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Posted at 1:41 PM ET, 10/14/2010

'30 Rock' live: What could possibly go wrong?

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly

The '30 Rock'-ers take on live TV. (NBC)

Tonight at 8:30 p.m. ET, someone is likely to be totally Lizzing. And depending on how things go, it could be either Tina Fey's Liz Lemon. Or Liz Kelly. Or perhaps, any of the millions of other fans who tune in for "30 Rock's" attempt to snag some high rating by doing a live show.

The Post's own Lisa de Moraes predicts a massive audience -- maybe not the 8 million viewers who watched 2008's season opener, but still enough of a viewership to turn any missed lines, breaks in character or miscellaneous missteps into a high-decibel fail.

Of course, the "30 Rockers" are total pros. Fey, Baldwin and Morgan have gone live for years on "SNL" with nary an error. Still, part of the joy of non-prerecorded TV comes from the fumbles. So we are secretly hoping for some of the following potential character-based mishaps to take place.

Liz Lemon (Tina Fey): Slips into her Sarah Palin impression, realizes it and mutters "blerg" while making that badger face. Repeatedly. Also, during a brief panic attack, says something about having to get ready for Weekend Update.

Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin): Unexpectedly launches into an expletive-laden tirade when Baldwin forgets to turn off his cell phone and picks up call from real-life daughter Ireland.

Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan): Overcome by the pressure of live television, totally breaks character and starts speaking in complete sentences that sound lucid and rational. Also, can't resist the opportunity to revive his "Biscuit" character on live TV:

Jenna Maroney (Jane Krakowski) : Overcome by the pressure of live television, totally breaks character, coming off as lucid, rational and not at all self-absorbed. Also, in a surprise move, becomes a character we actually give a crap about.

Kenneth Parcell (Jack McBrayer): Forgets to smile like a dolt and suddenly begins to portray Kenneth as more of a dapper, mysterious Don Draper type.

Dr. Drew Baird (Jon Hamm): During his special guest appearance, forgets to act like an imbecile and begins to portray Dr. Drew Baird as more of a dapper, mysterious Don Draper type who attempts to seduce the equivalent of the receptionist, which -- to his chagrin -- turns out to be Kenneth. Also -- due to the pressure of live television -- decides to take off his shirt for absolutely no logical reason.

Frank Rossitano (Judah Friedlander) : Just before the show begins, neglects to put on one of his ridiculous trucker caps and accidentally slaps some deely boppers on his head instead.

Carol the pilot (Matt Damon): Bursts through the fourth wall and launches into an expletive-filled tirade about the planned fourth "Bourne" movie. ("So they're still going to do it? And use the word 'Bourne' in the title? And yet ... no Bourne? What the [bleep]?")

Grizz (Grizz Chapman) and Dot Com (Kevin Brown): After five seasons of putting up with his hillbilly hilarity, Tracy's "entourage" breaks down and stuffs Jack McBrayer in a locker before busting out a guitar and banjo to re-enact the Roy Clark/Buck Owens "Hee-Haw" intro song:

Add your "predictions" below...

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | October 14, 2010; 1:41 PM ET
Categories:  TV  
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Do you remember when the Drew Carey Show used to do the live episodes? Probably not, right? Usually because they're meh.

Now, if 30 Rock brings in Jenny Slate for a cameo appearance to channel her inner Charlie Rocket, MAYBE I'd care.

Posted by: MStreet1 | October 14, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Coons beats O'Donnell by 20 points.

Well, you *did* ask.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | October 14, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I hope the shows story line is a regular espisode and not a cop out like the live ER show where a film crew was following the cast for a documentary.

Posted by: buffysummers | October 14, 2010 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Just wanna point out Jane Krakowski is a seasoned Broadway musical actress. She's a total pro when it comes to the live stuff as well. If she could do two years in "Starlight Express" wearing roller skates, she can handle 30 Rock live.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | October 14, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

Buffy I remember that ER. The lighting made it look so wrong. Like a bad sitcom. It taught me how much lighting and cinematography really help to set the tone for either "serious gritty drama" or "silly sitcom."

Posted by: Roxie1 | October 14, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Remember when Gimme A Break did a live show?

That Nell Carter, darn professional... no mistakes. But I still watched!

Posted by: jb1151 | October 14, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't funny!

Posted by: lswonder | October 14, 2010 11:09 PM | Report abuse

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