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How 'Mr. Mayor' Turned A '30 Rock' Spinoff Into LA Comedy

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Ted Danson and Bobby Moynihan in the pilot for NBC's Mr. Mayor. (Mitchell Haddad/NBC)
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NBC's new sitcom Mr. Mayor stars Ted Danson, but it was supposed to star Alec Baldwin. And while Danson plays Los Angeles's mayor (in a fictionalized post-COVID-19 world), Baldwin was going to play his 30 Rock character Jack Donaghy becoming mayor of New York.

It might have been a more natural fit for the New York-based writers behind the show, Tina Fey and Robert Carlock. But with The Good Place ending, they pivoted and managed to retool the show for the L.A.-based Danson — and along the way, they've started to find the right balance between mocking L.A. culture and embracing it.

While written in New York, the writers' room features talent from both coasts, and between storylines around Dodgers games and Brentwood town hall meetings, the show's started to feel more like one written by people who understand Los Angeles. We talked with actress Vella Lovell about the show's evolution, and how it's coming to lovingly represent the city.

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