TCA: Tina Fey Says Relief Not to Worry About Ratings for ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’

Related: Complete Coverage of TCA Summer Press Tour

Beverly Hills, Calif. — After having to worry about ratings with NBC’s 30 Rock, Tina Fey says it’s a relief not to have to think about numbers for Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

Fey, who is the show’s cocreator, said she doesn’t know how many people are watching.

“We do know [Netflix’s] Ted [Sarandos] is pleased,” she said.

Fey made the comments during the Emmy-nominated show’s TCA summer press tour panel at the Beverly Hilton. She was joined on stage by series stars Tituss Burgess, Ellie Kemper and Jane Krakowski as well as cocreator Robert Carlock.

Other highlights from the panel included:

—Episodes of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt won’t be longer than 30 minutes but the streamer does encourage the creators to push the show beyond the traditional 21 minutes comedy length.

—Don’t expect the show’s tone to change in its second season. Fey says won’t make the tone more edgy because she has anecdotally heard parents watch the show with their 12 or 13-year-olds.

—Burgess addressed criticism of the show’s portrayal of race saying: “I think we all did a gorgeous job of raising this discussion and putting it to bed.”

—Fun fact: Kemper took an acting class in high school from her costar Jon Hamm. “I felt like he was still grading me on a certain level,” she says.

—One of the breakout hits of the show was Burgess' character's video for "Pinot Noir." Burgess said that since the song's success, he has had people come up to him and sing the song. He also has gotten a lot of wine sent to him. “I’ve been drunk since the show aired.”

Jessika Walsten

Jessika is content engagement director of Broadcasting + Cable, Multichannel News and NextTV. She has been with the brands in various roles since 2013. In her current role, she works primarily behind the screen, keeping an eye on the website and fixing any site bugs. A graduate of USC Annenberg, Jessika has edited and reported on a variety of subjects for NextTV, including profiles on industry leaders and breaking news.