9:54am PT by Michael O'Connell
Tina Fey Talks 'Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt' (Still-PG) Season 2, Defends Broadcast Comedy
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt's first season essentially was set in stone when the series moved over from NBC to Netflix. Editors were allowed to open the episodes back up, adding a few jokes that had been trimmed for broadcast, but the entire 13-episode run already had been filmed.
Freed from any constraints in the second season, which starts production in August, creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock have been mulling over questions about potential changes now that the show is being made with Netflix in mind. And, during Tuesday's Television Critics Association Press Tour panel, they seemed sure that there wouldn't be many.
Fey, noting that many people had told her they were watching the show with their children, said she didn't want to stray from the more broadcast-friendly tone of the comedy. "I would hate to ruin that in season two," she said. I don't think you'll see any cursing or nudity. I think it does give us license to play with time and culture — or to potentially offend an advertiser or the NFL."
They also don't want to mess with success. The first season just earned seven Emmy nominations, including one for best comedy. Fey was grateful for the recognition but kept calling it "a free vacation where you see a lot of people you don't see all of the time."
One thing that will change, or at least be fluid, for future episodes of Kimmy Schmidt is the length of an episode.
"I don't know if we'll go past 30 [minutes], but they've definitely encouraged us to go past 21:15," said Fey, referring the current standard running time for a broadcast comedy. "We have to be our own guides here and not let things get too fat or too slow."
As for story, Fey and Carlock both emphasized that the problems their characters — played by Ellie Kemper, Jane Krakowski and Tituss Burgess — face are not going away and that the show will continue to focus on character growth.
"Just because we ended season one with the trial — [Kimmy] would love to put that behind her, but some new obstacles may present themselves before she can go on and live a fully realized life," said Fey. "She's sort of in a big hurry to get everything she wanted out of life and hitting some speed bumps along the way."
And since it wouldn't be a Netflix panel without talk of the lack of ratings, Fey offered up this when asked about her unknown audience: "We know that Ted [Sarandos] is pleased, which is great news. And I feel like people are watching the show. Let's go with that."
She was, however, quick to defend broadcast when asked if she thought shows like Kimmy Schmidt or 30 Rock didn't have a place there any longer. "These platforms, for weird shows, are ideal," she said. "But I don't think it's impossible that a show like us could survive on a network."