4:40pm PT by Michael O'Connell
'30 Rock': Tina Fey and Writers Plot Kim Jong Il's Death
The Jan. 12 return of 30 Rock will definitely take the NBC comedy back to North Korea.
Jack's (Alec Baldwin) wife Avery (Elizabeth Banks) remains a hostage of the country after traveling there on assignment as a journalist, where she immediately won the affection of despot Kim Jong Il (a gender-bending Margaret Cho). The parody's future appearances will just now take place from beyond the grave.
US Weekly reports 30 Rock producer and Tina Fey's fellow showrunner Robert Carlock says that the dictator's Dec. 18 death will find its way into the upcoming season. And since the first half of the season was completed before the news, viewers will just have to wait awhile.
"Jack's love life is pretty complicated and it just got more complicated because I think, technically, Avery is the First Lady of North Korea," Carlock said.
Though that doesn't mean references to Kim Jong Il will necessarily be outdated.
"We realized that, luckily, we hadn't referred to King Jong Il by name yet -- just to North Korea in general," Carlock said. "We can't go back and address the changes there, but the fun puzzle is turning around and trying to figure out how to get her out of there and how to continue things."
As for how they'll deal with Kim Jong Il's demise, Carlock doesn't even completely sold on offing the supreme leader.
"Maybe we'll have to have Margaret Cho showing up again having faked her death," he said, "because she wants to get a gig on a morning talk show."