Golden Globe Awards co-hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have not written their material for Sunday’s trophy show, Fey said this morning at TCA Winter TV Press Tour 2015. “We haven’t written the show yet — we’ve got to hurry up!” Fey joked, adding that she does know exactly what she’s going to wear Sunday night. “I’m bringing it!” she joked.
Fey came to the tour to talk about her new Netflix comedy series, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, which she created with her 30 Rock co-showrunner Robert Carlock. The series, which premieres March 6, stars Ellie Kemper as a wide-eyed, resilient woman who, after living in an apocalyptic cult for 15 years, starts over in New York City and quickly finds a roommate (Tituss Burgess) and a job (working for 30 Rock‘s Jane Krakowski).
At their Q&A, Fey and Carlock mostly got asked about shift of their comedy — Carlock described it as “Mary Tyler Moore [Show] done in a new way” — from NBC to Netflix. In November, Netflix took over the NBC midseason comedy. Netflix doubled the 13-episode order. “When the opportunity arose for Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to premiere their new show on Netflix with a two-season commitment, we decided this was the best possible scenario to launch this captivating new series,” NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said at that time (Greenblatt also oversees Universal TV).
While Kimmy Schmidt had a straight-to-series order at NBC, Greenblatt acknowledged it wasn’t a great fit for the broadcast network because of its very drama-heavy midseason schedule.
The first season was shot and largely edited when the move was arranged, so the second season “is going to be mostly shower sex,” Fey joked, later saying “it will be interesting to see if we use curse words.”
One reporter wondered why their comedy series could not have worked on NBC. “It could have been on NBC, and would have been on NBC had this deal not come together,” Fey insisted, while noting all of the broadcast networks had trouble launching comedies this season.
Asked what still works on broadcast TV, Fey punted, saying, “live events like The Voice where people want to see who won that night,” and “things that feel like events,” adding, “thankfully, it’s not my job to figure out what still works on broadcast.” Asked if the landscape still can support five commercial broadcast networks, Fey said, “I don’t know…. Probably,” and shook her head.
Broadcast goes into people’s homes “unsolicited,” Fey explained, “so you have to be a little milder.” Netflix viewers are “choosing” to watch, so shows can be “darker or edgier” she said, then admitted the latter is a “meaningless word.”
Running on ad-less Netflix means they will be able to let episodes “play longer and let moments breathe,” Carlock said happily. And yet, the thing they’re most excited about in the move, Fey confessed, was taking out the bug that says ‘TV13” — and they’re “very excited about there never being snipes. “I love Debra Messing, but I don’t want her face going across the screen: The Mysteries Of Laura!”
“We will have to find our own boundary next year,” Carlock agreed. “The tone of the show is set, so I don’t think it will be a drastic shift.” Fey predicted it will be like when Howard Stern “went from regular radio to Sirius – so we will have a lot of strippers.”
Asked if she had favorite swear words that might show up in Season 2, Fey said, “I do – but I’m going to save them.” She also declined to name celebrity guest stars appearing in the first season, adding coyly, “but, March 6, you can see them all on the same night.”