Sunday, September 23, 2007
Tina in yesterday's NYT
Fey not Brown. Beyond the pure celebrity appeal, interesting on a couple fronts.
1) A great reminder of just how hard it is to predict a success in popular culture. Last fall, when two behind-the-scenes-of-an-SNL style-show entered the network line-ups in the same season, most people were betting on Aaron Sorkin's "Studio Sixty on the Sunset Strip" rather than Fey's "30 Rock." Sorkin didn't make it through the first year. Fey's "30 Rock" is renewed for next season, with a late-career making performance by Alec Baldwin and a surprisingly funny star-parody turn by Tracey Morgan, much funner--at least to me--than he ever was on SNL.
2) In case we needed more evidence about the internet as a powerful register of consumer desires and interests, Fey confessed to trolling message boards and MySpace to see if anyone had picked up on the catch-phrases she and her staff had worked into the script (e.g. "Mind grapes" and "Hammer of Thor") Even star writers (whose careers depend on Nielsen) can't resist knowing if the masses are using their lines.
Here's a link to Jacques Steinberg's profile in Sunday's special Television section