Rachel Dratch Explains That Whole Demotion/Recasting Situation

Back in August, news emerged that Rachel Dratch was being, er, shifted ("demoted" is a bummer word, as you'll soon see) from her lead role on 30 Rock into one where she'd play a "wide variety" of parts after producers decided to "scrap her character." A couple of days after the initial announcement, we learned that her original character wasn't so much "scrapped" as "given to Jane Krakowski." Dratch spoke to NY Mag's Intelligencer column about how the unfortunate demoting/recasting thing went down:

What happened there? I think the big thing was—at least what they told me—that at first they wanted to have more comedy sketches in the show. Then they decided they weren't going to focus on the sketches, so they needed more of a sitcom actress, as opposed to a character actress.

That's very diplomatic.
Ha! Yes, I'm phrasing this all very nicely. That's the party line, at least—it's what I can tell my parents!

Were you pissed?
Well, when Tina told me I was going to play different characters each show, I was actually psyched about it, because it sounded really unique. But then the media kind of ran with this "demotion" thing, so that was kind of a bummer. But whatever, I'm over it.


How many episodes will you be in? Six, but that's a whole other thing. I was kind of like, Why do I only have six? But then I decided I shouldn't open my trap too much, so I just left it at that.

What do you think of Studio 60?
What's weird to me about it is that they're so serious about comedy. In the real comedy world, no one's like, "We've got to change people!"

What's it like working with Alec Baldwin?
I haven't really worked with him that much, except for when I was starring in that first pilot. Cough, cough.

It's probably smart that Dratch didn't rock the boat when she discovered she was only getting six episodes, lest she awaken to a story in the trades in which boss Lorne Michaels tries to sell her new part as "the unusual lady who's sometimes lurking in the background of scenes but never speaks," as a "far funnier role in which Rachel will really get to exercise her nonverbal comedy chops."