Netflix’s Reason for Saving Tina Fey’s New Comedy Will Silence the Haters
A couple weeks back we were treated to the delightful news that a new show being produced by Tina Fey and starring Bridesmaids ' Ellie Kemper was being rescued from death by Netflix. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt almost broke, but there Netflix was to catch it when it fell. So how exactly did this come about? Usually Netflix saves shows that have already been exposed to (and beloved by) the public — so how and why did they land one that hadn't even seen the light of day?
According to an interview Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos — AKA the man you can thank for most of the original or revived glory Netflix has brought us — it was really a unique opportunity:
It was probably one of the most remarkable developments of the last couple of years in television. We’ve had this history of rescuing a show. Either a really loved show that’s long-gone, like Arrested Development, or more recently, The Killing and Longmire. And this was a strange opportunity where, usually when shows don’t make it, sometimes it has very little to do with the quality and it has everything to do with the time slot, the lead-in show, the time of year it came out. All those things. And Kimmy was one of those things that both the network and the producers were a little nervous about the time of the year it was coming. They didn’t have a complementary program to launch it with.
Apparently the deal was pitched and signed to Netflix within four days, and Sarandos sure does seem excited about the show — he calls it "slightly off-center, super serialized, and comedic and complex story lines" and says it's "hysterical" and "plays out really beautifully episode to episode."
As for the vibe we can expect from the show, Sarandos says it's "the same comic sensibility of [30 Rock]. It’s a slightly darker premise, I mean."