Tina Fey’s hot streak continues with her latest sitcom, ‘Great News’

Great News





Neal Justin, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Revealed 5:52 p.m. ET April 28, 2017 | Up to date 17 hours in the past

Los Angeles

Tina Fey will inevitably let down her legions of TV followers with an actual stinker. However not but.

The comedian maestro, whom Rolling Stone not too long ago ranked because the third-greatest participant in “Saturday Night time Reside” historical past, is following “30 Rock” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” with NBC’s “Nice Information,” yet one more fast-paced, completely absurd sitcom a few single girl attempting to keep up a private life with Mary Richards-like spunk.

Govt producer Fey doesn’t seem within the first season, however the spirit of “30 Rock” heroine Liz Lemon is alive and semi-well in Katie Wendelson (“Undateable” survivor Briga Heelan), a second-tier producer at a fourth-tier cable information community. She as soon as wrote an editorial for her school paper on the shortage of cake choices at her college cafeteria; she invents names of sushi rolls to look cool, and he or she does a imply dance routine to “Right here Comes the Hotstepper,” all of which may have been lifted from Lemon’s resume.

“There have been a pair instances — and Tina was very a lot on it — the place we had to verify Katie wasn’t, like, consuming tuna out of a can or tucking her shirt into her underwear,” mentioned creator Tracey Wigfield, declaring the lengths to which writers went to verify the 2 characters weren’t an excessive amount of alike.

“And Katie likes to have intercourse,” interjected Fey throughout a gaggle interview this 12 months.

“Precisely,” her protegee mentioned. “And Miss Fey doesn’t.”

One cue Wigfield did take from her boss was to place herself into the forged, though her character, a delusional meteorologist, averages solely a few scenes per episode. Nonetheless, doing double obligation proved a problem.

“I assumed you have been simply being a drama queen,” she mentioned, as soon as once more turning to Fey. “I do know that it’s potential to each act in a present and run the room and be on set and edit, however, boy, is it arduous.”

Wigfield, who served as a author and producer on “30 Rock,” is just not the one veteran of that present who benefited from finding out on the Faculty of Tina. Donald Glover was an govt story editor for 22 episodes earlier than creating and starring in FX’s “Atlanta,” which gained a Golden Globe final 12 months for finest comedy. Former “30 Rock” producer Kay Cannon is the brains behind “Girlboss,” a brand new Netflix sequence that covers a lot the identical territory as “Ladies,” however is funnier.

“Nice Information” could have sprung from Fey’s creativeness — proper after leaving “SNL,” she unsuccessfully pitched a present to NBC a few producer’s relationship with a conservative talk-show host — however the brand new sitcom actually blossoms when it focuses on Katie and her nosy mom, Carol, performed with unbridled zest by “SCTV” veteran Andrea Martin.

Within the first episode, Carol is employed as an intern and subsequently causes a lot harm that it will have pressured “30 Rock’s” Kenneth the Web page to dump his wages right into a swear jar.

The state of affairs was impressed by Wigfield’s personal mom, a daily customer on set.

“My mom was all the time complaining, ‘I don’t gown like that. I’d by no means put on sneakers like that,’ ” Wigfield mentioned. “After which she confirmed up on set, and Andrea’s costume was the identical as her real-life outfit.”

For Martin, who has primarily targeted on stage work for the previous 20 years, the position may do what “30 Rock” did for Alec Baldwin. However no forged member stands to profit greater than Nicole Richie, maybe finest remembered as a spoiled socialite on the 2003-07 Paris Hilton actuality present “The Easy Life.” As a party-girl anchor, she will break down the most recent cellphone app, however has to ask, “What’s a Walter Cronkite?”

“Nicole is new to scripted materials, and he or she’s one of many best and finest actresses and comedians I’ve ever labored with,” mentioned John Michael Higgins, the improv veteran who performs a pompous newscaster. “Her efficiency is completely cliche-free. It’s all new to her, and he or she’s so refreshingly within the second.”

One aspect you gained’t see is politics, which looks like a misplaced alternative contemplating that cable information is having fun with record-breaking curiosity. However manufacturing on all 10 episodes wrapped up months in the past.

“You wish to keep away from doing a joke that’s going to really feel actually outdated by the point the present airs,” Fey mentioned. “You possibly can by no means fairly sustain with ‘Saturday Night time Reside’ in that means. So it’s a unique sport. I believe you form of take larger concepts greater than day-to-day moments. But when we’re fortunate sufficient to do a second season, possibly we are able to replicate nearer on actual issues.”

And possibly we are able to get a go to from a a lot missed character. Whereas Fey has appeared on “Kimmy Schmidt” and “SNL,” Liz Lemon has but to re-emerge since “30 Rock” went off the air in 2013. “Nice Information” could be the right automobile for a cameo — and an excuse to indicate off a duet interpretation of “Right here Comes the Hotstepper.”

‘Nice Information’

9 p.m. Tuesdays

NBC (Channel four)

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