Is it possible that NBC is already learning the error of its ways when it comes to comedies? While the likes of some of their recent shows a la “30 Rock” and “Community” may not be huge in the ratings, people at least like them. They’ve clearly screwed things up here when it comes to their attempt at appealing to families (which nobody is watching and critics are not caring about), so they are heading back in the familiar direction of caring about innovation again.
This is why today, the network has given a greenlight to a 13-episode series from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock (who worked extensively together on “30 Rock“) starring “The Office’s” Ellie Kemper as a woman starting her life over in New York after being involved for a lengthy span of time with a doomsday cult. (Let’s hope for lots of flashbacks here.) While we have some reservations about whether Kemper is perfect for a series lead role, the people involved here are enough to make this worth checking out. This order could be expanded later, but the network was confident enough here that there was no need for the show to even make a pilot.
We have a few of statements from some of the people involved, as well.
Robert Greenblatt, NBC Entertainment Chairman – “Tina and Robert, who cemented their partnership on 30 Rock, have created a new signature comedy for us that is audacious, emotional, and clever. While tapping into very relatable themes, there isn’t anything like this anywhere else on television. NBC has been their home for many years and we’re so happy that they’ve found another way to push the comedy envelope for us.”
Jennifer Salke, NBC Entertainment President – “Original voices like Tina and Robert don’t come along very often and we wanted them back on the air as soon as possible. And to have them working with Ellie Kemper — who we watched grow up on The Office from supporting player to leading actress — puts the whole package together. We feel fortunate to be in business with this entire creative team on something so funny, unique, and attention-getting.”
Fey and Carlock, who will executive-produce – “We have been lucky enough to work at NBC for our entire careers (except when Robert worked at The Dana Carvey Show, now available on DVD) and we thank [Robert and Jennifer] for their continued support.”
Fey will not be a regular presence on the actual show itself, while we suppose it is always possible for her to make a cameo or two.