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11Alive won’t air ‘30 Rock’ special, which promotes new Peacock streaming service

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NBC’s reunion of “30 Rock” won’t air Thursday on 11Alive (WXIA-TV) in Atlanta.

Most independently owned NBC affiliates such as the Atlanta station — owned by Tegna — are bowing out, according to a story Vulture broke.

Instead, 11Alive is airing an hour-long special at 8 p.m. by the 11Alive news team about the COVID-19 pandemic.

11Alive general manager John Deushane did not respond to a text seeking comment.

Besides Tegna, affiliates owned by Gray Television, Hearst, Nexstar and Sinclair Broadcast Group are also skipping the special, according to Vulture. NBC affiliates have the right to pre-empt prime-time shows.

The hour-long, commercial-free NBCUniversal special, which virtually reunites the cast of “30 Rock,” was created by the NBC ad-sales division to promote upcoming shows. It’s, in effect, a fancy infomercial.

That in and of itself isn’t unusual. Broadcast networks have been doing these for decades. But affiliates, according to the Vulture story, believe the special too heavily promotes NBC’s new Peacock streaming service, which debuted July 15. That service could take eyeballs away from the traditional broadcast networks.

NBC does own stations in many major markets, such as New York and Los Angeles, and those stations will air the special.

The special will also air Friday on NBCUniversal cable networks, such as USA, SyFy, Bravo, Oxygen, E!, and CNBC.

The critically acclaimed comedy, which starred Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin and Tracey Morgan, originally aired from 2006 to 2013.

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