Is "30 Rock" a thinly veiled ripoff of "The Muppet Show"? Screenwriter Brian Lynch makes the case:
Each week, our smart yet neurotic lead character has to manage a group of wacky misfits and put on a weekly sketch comedy show. Which show am I talking about? 30 ROCK plays like NBC went to JJ Abrams and told him to reboot THE MUPPET SHOW. "Do what you did with STAR TREK. Make it hipper, more adult. Maybe lose the puppets to allow more time for product placement."
Wait until you get to the Jenna-as-Ms.-Piggy and Kenneth-as-Scooter comparisons. Not to mention, among the supporting cast, this dead giveaway: