Netflix grabs Tina Fey comedy ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ from NBC

BY SCOTT COLLINS

November 22, 2014, 4:15 p.m.

la-et-st-bill-cosby-netflix-postpones-special-20141119GREG BRAXTON

Netflix seems to want everything these days — even Tina Fey comedies that were meant for someone else.

The movie and TV streaming giant announced Friday that it had picked up two seasons of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” a new series about a woman (Ellie Kemper) who escapes from a cult and tries to start a new life in New York.

Fey co-created the show with Robert Carlock, with whom she worked on the NBC comedy “30 Rock.” Both serve as executive producers.

NBC originally announced “Kimmy Schmidt” as a midseason show for this year. But the network has few openings, given all its lineup of one-hour dramas such as “The Blacklist” and “State of Affairs,” plus its singing hit “The Voice.” What’s more, NBC hasn’t had tremendous luck with comedies lately.

“While it was originally developed for NBC, we have a very drama-heavy midseason schedule so we’re thrilled about this Netflix opportunity,” NBC Entertainment Chairman Robert Greenblatt said in a statement. “It’s an instant win-win for everyone, including Tina, Robert and Universal Television.”

NBC’s Universal arm will continue to be the studio for “Kimmy Schmidt.”

Meanwhile, Netflix’s appetite for original programming continues to grow.

In addition to original series such as “Orange Is the New Black” and “House of Cards,” the streaming company has been casting its eye toward traditional TV networks.

Earlier this year, Netflix and Fox struck a precedent-setting deal that put the Batman prequel “Gotham” on the streaming service before it had even premiered on broadcast TV.

 

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