While 30 Rock was a biting satire about the TV industry, often skewering its own network and parent companies, it also managed to predict the future of pop culture.
During its seven seasons on NBC, the Tina Fey-produced sitcom made several jokes -- James Franco causing international uproar, Bill Cosby allegations, etc. -- that would later become true. With the news that Comcast is taking over 30 Rockefeller in New York City, it seems that 30 Rock knew the truth about everything all along.
Comedian Hannibal Buress has been credited with leading the charge against Bill Cosby for an alleged history of sexual assault -- accusations the 77-year-old actor has denied. Yet, 30 Rock made a sly reference to the allegations in its third season when Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) impersonated Cosby in a conversation with Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan). “Bill Cosby?!” Jordan exclaimed. “You got a lot of nerve getting on the phone with me after what you did to my Aunt Paulette!”
2. Comcast’s Takeover of 30 Rockefeller Plaza in NYC
Over the course of several seasons, Fey mocked Comcast’s acquisition of NBCUniversal. Dubbed Kabletown on the series, the company eventually took over NBC and dubbed 30 Rockefeller the ‘Kabletown Building.’ In July, Comcast announced it was doing the same thing in real life by renaming 30 Rock as the ‘Comcast Building.’
3. James Franco’s Interview Fiasco
When Franco and Seth Rogen’s film, The Interview, sparked an international controversy and eventually led to the Sony hack late last year, only 30 Rock could have predicted something like this would happen. In the 2010 episode, “Klaus and Greta,” Franco warned of a role that would be deemed “too provocative for America.”
4. A Harriet Tubman Movie Featuring a Help Star
During the show’s final season, it was revealed that Tracy Jordan was shooting a new Harriet Tubman film with Octavia Spencer -- most famous for her Oscar-winning turn in The Help. In 2015 it was announced that HBO was developing a movie about the activist’s life with Viola Davis -- Spencer's co-star in The Help -- playing the lead role.
5. The KFC Double Down and More Insane Meat-Based Fast Food
Three years before KFC released its all-meat chicken sandwich, Tracy Jordan invented the very idea during season one. After the comedian was forced to put his name on a product, he came up with the “Tracy Jordan Meat Machine.” It was a George Forman-like grill that eliminated the need for bread by pressing assorted meats together into a food ball.
6. The Sardonic Reaction to Events in Ferguson, Mo.
It has been noted by several 30 Rock fans that a fifth season episode gave viewers the perfect, cynical response to the events that unfolded in Ferguson, Mo. #SmoothMoveFerguson
7. NBC’s Increased Diversity Lineup
Following the success of shows like Empire, Extant, and How to Get Away With Murder on competing networks, NBC revealed a new, diverse TV lineup for the upcoming 2015 fall season. The new shows come five years after Rep. Regina Bookman (Queen Latifah) called out NBC for its lack of diversity on TV. In the episode, “Let’s Stay Together,” she lambasted Jack Donaghy for not having more lead roles for African Americans on its network.
8. The Lack of Interest in a Janis Joplin Biopic
The writing was on the wall... If only Amy Adams -- currently attached to a long-delayed Joplin film -- had watched all of Jenna Maroney’s (Jane Krakowski) struggles to get her biopic made. At one point, Krakowski’s character had to fake her own death to even generate interest in the project.
9. Even More Ensemble Films, Like Selma and Mother’s Day
Given Hollywood’s love for ensemble, holiday-themed films (see Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve), it should come as no surprise that Julia Roberts and others are set to star in Mother’s Day. But 30 Rock took it one step further when it created the parody film, Martin Luther King Day, starring Emma Stone and Andy Samberg. The film was the closest thing we had to any movie about the Civil Rights activist until Selma starring David Oyelowo and Oprah Winfrey was released in 2014.