While retreating from comedy over the past year, NBC is making a push in the genre with new projects from 30 Rock‘ and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt‘s Tina Fey and Robert Carlock and Parks & Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine co-creator Mike Schur. All are under overall deals at Universal TV.
This marks the return of Schur and Fey & Carlock to NBC after their latest series from Uni TV landed elsewhere, Brooklyn Nine-Nine at Fox and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt at Netflix.
The network has given a straight-to-series 13-episode order to the Mike Schur project. Tentatively titled The Good Place, it centers on a woman wrestling with what it means to be good.” Mike came in and laid out the whole season. We loved it so much, we ordered it to series,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said. “The guy who brought Amy Poehler to primetime (in Parks & Rec) is bringing another strong, funny, complicated female character to TV.” The series will be produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts Entertainment and Fremulon. Schur and David Miner will executive produce.
The untitled Fey-Carlock character will be written by Tracey Wigfield, a young writer from 30 Rock who was their protege on the show and shared an Emmy Award with Fey for co-writing the series finale. It centers on a mother-daughter relationship that is challenged when an overly involved New Jersey mom gets an internship at her daughter’s workplace, a cable news network.
The comedy has received a pilot order with the full intention to go to series. “The combination of the Tina, Robert and Tracey we think makes this as good as it gets,” Greenblatt said.
He was asked about the decision to release Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, originally ordered by NBC in a similar arrangement to the new project, to go to Netflix with a two-season deal. The freshman landed a slew of Emmy nominations. Starting off with, “We’re whores for Emmy nominations like anybody else,” Grenblatt said he didn’t have Emmy envy, noting that NBC’s own Emmy nomination tally is up year-to-year. Since NBCU owns Kimmy Schmidt, “we looked for the best way to launch the show,” he said. “To know Tina Fey is to love her, and we wanted to put the series where it would have the best chance of success.”
The new Fey-Carlock project will be produced by Universal Television, 3 Arts and Little Stranger. Fey, Carlock, Wigfield and David Miner are executive producers.
After struggling to launch a new hit comedy for several years, NBC this fall scaled back to one hourlong comedy block on the schedule on Friday, which features returning Undateable and newcomer Truth Be Told.
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