Debbie Downer Demoted

We blame Andy Dick's wandering tongue for making us miss yesterday's Variety story on Rachel Dratch's new role—or roles, as the case may be—on NBC's upcoming series for those who'll find Aaron Sorkin's 60-minute treatment of the behind-the-scenes zaniness at SNL too demanding, the comparatively bite-sized 30 Rock, but we still think it's worth pointing out even in its unacceptably stale, day-old form. (The internet news cycle is a cruel, unfeeling bitch.) Reports Variety:

Dratch was originally tapped to play Jenna DeCarlo, an actress on "The Girlie Show" — the show-within-a-show on "30 Rock."

But with the focus of "30 Rock" moving away from "The Girlie Show" and more toward the interaction among stars Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracy Morgan, the show's exec producers decided to scrap Dratch's character.

Instead, Dratch will appear in several episodes in a wide variety of roles. In the "30 Rock" opener, for example, she'll now appear as a cat wrangler (whose felines are needed for a sketch).

"Both Tina and I obviously adore Rachel, and we wanted to find a way in which we could go to her strength," said "SNL" creator Lorne Michaels, who is also an exec producer on "30 Rock." "The way it's been rewritten, it's a much funnier part."

Leave it to legendary smooth-talker Lorne Michaels to sell the demotion, probably precipitated by a test audience comment card reading, "I think I find Debbie Downer too depressing to be on this show all the time, but I dunno. Tell her I hope her cat with AIDS is OK," as an exciting opportunity that frees up more time to go on auditions.