'30 Rock's Maulik Pancholy Departs 'Whitney' For...'30 Rock'

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Sure, all birds have to leave the nest eventually, but no one said they couldn't ever come back!  So while '30 Rock' heads into its finally 13 episodes before shutting down the TGS studios for good, a number of familiar faces are bound to pop up in the seventh, and final season.  Maulik Pancholy in particular will be back as the ever-deferent Jonathan, but what does his return say about his controversial 'Whitney' character?

Deadline has announced that former '30 Rock' star Maulik Pancholy will depart his role on 'Whitney' as the show heads into a second season.  The actor will return to '30 Rock' in his role as Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin)'s assistant Jonathan for the show's final 13-episode season, a role he'd maintained in a supporting capacity since the series' 2005 pilot.  The series even took to meta-referencing Pancholy's departure by referring to the actor offhand as one of NBC's rising stars.

No specific reason was given for Pancholy's 'Whitney' departure other than "creative changes," as Will Calhoun joins the series as the new show-runner, replacing Betsy Thomas.  Though 'Whitney' itself was never a critical success, Pancholy's season 1 character Neal brought a modicum of critical attention to the series as the character came out of the closet toward the end of the first season.

Like '30 Rock,' 'Whitney' will move into its new season this fall with a 13-episode order as NBC re-evaluates its comedy structure and lineup.  'Whitney' will begin its second season next to 'Community' on Friday, October 19, while '30 Rock' will premiere its final season on October 4.

What say you?  Are you happy to have Pancholy back for the final season of '30 Rock,' or was 'Whitney' just starting to get good because of him?  How would you like to see the upcoming seasons of either play out?  Give us your take in the comments!

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