Alec Baldwin will say goodbye to Jack Donaghy on the Thursday, Jan. 31 series finale of 30 Rock, but he almost walked away from the character that earned him two Emmys, four Golden Globes and seven Screen Actors Guild awards early after feeling the show hit a creative decline.
"It was a low point," Baldwin tells Rolling Stone of Season 5. "Though even anemic 30 Rock writing is still better than everybody else's writing. I go, 'I'm going to get the f--- out of here, I'm done,' because I'm an employee, I don't have any say. So Season 5 ends, and I'm saying 'Next year, I'm done,' then I come back, and Season 6 is really good, we all had fun."
After meeting his second wife, however, Baldwin thought he could continue on with 30 Rock for years to come, but he knew the birth of show creator Tina Fey's second child meant big changes ahead. "Tina always had her antenna up," Baldwin says. "But this year was the first time she came in and laid down on the couch on set, and you could tell, she's a mom. She's f---ing wiped out."
Still, Fey is proud of the work they were able to do over the years. "I feel like we made a lot of good episodes of the kind of show that usually gets canceled," she says in the Rolling Stone cover story, out on stands Friday. "The kind where there's 20 episodes and 'only me and my hipster friends know about it.' That part's still true. But we made about 140 of them!"
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