How 30 Rock Will Tackle Kim Jong Il’s Death

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Regroup in the writers' room!

When 30 Rock returns to NBC January 12, they'll have a late-breaking story to fold into the lineup at The Girlie Show.

30 Rock's producer, Robert Carlock, tells Us Weekly that Tina Fey and her crew of writers plan to incorporate into the storyline the December 18 death of North Korean despot Kim Jong Il, who passed away at the age of 69 from "great mental and physical strain" while riding a train, according to reports.

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Last season on 30 Rock, Jack's (Alec Baldwin) wife Avery (Elizabeth Banks) was kidnaped by Kim Jong Il (played by Margaret Cho) in North Korea while traveling on assignment.

"Jack's love life is pretty complicated and it just got more complicated because I think, technically, Avery is the First Lady of North Korea," Carlock explains to Us.

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In a promo for the show's upcoming season, Banks' character poses for anti-American holiday cards with Kim Jong Il, who forced the Avery character to become his publicist/mistress.

"We sort of went back to the script because we'd already shot eight or nine episodes and we realized that luckily we hand't referred to King Jong Il by name yet — just to North Korea in general," says Carlock. We can't go back and address the changes there, but the fun puzzle is turning around and trying to figure out how to get her out of there and how to continue things."

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As the writers and editors ponder Avery's fate in the wake of real-life headlines, Carlock tells Us he already has one new storyline in mind.

"Maybe we'll have to have Margaret Cho showing up again having faked her death, because she wants to get a gig on a morning talk show," he joked.

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