by    in Market Research

The Darker Side of “30 Rock”

NBC’s trend-setting ensemble sitcom “30 Rock” is wrapping up its sixth season, and remains one of the most discussed shows on all of Ranker. The series currently ranks 17th on our list of History’s Greatest Sitcoms as well as having a strong showing on the Funniest Shows of 2011 round-up. As well, main characters Tracy Jordan and Jack Donaghy BOTH cracked the Top 20 on our Funniest TV Characters Of All Time list. (No Liz Lemon until #35? Come on, gang!)

This many votes on “30 Rock” spanning this many lists gives us A LOT of data to sift through for interesting correlations. And wouldn’t you know, we found one. Namely, fans of “30 Rock” by and large seem to enjoy surprisingly dark film entertainment. More so than you’d think from a show about the wacky behind-the-scenes hijinks on a sketch comedy show that contains this many fart jokes and Werewolf Bar Mitzvahs.

The 2 films “30 Rock” aficionados are most likely to enjoy? You guessed it, “The Deer Hunter” and “Raging Bull.” “30 Rock” fans are… get this… nearly 2000% more likely to enjoy “Deer Hunter” than some schmo off the street, and almost as enthusiastic about Scorsese’s boxing biopic.

Aside from the presence of Robert De Niro, and generally being really really awesome, these films have in common an unsettling, gritty outlook, not to mention protagonists who may not always be relateable. It’s kind of hard picturing people sympathizing with Jake LaMotta’s violent temper and fits of jealous rage, then switching over to chuckle at Jack Donaghy’s doppelganger, El Comandante. Yet that’s apparently just what’s happening.


Grab some Sabor de Soledad, niƱos, cause we’re gonna watch Bobby D get tortured in a Vietnamese POW camp.

It doesn’t stop there. We also noticed that some of “30 Rock” fans’ favorite film and TV characters are not what you’d expect from people who can’t get enough of Kenneth Parcell’s down-home folksy wisdom. For example, aside from Liz Lemon herself, and “Arrested Development’s” Buster Bluth, the most popular fictional character among “30 Rock” fans is Kurt Russell’s Snake Plissken from the John Carpenter “Escape” movies. Now, granted, those movies are sort of funny, but not quite in the same way that “30 Rock” is funny. Although both projects do involve a love of shoddy greenscreen effects:

Sarah Connor from “The Terminator” films also wins surprisingly favorable reviews from loyal “30 Rock” viewers. No word on whether they like the more girly mall-rat version from “The Terminator” or her later, tormented and also super-buff self. Maybe we’ll dig that up for a future post.

– Lon

by    in Popular Lists

I'd Like to Thank the List of the Day… and My Agent

Tonight is the 63rd annual Primetime Emmy Awards, and you know what that means… Los Angeles’ supply of collagen is at a historic low tonight. You want thick, lustrous, not-at-all-even-vaguely-human-looking lips, you better be willing to pay zombipocalypse prices.

It also means millions of Americans (and probably, let’s say, 7-10 other people from countries around the globe!) will be rapt at their television sets, watching celebrities give one another golden statues for being so incredibly hilarious and awesome.

OK, that sounds a bit cynical for a corporate communication. Let me try again. Something with some more SEO-type keywords…

She made all this money just by typing SEO-friendly keywords. For real. It works.

Once again, it’s Emmy night, that time when the world of television’s brightest stars come out to shine and celebrate the very best of the medium. (Though unless it’s on HBO or about cooking meth, the options are still surprisingly thin, let’s be honest.)

Oh well, I tried.

Anyway, Ranker has a variety of fascinating lists to check out while you’re waiting to see if Jon Cryer gets his name called, and we all find out exactly what Charlie Sheen-induced PTSD looks like up close.

Get an idea for who might come out on top tonight by reading our Emmy Predictions list. Then come taunt us in the comments afterwards for everything we got wrong. (Just for fun, try to be more clever than, say, this: “Julianna Marguiles? FAIL.” That’s where we’re setting the bar.)

Outstanding Comedy Series in particular looks to be a competitive category. “The Big Bang Theory” and “Parks and Recreation” are both nominated for the first time this year, and they’re up against 3 heavy hitters – “Modern Family” (which won last year), “Glee” (nominated last year and beloved for some reason) and 3-time winner “30 Rock.” See every show that has taken the top comedy prize on our VoteRanked list of the greatest Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy winners. And by the way, has anyone ever seen or heard of a show called “My World and Welcome To It”? It apparently has won an Emmy but I have to think it’s just some elaborate hoax:

This is seriously a thing? Really? I don’t believe you.

For more Emmy history, we’ve collected several of the most glaring Emmy snubs of all time. This year has two HUGE oversights in a single category, actually – Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.

The two funniest characters on TV this past season were Ron Swanson from “Parks and Recreation” and Leon Black from “Curb Your Enthusiasm.” Yet neither of the actors behind these characters – Nick Offerman and JB Smoove, respectively – were nominated in this category this year. Seriously, Academy… every single person with a Y chromosome who appeared on “Modern Family” gets a nod, but not Ron f-ing Swanson? Are you mad??!?

A cat that looks like Ron Swanson, expressing how I feel about Ron Swanson not being honored by the TV Academy.