The Telefile
Oprah To Bring a Much-Needed Spotlight to <I>30 Rock</I> The all-powerful Oprah Winfrey is in talks to lend a stuntcasting hand to our beloved 30 Rock, the greatest show on television that hardly anybody is watching. She's thisclose to playing herself in an episode this fall, though it's not clear what her storyline will be. I for one hope she just shows up at TGS as a representative of The Black Crusaders, the group of highly powerful African-Americans who terrorized Tracey Jordon at the end of Season 1. Not so sure how down Oprah would be with that idea, but the mere fact that she's agreed to be on the show in the first place probably means she's aware of The Black Crusaders storyline and isn't too terribly offended by it. Or The Black Crusaders are real, and she's just come to disperse disinformation about them. I'm leaning towards the latter, because conspiracies are fun!

I hate to trash anything that could lead to ratings hope for 30 Rock, but after news of Jennifer Aniston's upcoming episode, which comes complete with a Friends parody nobody needs, I'm worried 30 Rock will go the way of Will & Grace, with one wasted, stuntcasting-centric episode after another. In the past two seasons, 30 Rock has used their guest stars wisely, for the most part. Isabella Rosselini was fantastic, for example, as were Edie Falco and Emily Mortimer -- though I'm not sure she's famous enough for that to count as stuntcasting -- and I even liked the ridiculous Paul Reubens character, if not mostly for that gag about his eyebrows falling off and giving Jane Krakowski an excuse to dance every dance known to man. Jerry Seinfeld, David Schwimmer and Carrie Fisher, on the other hand, didn't work as well. I felt like the entire episode was focused not on the 30 Rock characters we tune in for, but as a platform for those guys to do their thing, regardless of what show they're on, and it appears Jennifer Aniston's episode will likely be the same. Let's hope Oprah can find a way to fit in, Edie Falco-style.




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