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30rock_jan31.JPG Image courtesy NBC

Tonight, the beloved cult sitcom 30 Rock comes to an end and Sun-Times TV critic Lori Rackl as well as other staff members who are huge fans of the show will live-blog as we bid Liz Lemon and her crew adieu. But before we get to those final, tearful moments, we wanted to look back at our favorite clips from the show throughout its hilarious seven-season run. You can also check out Thomas Conner's Top 7 musical moments in the show's run.

Thomas Conner and Lori Rackl

Thomas: Yes, Tracy's on drugs and doing wacky things, but the dynamic between Jack and Liz is taking root -- earthy Lucy, dandy Ricky -- as Jack asks Liz to write some jokes for an upcoming speech. Which must be tonight, right? Cuz Jack's putting on a tux? No, it's days later.

Liz (exasperated): Then why are you wearing a tux?

Jack (cucumber-cool): It's after six. What am I, a farmer?

You know, back when the 1 percent was HILARIOUS!

Lori: The Liz and Jack dynamic has always been the strongest part of the show. This exchange, however brief it may be, encapsulates their wildly divergent world views and lifestyles. Fey and Baldwin have such a fantastic rapport and play off each other so well.

Darel Jevens

Alec Baldwin went out on a treacherous limb in the 2008 episode "Rosemary's Baby," helping Tracy through a therapy session by role-playing his irascible dad (in the voice of Fred Sanford), his beleaguered mom, the angry Hispanic neighbor upstairs and even the patient himself. Grotesque stereotypes all, but all it took to stir childhood memories for dotty Tracy and trigger a breakthrough. "30 Rock" demanded silly things of its stars, and Baldwin never failed to deliver.

Tina Sfondeles

This is Liz Lemon. Awkward, charming and hilarious. I dare you to watch this and not laugh

Marcus Gilmer

Following up on what Tina said about Liz. And kudos to Tina Fey for eschewing the typical ego issues most television stars face: taking themselves - and their characters - too seriously.


"This is all YOUR fault, buddy!" Conan O'Brien on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" in 2003. (Getty Images)

The Conan-Leno news is breaking fast and furious today, in little chunks. Here's what we know so far:

People is reporting that Conan O'Brien will leave "The Tonight Show" after Jan. 22 -- next Friday! "Conan does not currently plan on doing any more new shows after next week," says the source.

NBC claims a hiatus for the show beginning Jan. 25 has been on their books for weeks, before the current feud began.

Meanwhile, TMZ says the deal is down for Jay Leno to return as host of "The Tonight Show," for a full hour beginning at 10:35 p.m.

Hollywood blogger Nikki Finke also reports that tensions between Conan and NBC chief smart guy Jeff Zucker have boiled over:

Zucker "is threatening to ice Conan", according to his reps. "Zucker said, 'I'll keep you off the air for 3 1/2 years.' Which doesn't have a chance in hell of happening. What I really think Zucker wants is to hold him off the market for at least six months to a year until the dust settles and Leno is secure and Conan is squelched." One rep even compared Zucker to "Darth Vader" because the NBCU chief "has been so evil" about this.

Sun-Times columnist Bill Zwecker also spoke today with folks behind the scene and offered this insight on the feud -- which is not necessarily new. Apparently, Conan and his camp have long thought Jay's style was old and busted, and Jay and his camp think Conan is a spoiled, Harvard brat.

So it looks like, at least through next Friday, Conan's got "Tonight" ... because NBC's plans don't include him ... but who needs tomorrow ...?

Kal Penn goes from 'House' to the White House

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Everyone's talking about Kal Penn today. His character just up and killed himself on last night's "House," making for a very awkward moment in the show. (Why couldn't House figure this out?!) In real life, we know why Penn left -- he's taking a job in Obama's White House.

Penn got on the phone with reporters today to discuss his abrupt departure, his new gig and what this means for the future of Harold & Kumar. Here's some audio from that teleconference ...


NBC giveth, but the ratings taketh away.

The Hollywood Reporter says NBC is moving its much-hyped freshman drama "Kings" from Sundays at 7 p.m. to the much dreaded Saturday 7 p.m. time slot to burn off the remaining eight episodes of the show.

The show will be replaced by an additional hour of "Dateline" on Sundays.

"Pushing Daisies" resurrected (sort of).

