Rachel Dratch: '30 Rock' Recasting Wasn't A Big Deal

The Original Jenna On '30 Rock' Speaks

You won't find a Hollywood feud between Rachel Dratch and Tina Fey. The two "Saturday Night Live" alumnas starred in NBC's "30 Rock" ... that is, an unaired pilot version.

After the original pilot, Dratch, who played Jenna DeCarlo, Liz Lemon's (Fey) best friend and star of the fictional sketch comedy show "The Girlie Show," the role of Jenna was recast. Jane Krakowski landed the role and the character became Jenna Maroney.

"When I was let go, I didn't think it was a big deal," Dratch told the New York Post. "The direction of the character had changed and pilots are recast all the time. I thought it would be a nonstory, but suddenly it blew up."

Dratch went on to play multiple parts on "30 Rock," including that of a cat wrangler In the aired pilot.

"Both Tina and I obviously adore Rachel, and we wanted to find a way in which we could go to her strength," Lorne Michaels, "SNL" creator and "30 Rock" executive producer, told Variety in 2006. "The way it's been rewritten, it's a much funnier part."

In an interview after the recasting, Dratch explained the switch to New York Mag. "I think the big thing was -- at least what they told me -- that at first they wanted to have more comedy sketches in the show. Then they decided they weren’t going to focus on the sketches, so they needed more of a sitcom actress, as opposed to a character actress."

Most recently, Dratch showed up in "30 Rock's" Season 5 live episode as a cleaning lady obsessed with "Happy Days."

"30 Rock" wasn't the big TV gig she had dreamed about, but "Lady Friends" might be the ticket. Dratch co-stars opposite Andrea Anders, "Cougar Town" star Josh Hopkins and Minnie Driver in the NBC comedy pilot about two female friends, one who has the seemingly perfect life and the other ... who is a bit scattered. "The New Adventures of Old Christine" veteran Kari Lizer wrote the pilot, which stars Dratch as Lisa, the newest member of the group who is described as worse off than the others in every way.

“My character is not a lesbian! She's not obese! She's funny!” Dratch said. “I hope this show gets picked up!"

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