Tina Fey and Robert Carlock Q&A: ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’
“I think of all the people that have been labeled the next Lucille Ball, Tituss is the only one I am comfortable with. Every red-headed actress that comes along, they go ‘She’s the next Lucille Ball.’ It’s Titus!” declares Tina Fey jokingly about Tituss Burgess. Fey and Robert Carlock, co-creators of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” starring Ellie Kemper and Burgess, join us for a rollicking webcam chat (watch the exclusive video above).
Netflix just announced this week that their program has been renewed for a fourth season in 2018. All 13 episodes of the third season began streaming this May, also starring Tony winner Jane Krakowski and two-time Emmy champ Carol Kane. Of the expansion of storylines for all of the main cast members, Carlock says, “We’ve spent a couple of years growing those characters. By its nature the show is ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,’ and it took her a couple of years to settle into the world a little bit more. Knowing we have those actors, it was fun to slowly expand those characters, and we found ourselves in Season 3 saying, ‘They need to have a story. They need to have some growth and some big steps forward.'”
In addition to that show, Carlock and Fey are also executive producers on the newly-launched NBC comedy “Great News,” created by Tracey Wigfield. The plot follows a young TV news producer (Briga Heelan), an egotistical news anchor (John Michael Higgins), and the producer’s mother (Andrea Martin), who becomes an older intern in their offices. Regarding the beginning of that series, Fey adds, “That’s another show where the ensemble is just so strong. When Tracey Wigfield came to me and Robert with the idea that she… wanted to write a show about her own insane relationship with her mother…. it’s absolutely diseased in its lack of boundaries.”
Carlock and Fey won three Emmys for Best Comedy Series while producing “30 Rock” (2007, 2008, 2009). Fey has a total of nine Emmy victories including three more for writing “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” and three for performing on “SNL” and “30 Rock.” In our interview, they both discuss how much the Emmy wins meant for the survival of “30 Rock” in its early days (and how often they checked Gold Derby in those days for the odds), plus Fey gives us her acceptance speech for last year’s “SNL” victory since she couldn’t attend along with co-winner Amy Poehler. Fey also chats about her upcoming Broadway musical based on the film “Mean Girls” and even fondly remembers the night she skewered Gold Derby forums posters at the 2009 Golden Globes.