In desperation there is consolation, because if NBC weren’t taking such a shellacking in prime time — if its nightly lineups looked a little less like the fall of the Roman Empire — then the low-rated comedy “30 Rock” might already have been canceled.
But happily for viewers (especially those feeling burned out on the kind of pop-Kafka spookiness that the networks are so infatuated with this season), “30 Rock” has not only survived but also, as of tonight, been moved to potentially more advantageous Thursday nights — land of “Must-See TV” in the days when NBC ruled the waves instead of groveling in the sand.
It gets a bit complicated, however. As a sweeps stunt and to inaugurate a new, mostly comedy lineup on Thursdays, NBC is tonight offering “super-sized” episodes of its better sitcoms, meaning that new episodes of “My Name Is Earl,” “The Office” and “30 Rock” will be 40 minutes each instead of 30. Eventually that lineup will be joined by “Scrubs,” thus giving “30 Rock” a good lead-in and a good lead-out.