4:18 pm - 01/09/2013

Tina Fey Speaks Truth: NBC's Broad Comedy Plan Is Wrong

Tina-and-Amy-400x347Tina Fey has been the queen of NBC comedy for more than a decade, thanks to "Saturday Night Live" and "30 Rock." With "30 Rock" wrapping up its seven-year run, Fey signed a deal with the network and is poised to create new shows and possibly star in them for the Peacock network, but she has a problem with NBC's comedy plan.

"Those Thursday comedies, which the critics love, and we love, tend to be a bit more narrow than we'd ultimately like going forward," NBC's Robert Greenblatt told reporters in 2012.

However, he praised the current "niche" comedies. "I don't want to say anything negative about what Tina Fey does, or 'Parks and Rec' or 'The Office,'" he continued. "Those are great shows. But it's a challenge in comedy to broaden."

While speaking with The Hollywood Reporter prior to her Golden Globe hosting gig, Fey said NBC's "broad" comedy plan is wrong when asked if she had it in her to create a something not so narrow.

"You know what? They’re wrong, and I’m going to wait that out," Fey said. "What they want is hits, but no one knows what that is. Remember when Jeff Zucker was like: 'I've got a new plan! We’re only going to make hits!' [Laughs.] It’s hard. I couldn't do it. I couldn’t be a network exec

Fey's new deal is for four years.

"She's been a cornerstone of the network for over the past 10 years and there was just no way we were going to let her get away," Greenblatt said in September. "It's a measure of our esteem for her as a writer, actress and producer -- she's in a class by herself."

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for_serious13 10th-Jan-2013 12:40 am (UTC)
this flawless comedic queen
stoicana 10th-Jan-2013 12:40 am (UTC)
NBC confuses me. For a network channel, they're pretty diverse in their program picks. They go for the quirky comedies and the SF genre shows more often than ABC or CBS.

But then they go and say stuff like this and it makes me kind of sad.
interpol15 10th-Jan-2013 01:04 am (UTC)
Yeah, their staff must all over the place. I love Grimm, and still check out SVU, Parks & Rec, Community, but they're struggling so much and it seems like they want to please everyone all the time, which just means that they're never going to develop new loyal viewers.

That and Grimm's hiatus goes until freaking MARCH! What the hell, NBC, Fringe is over and you're going to lose all the fans of the show.
americnxidiot 10th-Jan-2013 01:11 am (UTC)
The new head of NBC is trying to eliminate the quirky comedies. He's basically said as much. Like "we love Parks and Rec and Community, but..."
miss_lurker 10th-Jan-2013 10:21 am (UTC)
They want to be CBS.
egalitarianmuse 10th-Jan-2013 12:43 am (UTC)
I don't even know what a "niche" comedy is, but I do know I didn't like the whole 2 episodes of 30 Rock I made it through. I tried. Tina Fey's book and Mean Girls were good though.
nightfury 10th-Jan-2013 12:50 am (UTC)
I could only get to the second episode of 30 rock as well.
marmar627 10th-Jan-2013 03:19 am (UTC)
The pilot and second ep? bb 30 Rock gets SO SO SO much better. By the end of season one it's amazing
jaimelannister 10th-Jan-2013 04:39 pm (UTC)
i think if you get to the 12th one and you still hate it then you'll never like it
cageyb 10th-Jan-2013 12:43 am (UTC)
Ugh, she's right. We really needed this new spate of Totally Attractive Yet Somehow Undateable Because She's Awkward White Working Woman shows to give us something really fresh and different from the Unattractive White Schlub and His Hot Wife shows.
mrscantelope 10th-Jan-2013 12:51 am (UTC)
They should mix things up by making a show about a Totally Attractive Yet Somehow Undateable Because He is Awkward White Working Man Who Is Also Cheating on His Unattractive White Schlub of His Unattractive White Wife. Comedy Gold!

galagooo 10th-Jan-2013 12:56 am (UTC)
I'd be willing to be the star of Awkward Mixed Terminally Single Girl for a couple bucks.
cageyb 10th-Jan-2013 12:57 am (UTC)
I would watch the fuck out of that, negl.
shh_im_a_ninja 10th-Jan-2013 01:30 am (UTC)
Exchange mixed with brown and isn't that mindy's show?
interpol15 10th-Jan-2013 12:58 am (UTC)

What "old" comedies do you all still like?

