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NBC Thursday Line-up: Oldies but goodies

By Michael Primavera, Special to The Chronicle

NBC's Thursday night television lineup is packing a punch once again. The night starts off with the show "Community," which will be going into its second season. The show will feature one of comedy's biggest names in its season premier; the one and only Betty White. She will be playing a teacher at Glendale Community College.

For those of you who have never seen the show, Jeff, played by Joel McHale, is an attorney who obtained his law degree online, causing him to be disbarred and forced to go back to college. At school, Jeff forms a study group of motley characters. One is Pierce Hawthorne, played by veteran comedic actor Chevy Chase. Pierce made a fortune as the owner of a moist towelette company. Gillian Jacobs, Alison Brie, Ken Jeong, of "The Hangover" and others round out the ensemble cast.

"30 Rock" follows "Community" at 8pm. Now going into its fifth season, it has won six golden globes and three Emmys. The show is loosely based on what goes on behind the scenes at "Saturday Night Live." It features a few of SNL's former members and favorite hosts. Tina Fey, who created the show also writes and stars in it as Liz Lemon, the head writer on the show

Tracy Morgan, another former SNL star, plays a "mild" version of himself. Another star of the show is Alec Baldwin, who plays Jack Donaghy, the Vice President of East Coast Television and Microwave Oven Programming For G.E.

This season 30 Rock will be doing something quite different from other sitcom shows: it will be airing an episode live, in the fashion of "Saturday Night Live," from the famous 8H studio. The cast will be performing twice; once for the east coast airing of the show and one for the west coast. The episode is set to air on Oct. 14.

"The Office" rounds out the night, for what could be its final season? It will be for the show's main character, Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell. Carell announced that he will be leaving the show this year when his contract expires.

Who will replace him as the new boss of the Scranton branch? Will it be John Krasinki's character Jim Halpert?  Or could it be Rainn Wilson's character Dwight Schrute?  Or will they hire from the outside?

Jim may not be able to handle it seeing as he and his wife Pam, played by Jenna Fischer, had a baby last season. And although Dwight thinks he's shrewd and is a brown nose, he is usually outwitted by Jim, and would likely make an awful boss. The show looks to be as funny as ever.

All three shows premiere on Thursday, September 23, this fall on NBC.

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