According to a cover story in the new issue of Rolling Stone hitting newsstands on Friday, Alec Baldwin was close to exiting NBC comedy 30 Rock after its fifth season because he felt that the quality of the show was not up to par with its previous output.
"It was the low point," he explains. "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 Five ends, and I'm saying 'Next year, I'm done,' then I come back, and Season Six is really good, we all had fun again."
As the series finale approaches on January 31, Baldwin notes that co-star/creator Tina Fey is exhausted and ready for the show to wrap up now that she is the mother of two young children. "Tina always had her antenna up," he 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."
For her part, Fey is proud—and a little surprised—that 30 Rock was able to stay on the air for seven seasons, despite struggling to attract viewers. "I feel like we made a lot of good episodes of the kind of show that usually gets cancelled," she says. "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!"
Are you glad Alec Baldwin stuck around for the final seasons of 30 Rock?