I love MASH, Cheers, Night Court (early seasons), Cosby Show, still miss Scrubs, Roseanne, and pretty much everything on 90's Nick.
sassandthecity 10th-Jan-2013 01:00 am (UTC)
I love Roseanne.
umbrella_smile 10th-Jan-2013 02:07 am (UTC)
oh god, that clip and when Jackie was trying to tell her aunt her dad was dead over the phone crack me the fuck up
devolute 10th-Jan-2013 01:09 am (UTC)
All in the Family, not a comedy but I consistently find lols in Star Trek TOS, and 90s Simpsons and Friends.
galagooo 10th-Jan-2013 01:11 am (UTC)
My mother thought I was so weird as a kid because I would watch Cheers every night.
spiffynamehere 10th-Jan-2013 01:11 am (UTC)
Cosby Show, M*A*S*H, Carol Burnett Show, I Love Lucy, Andy Griffith Show.
vivisexion 10th-Jan-2013 01:20 am (UTC)
cosby show, roseanne, seinfeld (not super old but w/e), the facts of life, the brady bunch, the addams family, family matters...i was raised on that stuff

and old nick, of course <3
ncc_gqmf 10th-Jan-2013 01:23 am (UTC)
I still marathon Seinfeld sometimes. And when I was home for vacation a couple of years ago I got sick and ended up watching hours of The Nanny and Frasier and both were still hilarious.
raised_eyebrows 10th-Jan-2013 01:31 am (UTC)
Roseanne is my everything. I also like Laverne and Shirley, Friends (which doesn't feel old, but it was last on 9 years ago, so...), Golden Girls. Three's Company is a fave too. I really miss John Ritter. I used to have a crush on him when I was little.
scottfreein4_d 10th-Jan-2013 01:43 am (UTC)
Mary Tyler Motherfucking Moore.
hahahey 10th-Jan-2013 01:48 am (UTC)
The Cosby Show, Fresh Prince, Friends
marmar627 10th-Jan-2013 03:19 am (UTC)
Golden Girls is the only older sitcom (with a laughtrack) I can watch
immaflirt 10th-Jan-2013 04:18 am (UTC)
super_bik 10th-Jan-2013 04:52 am (UTC)
Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Scrubs.
luvlorn 10th-Jan-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Still love Seinfeld. I've been wanting to watch Perfect Strangers lately but I don't think anyone plays it. I wanna see some Balky, lol.
sassandthecity 10th-Jan-2013 12:59 am (UTC)
I love 30 Rock but I feel like a lot of the single-camera comedies are already becoming just as tired as the multi-camera ones they replaced.
devolute 10th-Jan-2013 01:11 am (UTC)
I feel like one model gets made and then everybody copies it without expanding on why or if it's right for the show. Like the vague mockumentary thing with talking heads obviously came from
devolute 10th-Jan-2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Fuckin phone I can't edit. Came from the Office (or at least it was popularized for TV sitcoms in America), but if you look at what the UK Office was originally doing, it's the obvious choice, whereas on shows like Modern Family and Parks and Rec they aren't filming a documentary, but they use it anyway. It works on those shows, but idk, it feels more like a 'what's popular right now' choice rather than a choice made based on what's best for the telling that story. The whole everything is meta thin thatArrested Development started and Community exhausted is tired too.
sassandthecity 10th-Jan-2013 01:32 am (UTC)
I feel like so many of them rely on cutaway jokes. Like why bother building a funny joke when you just randomly cutaway to something.
grammaire 10th-Jan-2013 01:01 am (UTC)
So many bitter Tina h8ers in this post.

