Great News


Fans of 30 Rock who have been looking to fill the sitcom-shaped hole in their hearts need look no further than Great News. The backdrop is cable news instead of sketch comedy, but the show successfully copies the basic formula of its august predecessor: a hapless career gal, a peacocking elder statesman, and a colorful cast of supporting weirdos.

Co-producer Tina Fey makes a cameo at the start of the second season, which is currently airing on Thursday nights at NBC. In her role on Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" and later at 30 Rock, Fey's characters frequently made thinly veiled accusations against many of the men who have since fallen in the sexual harassment purges of 2017, including Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. In Great News, she pops up as Diana St. Tropez, a high-powered entertainment exec who engages in some timely gender-bent sexual harassment of her own—with a twist!

Ripped-from-the-headlines cultural commentary aside, the show's main appeal is the old-school rat-a-tat dialogue and its unstinting portrait of the clash between boomers and millennials in the workplace. (There are Gen X characters too, but they mostly just look tired.) Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan) struggles with ambition while her mother (Andrea Martin) takes helicopter parenting to a new level by getting a job as her daughter's intern. Meanwhile, Chuck Pierce (John Michael Higgins), a poor man's Walter Cronkite, shivers in the gales of creative destruction blowing around him and his industry.