Netflix has managed to snag Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, a new comedy series created by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock, with a two-season deal. NBC was reportedly eyeing the show, but clearly couldn’t match the temptations of over-the-top TV, according to Variety.
The show, from Universal Television, stars Ellie Kemper (The Office) as a woman getting a new lease on life in the Big Apple after escaping from a cult that she has been part of for the past 15 years. Netflix doesn’t mince words, noting that the show was originally developed for NBC with 13 episodes in the first season. But now, with an extra 13 episodes tacked onto the contract, it will launch exclusively on Netflix, in all territories, starting March 2015.
Fey and Carlock call Netflix a proven “outstanding place for distinctive, original programming.” Though the pair notes that they will continue to develop broadcast projects with NBC as well.
NBC Executive Chairman Robert Greenblatt also voiced his support for the decision, calling it the “best-case scenario” and noting that the network has a very “drama-heavy” mid-season schedule.
This isn’t the first time that Netflix has nabbed a program from traditional TV land. It picked up a fourth season of Longmire recently after A&E, the original home, canceled the program; along with The Killing, which was originally shown on AMC.
Netflix is proving itself a force to be reckoned with in TV land. First, with a vast selection of library content. Second, with some stellar original series, like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black. And now, this agreement, which seems to be a pretty safe bet. It is Tina Fey, after all. What has she touched that hasn’t turned to TV gold?
Kimmy Schmidt is an interesting move that will ramp up Netflix’s involvement on the lighter, comedic side. By the way, keep an eye out for a few familiar faces from Fey’s massively popular show 30 Rock, including Jane Krakowski, who will play Kimmy’s boss in this brave new world, and Tituss Burgess, who plays her roommate.