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How to watch the 30 Rock reunion special: time, TV channels, boycotts and Peacock

watch the 30 Rock reunion
(Image credit: NBC via Twitter)
30 Rock reunion special

At 8 p.m. ET tonight (July 16), the 30 Rock reunion special starts on NBC. 

How do you do fellow kids, it's time to watch the 30 Rock reunion special

Yes, it's about time to watch corporate synergy in sitcom form, as Liz Lemon, Jack Donaghy, Tracy Jordan, Kenneth and Jenna Maroney (off the set of The Rural Juror 2?) are back. And this reunion special is both expected to promote NBC's Peacock TV streaming service actually look like a real episode, not TV-shot-on-Zoom. 

The episode takes place right now, during the COVID-19 outbreak, and Liz is predictably agitated. In a trailer you can watch below, Lemon spouts off at a stranger who isn't wearing a mask in public (you're wearing yours, right), and reveals that she's got a face mask that features her own face, in a permanent yelling position. Highly relatable stuff.

Meanwhile, Kenneth is living it large, dressed well enough to look like his success last seen in the 30 Rock series finale hasn't petered off yet. On NBC's site, they describe the episode as "The TGS team reunites to help Kenneth with a presentation."

And as we see Tracy yelling on the phone and Jenna seemingly on the verge of tears accepting an award -- again on the phone - you and I probably started to realize how they shot the episode. In person, but with only one star at a time. 

There's only one eentsy-weentsy huge problem. Because the 30 Rock reunion episode is expected to promote the Peacock TV service, the Gray Television, Hearst, Nexstar, Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tegna TV station groups have decided to preempt the special. Folks who get NBC-owned affiliates -- this is confusing, I know, but NBCUniversal doesn't own all NBC stations -- will be able to watch live.

That means many folks around the country won't be able to watch the 30 Rock reunion special live. But we've got some tips for how to watch it regardless.

How to watch the 30 Rock reunion with a VPN

You don't need to miss the 30 Rock reunion just because you're out of the country and can't stream it on the service you already pay for. Yes, if you're away from home, geo-fenced restrictions might block you from accessing the service you already pay for, but with the help of a virtual private network (VPN), you can stream faster than you can say "It's Kabletown."

Our pick for the best VPN is ExpressVPN. It meets all the VPN needs and is easy to use and delivers fast internet speeds, making it simple to set up for streaming in no time at all. It also works on practically any device, starting with iOS and Android and including streaming devices such as the Amazon Fire TV Stick and Apple TV. Plus, game consoles like PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. 

Our favorite VPN service, ExpressVPN, is a top choice for anyone who wants to watch the 30 Rock reunion. It's got a solid mix of safety, speed and ease-of-use. Plus, you get an extra 3 months free if you sign up for a year. And if you've never used a VPN before and are curious and not sure, there's a 30-day money-back guarantee if you just want to give it a try.View Deal

How to watch the 30 Rock reunion in the US 

As mentioned above, folks in the U.S. will be able to watch the 30 Rock reunion live if they're in select markets. Those in larger markets, such as Chicago, Dallas Fort-Worth, Los Angeles, New York and Philadelphia, are the most likely to get to watch the 30 Rock reunion special live on TV. 

Peacock subscribers will get the chance to watch the show on Friday, much like how the Parks and Recreation went to Hulu the next day. NBC could even put it on YouTube. Here are the streaming services that get NBC, if you don't have one of the best TV antennas to pull the episode out of the sky. 

Right now, you can sign up for Sling TV and take advantage of a 3-day free trial. You'll want to pick Sling Blue, as Sling Orange doesn't get NBC, but of course, the NBC channel you get with Sling TV depends on your area's affiliates. This is why it's good that this trial exists so you're not down money for trying to watch a show you can't see.View Deal

How to watch the 30 Rock reunion in the UK

Bad news for everyone in the UK: the 30 Rock reunion doesn't appear to have a United Kingdom availability. Americans stuck in the UK right now can check above to see how to use a VPN, such as ExpressVPN to watch the special using a service they already pay for.

How to watch 30 Rock reunion in Canada

Similarly, Canadians have no way to watch NBC. So, Americans who are visiting the great white north should probably look to a VPN to see the 30 Rock special with the rest of us. 

How to watch old 30 Rock episodes

30 Rock has a new home that you've heard of a few times while reading this article. Check out our guide for how to watch Peacock to learn more about the new streaming service.

30 Rock reunion cast

While we expect surprise cameos, such as Peacock star David Schwimmer, 30 Rock has only announced its 5 main stars:

  • Tina Fey as Liz Lemon
  • Alec Baldwin as Jack Donaghy
  • Tracy Morgan as Tracy Jordan
  • Jane Krakowsi as Jenna Mulroney
  • Jack McBrayer as Kenneth

(Image credit: Future)