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This Week's Cover: Tina Fey on her career in comedy and saying goodbye to '30 Rock'

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After seven seasons, 10 Emmys, and countless catchphrases — Blerg! I want to go to there! High-fiving a million angels!30 Rock will wrap up its illustrious and delightfully bizarre run early next year. To help us cope with the loss, we sat down with Rock‘s creator and star, Tina Fey, for a wide-ranging EW Interview. (Click here to buy the issue.) We arrived on set just in time to witness a scene from the third episode of the final season (which premieres October 4 at 8 p.m. on NBC), in which Fey’s Liz Lemon is appalled to learn a shocking secret about Tracy Jordan (Tracy Morgan). Explains Fey, “I discover that Tracy Jordan has tweeted, “I agree @theRealStephenHawking. Women are just not funny — never have been, never will be. #plotpoint.” (We won’t ruin the outcome for you, but suffice it to say that the resolution involves Lemon dressed in a lab coat and declaring, “Don’t thank me — thank Roe v. Wade!”) READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock' tease: Is this Liz Lemon's plant -- er, baby? Five theories

Did 30 Rock executive producer Jeff Burditt just give us our first glance at Planty in the flesh? We won’t know for sure until after 30 Rock‘s seventh season premieres in October — but this picture Burditt tweeted today seems to indicate that Liz Lemon and Criss Chros have procreated.

But knowing 30 Rock, there could be all sorts of other explanations for why Liz Lemon is holding a baby. Such as:

1. It’s a callback to Season 1′s ninth episode, “The Baby Show,” in which Liz accidentally steals a coworker’s bundle of joy.

2. Liz rescued the kid from Jenna, who was jealous of its soft skin.

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Jonathan's coming back to '30 Rock'! Who else should return for the final season?

Jack Donaghy’s office hasn’t been the same since Maulik Pancholy, the actor who played his sycophantic assistant Jonathan, left for supposedly greener pastures — i.e. a co-starring role on NBC’s Whitney. Thankfully, Whitney‘s retooling and 30 Rock‘s imminent final season have created a perfect storm: TV Guide says Pancholy is ditching Whitney Cummings in favor of Tina Fey, as anyone given a choice between the two would. Let’s celebrate by talking about ourselves all the time!

I’m not prepared to deal with the fact that 30 Rock will end in 2013. But the news about Jonathan also got me pondering which other supporting characters I’d like to see pop up again during the show’s last year. Popular recurring faces like Will Arnett’s devious Devon Banks, Chris Parnell’s loopy Dr. Spaceman, and Dean Winters’ skeevy Dennis Duffy are basically guaranteed to reappear — but what about the folks who make a big impact without being marquee names? Here’s who I’m talking about:

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Sofia Vergara is highest-paid TV actress, followed by Kardashians and Desperate Housewives

Forbes’ recently released list of top-paid movie actresses reflected Kristen Stewart’s secure foothold in modern pop culture. Now the business magazine has unveiled the list of TV actresses who earned the most between May 2011 and May 2012, and seems if you follow the money in TV land, it leads straight to funny gals and reality stars, with some housewives peppered in here and there.

Modern Family star Sofia Vergara tops the list with $19 million. Anyone who’s seen the Colombia native’s ubiquitous Kmart or Cover Girl ads knows that she’s also doing pretty well for herself with all those endorsement deals.

All four stars of Desperate Housewives, which concluded its series on ABC this May, made the list: Eva Longoria, followed by Felicity Huffman, Teri Hatcher, and Marcia Cross.

Reality TV has become even more of a major money-maker over the past year. With a wedding special watched by over 10 million people and continuing ratings success for Keeping Up with the Kardashians following the end of her 72-day-long marriage, reality star Kim Kardashian settled in at No. 2 on the list. Not far behind is her sister, Khloe. Last year they didn’t even make the top 10. Also new to the list this year is Bravo favorite and Skinny Girl entrepreneur Bethenny Frankel.

There are some familiar faces among this group, like Marg Helgenberger, whose 12-year-long run on CSI has kept her on the list for many years. Then there are rising stars like Zooey Deschanel, who has become a new comedy force to be reckoned with on Fox’s New Girl.

Last year’s list was topped with a tie between Eva Longoria and Tina Fey. The actresses come in third and fifth, respectively, this year. Check out the entire list below: READ FULL STORY

Kristen Wiig: What are the 'SNL' MVP's career prospects?

