The power of in-house A-list producers. NBC has renewed its softly rated new midseason comedy series Great News, executive produced by Tina Fey. As a midseason entry, it has received a 13-episode Season 2 pickup.
Great News, created/executive produced by 30 Rock alumna Tracey Wigfield and exec produced by 30 Rock EPs Fey and Robert Carlock, has been a shaky ratings performer behind The Voice on Tuesday, with a decent 1.2 and 1.0 adults 18-49 Live +7 rating for the back-to-back series premiere episodes, followed by a significant Week 2 drop (0.8, 0.6). The numbers stabilized at that low level this week, with the two episodes logging a 0.8 and 0.7.
It is unclear what the renewal of Great News, produced by NBC sibling Universal TV, means for fellow NBC midseason comedy Trial & Error, from Warner Bros. TV, which had looked hopeful and posted slightly higher ratings than Great News in the same Tuesday time slot earlier this spring though Great News had shown slightly better Voice lead-in retention.
Creatively, Great News is said to be getting better as the season progresses, with some drawing parallels to Fey’s own NBC workplace comedy series, 30 Rock, which also was imperfect when it first debuted but eventually became an awards juggernaut.
Great News stars Briga Heelan, Andrea Martin, Adam Campbell, Nicole Richie, Horatio Sanz and John Michael Higgins. Fey, Carlock, Wigfield, David Miner and Beth McCarthy-Miller executive produce.
Big-name in-house producers carry a lot of heft. ABC similarly renewed struggling midseason drama The Catch, from ABC Studios’ Shondaland, last spring. And Fox just gave another season to the low rated Last Man On Earth, from 20th TV-based Phil Lord and Chris Miller.