In a surprising bit of news, the Tina Fey-produced comedy series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” is being moved from NBC to Netflix with the streaming service also renewing the show for a second season. Why is this a surprise? Well the Ellie Kemper-led show hasn’t actually gone to air yet.
Fey and fellow “30 Rock” executive producer Robert Carlock are behind the project about a woman who escapes from a doomsday cult and starts life over in New York. NBC picked up a thirteen-episode straight to series after multiple networks engaged in an intense bidding war for the project.
They had an inside advantage – the series is also produced by NBC-owned Universal Television. However, several months into the new season and the network still had not scheduled the series which has raised a few eyebrows.
The sale to Netflix and especially the renewal should help quell some of those concerns. In a statement, NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt says:
“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.
While it was originally developed for NBC, we have a very drama-heavy midseason schedule so we’re thrilled about this Netflix opportunity; it’s an instant win-win for everyone, including Tina, Robert and Universal Television.
We’re already talking to these extraordinary creators about new development for NBC, but meanwhile, everyone here from Universal Television will do everything possible to see that Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt becomes a long-running hit on Netflix.”
The project marks the second new NBC comedy to be yanked from the network before going to air, the first was the Krysten Ritter-led space comedy “Mission Control” which suffered a less fortunate fate and is now on a rubbish heap.