Kristen Wiig made her final regular appearance on Saturday Night Live last week with a moving send-off that was grander and more heartfelt than the sketch show has given a cast member in quite some time. With half a dozen film projects in the works, Wiig is poised to launch into a long, successful career on the A-list. But then again so was David Spade, Jimmy Fallon, and Tina Fey. While those SNL vets have all flourished in television, Wiig has made no move toward the small screen, and it’s harder to become a bankable star on the level of Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Eddie Murphy. Can Wiig leverage her Bridesmaids success to become SNL‘s first major female breakout film star? And, if so, where would she fit in the industry? EW reached out to some authorities on the show’s history to determine Wiig’s chances for headliner success.

“It’s a weird thing, having that SNL brand attached to you when you move from the show to movies,” acknowledges Nick Marx, a Media and Cultural Studies Fellow at the University of Wisconsin. “That assumption is there that successful stars of SNL will eventually leave the show and go on into movies. It’s really a decidedly mixed bag as far as whether it’s an advantage or not when you begin a movie career.” So will she go the route of Ferrell or the way of Chris Kattan? READ FULL STORY

Happy Blerg-day, Tina Fey! Here's to 42 years of funny business

Hey, nerds! Who’s got two thumbs, speaks limited French, and celebrates her 42nd birthday today? That’s right: Tina Fey, creator of 30 Rock, writer of Mean Girls, and overall funny-lady legend. Let’s recognize the occasion by high-fiving a million angels — and remembering some of Fey’s greatest creations.

“Mom Jeans”
If you’re searching for the perfect gift for Fey, look no further than J.C. Penney — where you’ll find plenty of denim with nine-inch zippers and casual front pleats. Saturday Night Live‘s then-head writer penned this classic ode to unflattering pants in 2003; it’s still among the show’s funniest fake commercials.

Mean Girls
Trying to choose your favorite quote from this teen comedy is harder than navigating the high school cafeteria. Luckily, this video saves you the trouble by compiling all of the movie’s best moments into one handy montage. Four for you, YouTube! You go, YouTube!

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'30 Rock': I now pronounce you divorced! Discuss the season 6 finale

Well, PopWatchers, “What Will Happen to the Gang Next Year?” was the finale to 30 Rock‘s penultimate season. Yup, season 7 will be the series’ last. And in terms of season finales, I have to say the season 6 ender was a little underwhelming. But at least they’ve now primed us for where things (might) be headed come fall. Will Liz and Criss have a baby? Will Jack become the supreme leader of KableTown? Will Kenneth…who cares what Kenneth does! But I’m getting ahead of myself here.

Liz and Criss continued their discussion about possibly having a plant baby together. Criss was particularly worried that Liz would bail on him. “You know what kind of women in their 40s have never been married, Liz? Uggos, crazies, and bailers. You’re not an uggo. And you’re haha crazy, not oh boy crazy, which means you bail!” So Criss set out to make enough money to pay for their apartment renovations. And when his hot dog business didn’t deliver, he sold his van, Van Der Beek. That’s true love.

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'30 Rock' finale: Lizzing is what happens while you're busy making other plans

One never does well to make plans in the 30 Rock universe. Let us consider last year’s season finale: All Liz Lemon (Tina Fey) wanted was to spend the summer wearing comfortable clothes, spending time outside, and learning Spanish. And technically she did all those things — when she was sentenced to don a jumpsuit and work on a community service trash crew with a bunch of Latino criminals.

On 30 Rock, the best laid plans are often the source of the most perverse pleasure. They reveal, to quote Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) in that same episode, “[the show's] version of normal.” And yet, as we head toward tonight’s season finale, all the major players were making plans like they had only a few hours to live. Oh wait… Below, we check in with Lemon, Jack, and the rest of the gang to see where they think life will take them in season 7.* READ FULL STORY

'30 Rock': Welcome home, Avery Jessup!

Last night’s 30 Rock, “The Return of Avery Jessup,” unsurprisingly featured the return of Avery Jessup. Avery finally reunited with her family, and despite her prolonged absence, she and Jack decided to quickly go back to life as they once knew it. As expected, the power couple totally crushed their return to normalcy. But not before they both participated in a power struggle/head game that only Avery and Jack could concoct and not hate each other at the end.

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'30 Rock': 'Queen of Jordan' returns. RUDE!

On last night’s 30 Rock, we were treated to a second episode of Angie’s Bravo reality series Queen of Jordan. As I said the last time 30 Rock deviated from its regular format, I’m kind of obsessed with the fake show. And it’s definitely something I would watch on a regular basis. Now for all you haters who didn’t like it: RUDE!

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