he wants it.
"When you see me on television, I am there, that is where I am,” he says. “I am a creature of live television.”
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And reporting the news on live television occupies most of. The anchor admits that he isn't aware of the fiscal logistics that go into producing Rock Center or even the NBC Nightly News.
“I have no idea what it costs to send a news truck to Dallas to feed live pictures on the Nightly News,” he says. “I don’t know what a commercial costs on our air. It is much better if I stay in my lane. They hire me to put word with pictures. And I like doing that very much.”
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Two weeks out from the launch of Rock Center, the program recently acquired ABC News veteran Ted Koppel as a special correspondent. Koppel joins the ranks of previously announced contributors Harry Smith, Meredith Vieira, Kate Snow and Richard Engel.
As for 30 Rock, talk of the similar titles will likely diminish after the premiere, but in the meantime, NBC might actually be embracing it.
The network has released the first promo for Rock Center, and it finds Williams in similar circumstances to most of his 30 Rock cameos, riding the NBC elevators and engaging his various coworkers.