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Scott D. Pierce: '30 Rock' returns

Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld in tonight's episode of "30 Rock."
Alec Baldwin and Jerry Seinfeld in tonight's episode of "30 Rock."
Chris Haston, NBC

So, you ask, how did "30 Rock" win the Emmy as best comedy?

Hey, not much of anybody watched this show last season. Heck, in her acceptance speech, star/writer/producer Tina Fey thanked her "dozens of viewers."

So let's think about this ... "30 Rock" is a show about people who work in TV.

And the people who have a vote in the Emmys are people who work in TV.

And they think they're the most talented, interesting, funny people in the world!

'Nuff said.

Well, there was also the fact that "30 Rock" is a good show. Sometimes very good, although it was rather inconsistent in its first season.

If every episode were as funny as tonight's second-season premiere (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5), maybe a lot more people would be watching. And a lot fewer would be wondering how it managed to win that best-comedy Emmy.

The funniest character of "30 Rock" is NBC executive Jack (Alec Baldwin), and he's got a big idea to pump up the network's ratings — SeinfeldVision. He tells producers, including Liz (Fey), to digitally insert network-owned footage of Jerry Seinfeld into all of NBC's current shows. And the real Jerry Seinfeld shows up to confront Jack.

It's very funny stuff, but, at the same time it's sort of frightening. Given the continuing ratings woes at the real NBC, would any of us be surprised if real NBC executive pick up on this idea?

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Utahn Todd Herzog has done quite nicely on the first couple of episodes of "Survivor: China" (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2), and not just because his tribe has won both immunity challenges.

Herzog is bright, savvy and articulate. He knows the game and has, to this point, played it very smart.

Plus, just as host Jeff Probst told TV critics, Herzog is so good talking on camera that we see a lot of him.

It's waaaaaay too early to start thinking about Herzog as the winner, but that didn't stop Entertainment Weekly from doing just that.

I'm sure it had nothing to do with Herzog's official CBS biography, in which he lists Entertainment Weekly as one of his favorite magazines.

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Last season's big ratings battle came when ABC moved "Grey's Anatomy" opposite CBS's "CSI." And, for the most part, "Grey's" won that battle.

Last week, the season premiere of "CSI" (8 p.m., Ch. 2) easily beat "Grey's Anatomy" (8 p.m., Ch. 4) in viewers and households, although "Grey's" did attract more viewers in the advertiser-friendly 18-49 demographic.

The big question, however, is how long viewers are going to stick with these shows. "CSI" was a big bore, with nonexistent suspense over whether Sara (Jorja Fox) would survive.

And "Grey's Anatomy" was just weird and goofy. (Including, as one e-mailer put it, a storyline in which "Izzy is scorned by her interns and saves the life of an animatronic deer.")

I've been a huge fan of both of these shows over the years ... but I'm not feeling optimistic about the upcoming season right now.