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Tina Fey is an icon for screens both big and small. Since her time on Saturday Night Live, she’s gone on to star and produce series like 30 Rock and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, while using her time to film movies with her comedy buddy of choice, Amy Poehler.
Variety reports Fey’s recent experience with the Q&A for the Producer Guild’s Produced by NY conference. The segment was over a plethora of subjects, covering the basics (SNL remembrances) to the tangents (Al Franken). At one point Fey encouraged comedy development executives to branch out and really attend improv classes, noting, “It wouldn’t kill you to experience the white-hot torture of improv.”
The conversation began steering it’s way towards “unlearning” aspects of broadcast TV for Fey’s Netflix series The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Even small things stuck out in the new binge-watching culture, and Fey remarks how she learned that you shouldn’t repeat character’s names often because audiences are watching it so fast.
Fey also brought up the consistent mystery around the ratings for Netflix programs. Although her previous series, 30 Rock, was plagued with less than stellar ratings, Fey went on to explain why she would like to know the exact numbers:
“Five years from now when you go in to renegotiate, you don’t know what you have. Somebody who is more money-oriented than me will be at the head of (addressing) that.”
But even with the cloak-and-dagger aspect to Netflix’s system, Fey still has major faith in television programming. She later says, “Somehow the TV system seems less broken [than film] in a lot of ways. . . There’s less panicky-driven notes. Less worry about ‘How will it play in China?'” Netflix especially gives Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt leeway to be as silly as it wants. While that might alienate some members of an audience, it gives the show a wonderful platform and more passionate support.
For all the Fey fans out there, we might not have to wait long for more words of wisdom from our favorite comedienne. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is slated for a third season and Fey also announced that she had procured a “secret director” for the Broadway adaption of Mean Girls. The actress/improvisor/producer still has things to share with us yet.