UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock on the Move from NBC to Netflix - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT: Tina Fey and Robert Carlock on the Move from NBC to Netflix

January 8, 2015 by  

unbre_s1_004_hUNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT — the new comedy from 30 ROCK bosses Tina Fey and Robert Carlock about a woman (Ellie Kemper) who is released from a cult and attempts to make a new life for herself in New York City — was originally intended to air on NBC, but then things took a turn: in late November, it was announced that Netflix would be running the already-shot first season, and the streaming service had also picked up a second season.

“It was probably the fastest that anything good has ever happened to me in this business. Bad things happen real quick all the time,” Carlock said during the show’s TCA panel on Wednesday. “But we were just having conversations with NBC about scheduling and about where we could go and where they could launch us, and it was just a really honest and productive conversation we were having with them about the larger landscape of comedy right now. And we just said, ‘Could we explore other options?’ And [Chief Content Officer for Netflix] Ted [Sarandos] and [Netflix VP, Content Acquisition / Original Series] Cindy [Holland] were in New York, and we met with them two days later, and we had seven shows to show them. And they loved it, and, you know, [NBC Chairman] Bob [Greenblatt] and [NBC’s President of Entertainment] Jen [Salke] were just completely supportive of finding the best place for it to live. It was really kind of an amazing thing.”

“The show is made by NBC, it’s in NBC’s best interests for the show to have its best home,” Fey added. “And rather than trying to stick it on NBC between a multicam and a drama, they agreed that this would be the right place for it.”

Since they had already shot the first season the impact of the freedom of Netflix won’t be immediately apparent, but the EPs pointed out they’ve been able to rework a little bit of what they’ve shot now that they’re not bound by specific air times.

“This deal kind of happened as we were finishing the first 13 episodes,” Fey explained. “And so we were editing — we had completed editing the first six or seven, and then we were able to go back and reopen them, and if there were jokes that we had cut solely to reach that timing, we would put jokes back. The first thing we went through, we were able to go through and take out commercial breaks, which was delightful…And then as we edited those last six or seven episodes, we were able to let them play longer, and let moments breathe in a way that was very new to us.”

“There’s the freedom we earned with Netflix in sort of structural ways,” Carlock added. “There was nothing — when we were writing the show, I don’t think we would have written it any differently if we had known sooner…We’ve always selfishly taken all the freedom we can as writers. And NBC has allowed us to do that…And, again, Bob and Jen really helped us form the tone of the show from the pilot. They got it and they really helped us find it. And in terms of the real basic freedoms of what the show is, I don’t think it would be any different if we had known sooner.”

And while Carlock allowed that while filming season 2, they might end up shooting an extra five or so minutes per episode, they were less sure about whether they’d end up embracing the freedom to use words not traditionally allowed on network television.

“It will be interesting to see, going to season 2, where we have the option of curse words, whether we take that option or not,” Fey said. “I don’t know if we will.”

UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT season 1 will launch on Netflix on Friday, March 6th.

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