She's right. You can't just say "Ok, let's produce only hits now," especially if you're NBC and it's 2013.
senkig 10th-Jan-2013 01:36 am (UTC)
immaflirt 10th-Jan-2013 04:21 am (UTC)
ikr, ~~ewww Tina~~ ~~Kweeen Amy~~ rmfe
chunkyboucle 10th-Jan-2013 01:05 am (UTC)
But, what does all the blobbity-blah MEAN. Narrow vs. broad.
thishollywood 10th-Jan-2013 01:14 am (UTC)

I'm 2 lazy 2 get out of bed and switch the tv off and whitney is on rn
cageyb 10th-Jan-2013 01:16 am (UTC)
Bite your tongue off and pray you go quick.
vivisexion 10th-Jan-2013 01:19 am (UTC)
may god have mercy on ur soul
galagooo 10th-Jan-2013 01:39 am (UTC)
I cry just a little.
saltireflower 10th-Jan-2013 02:02 am (UTC)
Bash your head repeatedly against a wall.
boweeko 10th-Jan-2013 04:11 am (UTC)
girl run
dorisdaydoll 10th-Jan-2013 07:16 am (UTC)
But where is remote?
vivisexion 10th-Jan-2013 01:18 am (UTC)
lol nbc
bananasnrum 10th-Jan-2013 01:32 am (UTC)
every major network has terrible, terrible programming. and it will continue this way for years to come.
the_sandra 10th-Jan-2013 01:42 am (UTC)
Parks & Rec is flawless and it makes me sad that no one really watches it.
snowtears4 10th-Jan-2013 01:51 am (UTC)
i'm reading this currently and the only thing on tv right now is "stars in danger," "i get that a lot," and "guys with kids."

ok nbc. ooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooookkkkkkkkkkkkkk
fauxkaren 10th-Jan-2013 01:53 am (UTC)
Welp. With 30 Rock and The Office ending... I think Community and Parks and Recreation will be getting the axe this year too.

And Happy Endings is probably going to be canceled too.

So basically the only comedies that I watch that are coming back next year are It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia and The Mindy Project.
k5memo 10th-Jan-2013 02:06 am (UTC)
Is Mindy Project signed on for season 2? I watch it, and will keep watching, but the people over at avclub have been slamming it forever, and i do agree that the plot is still quite thin at the moment.
fauxkaren 10th-Jan-2013 02:08 am (UTC)
It think The Mindy Project getting a season 2 is like 50/50 rn.

Idec. I love it. Yeah, the plot isn't anything special, but the jokes make me laugh a lot which is more than I can say for like... Modern Family.
boweeko 10th-Jan-2013 04:12 am (UTC)
Mindy Project is really inconsistent for me. I like Mindy and think she is hilarious but basically hate all of the other characters. Morgan is kinda annoying and his humor doesn't work for me.
broken_organ 10th-Jan-2013 07:38 am (UTC)
I dunno but I was expecting way more from that show based on the eps she wrote for The Office. It kinda all makes sense when you read her book though.
marmar627 10th-Jan-2013 03:20 am (UTC)
mte, TV is killing me.
faeana 10th-Jan-2013 05:28 am (UTC)
No New Girl? It's pretty funny these days, imo.
jaimelannister 10th-Jan-2013 04:45 pm (UTC)
Yup. I think Parks is dead after this season too.

TMP doesn't have very good ratings tbh, though.

Maybe Cougar Town will get a S5. Although, that's on TBS now.
existential 10th-Jan-2013 02:07 am (UTC)
i don't even bother w/ network comedy anymore, but that being said 30 rock and parks & rec and the office (once upon a time) were probably the best network comedies. anything "broader" is just going to be dumbed-down crap like whitney and two broke girls. i think dude was saying he doesn't want "cult" comedy shows and they're gonna aim for quantity (of viewers) over quality

it's w/e though, the only things i watch on network are shark tank and elementary lol
broken_organ 10th-Jan-2013 07:41 am (UTC)
I can't believe how many times I've watched the first few seasons of The Office and it's still hilarious. It's one of those "wish you could watch it for the first time again" situations.
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