The death knell sounded for the end of a comedic era for Thursday night NBC programming with the final season premieres of “30 Rock” and “The Office” this fall.
“The Office,” currently in its ninth season, and “30 Rock,” currently in its seventh, are scheduled to end after this coming season. The two shows have been a staple of NBC Thursday night comedy since 2006.
The duo has beat out all other competition for the Primetime Emmy of best comedy series from 2006 to 2009, according to the International Movie Database.
Also, according to the NBC’s official website, 2009 was a historic year for “30 Rock” when it received 22 Primetime Emmy nominations –– the most ever for a comedy series.
Professor of Theatre Robert Schneider said he believes that the ingenuity of the writing has been a main factor for both shows’ success.
“The writing on both shows is what makes them funny, as great as those casts are you could get other actors to fill their spots,” he said.
Schneider also said he believes that the different dynamics of both shows creates a relatable and entertaining atmosphere that contributes to its overall humor.
“What ‘The Office’ captured is the idea of universality, anybody can watch it and anyone can find characters they can relate to and think is funny,” he said. “‘30 Rock’ is successful because it is always surprising you and they always have tricks up their sleeve.”
Kevin Hagopian, senior lecturer of communication,said he thinks the inclination to like these shows has been influenced by this generation’s development through a media savvy world.
“‘30 Rock’ is a show about a show and ‘The Office’ is a parody on the documentary style of filmmaking, which presents the idea that media is basic in the way we view the world,” he said.
Hagopian said he believes that the parody sitcom can be very powerful and that parody, if it is used well, can teach the audience about the media.
President of PSNtv and former intern for NBC Universal, Will Monkowski said he believes that after the finale of the two seasons, the influence of the shows won’t end and they will be two of the comedy shows most recognized with this generation.
“When people think of comedy in the 90s, they generally think of ‘Seinfeld,’ ‘Friends’ and shows like that,” Monkowski (senior-telecommunications) said. “I think that's what ‘30 Rock’ and ‘The Office’ will be when people talk about the comedies of the 2000s.”
Schneider echoed Monkowski’s views, but thinks that there will only be one show that defines the 2000 era.
“Every era has a TV show that defines it and in the 2000s I think it’s going to be ‘The Office’ because it gave you what ‘Cheers’ gave you, a group of individuals that are connected by an environment and not confined to the topical humor,” he said. “‘The Office’ captured this generation’s apathy, a generation that is overt and highly connected.”