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Tina Fey was back in NBC’s Studio 6H on Tuesday, which provided a chance for both nostalgia for the past and excitement for the near-future. The location was where she first became a household name, as a writer and then star of Saturday Night Live, and starting Thursday it will act as the set for the second live episode of 30 Rock.
Even with questions swirling around the series’ long-term prospects, she told The Hollywood Reporter that the question of her character Liz Lemon’s romantic future is one that excites her, and will come as a surprise to some long-time viewers.
“No, I think it’d be okay for her,” she said of having Lemon, so often unlucky in love, get married and have a child. “I think for example her relationship with Criss [James Marsden] is a nice one in that she’s not altering who she is and it’s still working out. And I think her path, as she’s re-started this path toward motherhood, I’m excited for the character. We haven’t figured out how it will play out but I think there’s a way for it to play out and still have her feel true to her character.”
Aside from Lemon’s matrimonial life, Fey has some other big plans for the show — even if they involve some familiar faces.
“Mostly it’s a matter of the kind of bucket lists I have in my head is people that we’ve had on that we love and want to bring back,” she said when asked if there were still things she’d like to accomplish on the show. “I would love to find a way to bring Michael Sheen‘s character back at one point, or Michael Benjamin Washington, who plays Tracy’s non-son Donald Jordan, that guy is just so funny to me. Obviously we always try at least once a year to bring Dennis Duffy back. So it’s more like, what personnel do we want to re-visit than other story lines? Although I do have some in mind.”
Appropriately, the special episode set for Thursday will chronicle the history of late night television — the series’ show-within-a-show TGS with Tracy Jordan is placed in danger by its broadcaster, Comcast-stand-in Kabletown, which leads Lemon and friends on a mission to teach their corporate bosses about comedy’s legacy — but it does present a few issues for the writers.
“In our world, SNL doesn’t exist, otherwise the universe would kind of collapse,” Fey said. “The closest we’ve come to it is we had Jimmy Fallon in an episode once where he was Jimmy Fallon, but I wasn’t in the scene with him. But he was in a scene with Tracy. We have a term for it, which is called a Goofy-Pluto. You know how Goofy is a dog but Pluto is also a dog? But you just can’t think too hard about it.”
Fey returned from 30 Rock to SNL to give a much-celebrated impression of Sarah Palin during the 2008 election, which had been the defining interpretation of the politico until Julianne Moore took on the part in HBO’s much more serious TV movie, Game Change.
“Oh my gosh, I just saw it. It was fantastic! She was so good. I thought she was good,” Fey exclaimed. “I hope I get invited out to hand her an Emmy. I would like to volunteer to be a presenter in that category.”
Email: Jordan.Zakarin@THR.com; Twitter: @JordanZakarin
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