’30 Rock’ Cast Talks New Season Spoilers, Queen Latifah

Summer’s over and the season premiere of beloved NBC comedy 30 Rock is right around the corner. Hurray!

What’s in store for the Tina Fey-starring comedy? True 30 Rock fans already know the season premiere of the Emmy-winning show’s fifth season will be a live episode — but there are plenty of other surprises in store for fans. Celebuzz got a chance to chat with writer Robert Carlock and star Jack McBrayer, who plays the lovable Kenneth the Page.

When season four ended this spring the 30 Rock gang was facing a new batch of challenges: Kenneth got fired, Liz was attempting to woo a dreamboat pilot (Matt Damon) and Jack (Alec Baldwin) had just discovered that his girlfriend (Elizabeth Banks) is pregnant.

Watch a short recap of season four below.

Robert reveals that Queen Latifah will be having a guest spot in a few episodes this season. “Queen Latifah is playing a congresswoman who has a bullseye on the [NBC-Kabletown] deal,” says Robert, “She and Alec’s character butt heads a little bit.”

Queen Latifah isn’t the only problem that Jack will encounter this season: “Jack gives up drinking in solidarity with his pregnant girlfriend,” says Robert, “He finds it more difficult than he expected and we’ll see how it affect’s Liz’s life.”

Robert also revealed that some of those absurd 30 Rock story lines from seasons past are actually inspired by true events that happened to the cast and crew. Robert says that a fight that Liz and “The Hair” have with a deli owner who wouldn’t accept a $100 bill was actually inspired by a “bonding experience” he had with his wife when they argued with a tool booth operator who wouldn’t accept a large bill.

Jane Krakowski’s self-absorded character Jenna also has some traits which were inspired by a famous actress. Robert says that Jenna’s infamous fake attention-getting injuries were actually inspired by an actress who would pull similar stunts on the set of a different show. “She’ll go nameless,” says Robert.

Watch highlights of Jenna and the other characters from season four’s “The Moms” below.

Robert and Jack also reveal some tidbits about their upcoming live premiere show. The difficulty, says Robert, is making “it feel like a 30 Rock show when we only have access to three sets.” The show is famous for its multiple locations and flashbacks, which are difficult to maintain for a live show. “We may have other actors play our actors in flashbacks,” says Robert. Jack also says that he is nervous because he doesn’t have the luxury to make “the number of mistakes we make at a usual shoot.”

Luckily, Robert and Jack are both confidant that they have the right cast for a live show. After all, Tina and Tracy Morgan worked at Saturday Night Live for years, Alec hosted the show a number of time, and the rest of the cast all have extensive experience as live performers.

Watch Tina talking about working with Matt Damon (who will appear in the live episode) below.

As for the rumors that Alec will be leaving the show after this season, Robert says that they have “no comment” but that Alec’s contract “runs beyond season five” and that Alec is “the best at what he does and we hope that it continues for a long time.”

The fifth season of 30 Rock premieres on September 23 at 8:30 PM on NBC.

Are you excited for the return of 30 Rock? Share your thoughts in the comments below.