Splitsider

 
2

Life After '30 Rock': Can NYC's Comedy Production Ever Compete with LA?

Tonight, 30 Rock's seven-season, 138-episode run comes to an end. Looking back, it's hard to quantify the show's influence. Debuting in 2006, it helped cement the rebirth of NBC's Thursday-night lineup into one of the most consistent homes for quality comedy on network TV. Following closely in the footsteps of The Office, it further pushed the sitcom into more adventurous single-camera, no-laugh-track territory. All while being the most visible comedy production based in New York City.

In film and television production, New York has always been the true second city, sitting in a long shadow cast by Los Angeles. LA is the industry — there is no doubting that. But where NYC has consistently matched or even bettered LA in influence is in comedy: home to the late-night institutions of SNL, Letterman, Fallon, The Daily Show and Colbert, and fueled by one of the country's most active improv and standup scenes, New York has always been a destination for those hoping to push comedy forward.

Like everything else in this city of constant change, it seems inevitable that 30 Rock will be succeeded by another marquee comedy produced in New York. No one in this city ever sits well in the underdog role, and today, many powerful people, from Mayor Bloomberg on down, have a strongly vested interest in making New York City an increasingly attractive places to make a film or television show. So what will it take to lure the next great network comedy away from LA to NYC? READ MORE