Because of the discrepancy between the broadcast TV season (September-May) and the eligibility period for the SAG Awards (calendar year), broadcast series get an extra shot at SAG Awards for the January-May portion of their final seasons. NBC’s 30 Rock did one better today, landing three SAG nominations despite airing only five episodes during the 2013 calendar year — the series’ final five installments.
According to the SAG Awards rule book, eligible on the comedy side are “30 minute comedy series (with a minimum 21-23 minutes of actual programming content) with an ongoing theme and storyline in a minimum of six continuous episodes (reducible to a storyline of four continuous episodes in the cases in which the series is subject to a “short order.”) 30 Rock was not a subject of a short order; its final season included 13 episodes. But it qualified as SAG Awards’ eligibility rules are different for final seasons, said SAG Awards executive producer Kathy Connell. “In a final season, we allow a show to wrap as long it is in the calendar year,” and the six-episode minimum does not apply, she said.
This marks the eighth time 30 Rock, which ran for seven seasons, has competed at the SAG Awards. It is nominated for best comedy ensemble; best comedy actor, Alec Baldwin; and best comedy actress, Tina Fey. Baldwin has been the most dominant winner in SAG Awards history with seven consecutive trophies for his role as Jack Donaghy. He has a good chance to extend that streak to eight, one more than his seasons on the show. His co-star, 30 Rock creator Fey, has nabbed four SAG Awards to date, including one this past January, and the series’ ensemble has won once.