30 Rock

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Oct 11, 2006 on NBC

Episode Recap

In the first scene, Liz Lemon is waiting in line at a hot dog stand when a man walks straight up to the stand, ignoring the line. When Liz points this out, he says that there are two lines and half the people already in line promptly move into the "new" line. Indignant over the injustice, Liz buys all the hot dogs and gives them to the people who stayed in the original line, naming them the "good people". This leads to a title sequence that depicts Liz walking to 30 Rockefeller Plaza, attempting to give away the remaining hot dogs along the way, as a That Girl/Mary Tyler Moore-esque theme plays in the background.

Once inside "30 Rock", Liz arrives backstage at The Girlie Show, a TV comedy program aimed at a female demographic, for which she is head writer. Liz, Pete and the writing staff settle in for what seems to be a normal day until Cerie informs Liz that she and Pete are wanted on the 50th floor. Expecting to see their boss Gary in his office, they instead find the room being renovated. Jack Donaghy dramatically enters and bluntly states that Gary has passed away before proceeding to introduce himself. Liz and Pete are flabbergasted by Jack's forthrightness as he explains he has been promoted to "Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming" and that he intends to "retool" The Girlie Show so as to increase its male viewership. Specifically, he wants movie star Tracy Jordan to join the cast.

Liz dislikes the idea due to Tracy's well-known record for insane behavior, but agrees to meet with him on the proviso that the idea will be dropped if she and Tracy mutually decide so. However, when she meets with him, Liz finds, much to her dismay, that Tracy actually likes Jack's idea. After the meeting concludes, he decides to give her a ride, but they end up making a "quick stop" at a strip club. Liz tries to call Pete, only to find out that he has been fired. Upset by the extent to which Jack is altering her show, Liz first gets drunk and then asks Tracy to take her back to the studio, where she intends to resign in protest. Meanwhile, Jack places a sketch with cats that Liz intended to cut back in the show while Jenna Maroney, the star of The Girlie Show, becomes smitten with him and tries to flirt.

Arriving back at 30 Rock, Liz talks with Pete over the phone and he convinces her not to quit or, as he puts it, "buy all the hot dogs." Liz rushes into the studio just in time to see the cat sketch go horribly wrong. She tells Tracy to go on stage and talk about "anything" and he does so, proving to be an instant hit with the live studio audience. Liz proceeds to make a series of demands to Jack, including the rehiring of Pete, and he agrees to them. In the last scene, as the cast says good night to the studio audience and their viewers, Tracy whispers to Jenna that he can't wait to do this every week. Jenna looks accusingly in Liz's direction and Liz smiles guiltily back at her.
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