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It's a case of live imitating art, we guess.

The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that the critically-acclaimed, cult favorite "Pushing Daisies" just might be returning to ABC's Primetime line up as early as May 30.

The show, which stars Lee Pace as a pie maker blessed/cursed with the ability to bring anyone and anything back to life for one minute, will burn off the remaining unaired episodes Saturdays at 9 p.m.

The show's creator and executive producer, Bryan Fuller, has already moved on. He's resumed writiing duties on another troubled show, NBC's "Heroes." Cast and crew did go back for some reshoots to wrap the series up, though.

Station says no thanks to Leno in primetime

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Uh, oh. In a worrisome sign for NBC's game-changing primetime makeover plans, a Boston affiliate is refusing to air Jay Leno's new 10 p.m. talk show in the fall.

WHDH Channel 7 -- in Leno's hometown -- said it will air its own hourlong local newscast instead.

Explaining the move to The Boston Globe, station owner Ed Ansin said he believes a newscast will draw higher ratings than Leno.

'ER' finale lands huge audience

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Nielsen Media Research says that 16.4 million people watched the two-hour finale of "ER." That's the most-watched swan song for a television drama since "Murder She Wrote" in 1996.

Another new late-night show: Wanda Sykes

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Fox is finalizing a deal with actress-comedian Wanda Sykes for a Saturday late-night show.

The hourlong show, slated to premiere in the fall, will succeed the recently canceled sketch comedy "MadTV." It will be topical, featuring a panel of recurring guests sparring over issues from politics to pop culture. It also will include Sykes in field segments.

Known for her outspoken comedic perspective, Sykes is set to host the 2009 White House Correspondents' Assn. dinner. The actress, who co-stars on CBS' "The New Adventures of Old Christine," previously headlined the sitcom "Wanda at Large" on Fox.

The fate of Fox's other Saturday late-night show, "Talk Show With Spike Feresten," which airs at midnight, remains up in the air.

The Hollywood Reporter

MTV orders four more seasons of 'Real World'

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MTV has ordered four more seasons of its once-groundbreaking reality series, "The Real World."

In other news: "The Real World" is still on.

The current season, "The Real World: Brooklyn," airs its finale on Wednesday. The next round, "The Real World: Cancun," is currently shooting.

NBC's green efforts translate to savings

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Lots of PSAs on NBC about going "green," sure -- but the move toward environmentally-friendly business practices saved the network $2 million last year.

NBC Universal has been promoting environmentally friendly efforts on its TV shows and in practice, looking for reduced power costs and telling its executives to lay off the bottled water.

In addition to the savings, the company says its polls show NBC's image as a "green" network is being recognized by viewers. Although it hasn't translated into ratings success, the company believes it's a smart strategy for the future.

Late-night wars: Welcome, George Lopez

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Comic George Lopez is getting into the late-night talk show game.

TBS says Lopez will start a new talk show in November. It will air Monday through Thursday at 10 p.m., and Lopez promises an outdoor street-party atmosphere.


Twitter ... tweeting ... twatted? Was it a slip of the mouth when Stephen Colbert told "Today" show host Meredith Viera that he's "twatted" before, or was he looking for a few laughs?

Either way, the slip which aired live on the show got quite a few giggles from the show's crew and from the Twitterverse.

Click here to watch the video

Ashlee's moving in to 'Melrose Place'

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Ashlee Simpson (left) with Pete Wentz shared the stage at the 2008 MTV Video Music Awards last fall. Will Pete follow his wife to "Melrose Place"? (AP file)

Ashlee Simpson-Wentz is moving into "Melrose Place."

The singer-actress has been tapped as a lead on the CW's "Melrose" update, returning to series television seven years after landing her breakthrough role on "7th Heaven."

It's back to TV for 'High School Musical 4'

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Get ready: they're making a "High School Musical 4"!

But wait -- before you crease your Zac Efron posters again ... this installment in the hit TV-to-movies franchise is (a) back on TV and (b) probably won't star any of the first three movies' hotties ...

Andy and Conan, together again

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NBC says Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien will be back together again on late-night TV.

Richter, who worked with O'Brien for seven years on NBC's "Late Night," will become the "Tonight" show announcer when O'Brien takes over from Jay Leno as host in June. NBC said Richter also will take part in comedy bits.

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