2017-04-21 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

In the ‘News’: New comedy from ‘30 Rock’ alum premieres

By Mary Fournier
TV Media


Andrea Martin as seen in “Great News” Andrea Martin as seen in “Great News” It’s been four years since the final episode of “30 Rock” aired, but Tina Fey, the iconic show’s creator and star, has been keeping busy. On top of some impressive on-screen performances — see “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” (2016) if you haven’t already — Fey has been busy behind the scenes of some major projects.

She’s the co-creator and producer of Netflix’s hilarious hit series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” and her newest project, for which she earns an executive producing credit, rolls out this week: “Great News” premieres Tuesday, April 25, on NBC.

Created by Fey’s longtime collaborator Tracey Wigfield (“The Mindy Project”), the comedy series is loosely based on Wigfield’s relationship with her mother, and tells the story of Katie Wendelson (Briga Heelan, “Ground Floor”), a smart and ambitious woman working as a producer on the cable news show “The Breakdown.” Katie feels stuck in her career and is unsure of her capabilities; it doesn’t help that her kind-butoverbearing mother, Carol (Andrea Martin, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” 2002) — having just earned a college degree thanks to the inspiration of a friend’s eulogy — announces that she’s been hired as an intern at “The Breakdown.”

Promising to provide viewers with some good laughs, the show also stars Adam Campbell (“The Five-Year Engagement,” 2012) as Greg, the executive producer of “The Breakdown” and Katie’s boss; John Michael Higgins (“Yes Man,” 2008) as Chuck Pierce, a difficult veteran co-anchor of the show; Nicole Richie (“The Simple Life”) as Portia, the young and stylish co-anchor; and Horatio Sanz (“Saturday Night Live”) as Justin, Katie’s candid best friend and the show’s editor.

There has been lots of buzz about “Great News,” and many are touting its similarities to Fey’s “30 Rock.” While “Great News” is loosely based on Wigfield’s relationship with her mother, “30 Rock” was loosely based on Fey’s time working on “Saturday Night Live.” Furthermore, “30 Rock” took a behind-thescenes look at the goings-on of a sketch comedy show, where “Great News” follows the same template, except at a news station.

“Where this show and ‘30 Rock’ share some DNA is it’s a funny show with a lot of fast-paced jokes,” said Wigfield at the Television Critics Association press tour in January.

However, both Wigfield and Fey reassure viewers that “Great News” isn’t a simple replacement for “30 Rock.” Wigfield said that the show is “observational comedy about news and events,” while Fey states that “the show isn’t ripped from the headlines à la ‘SNL,’ but more about relationships.”

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