Netflix viewers have been happily gobbling up episodes of "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" since the first season premiered March 6, embracing a streaming model the cast and creators hadn't planned for before NBC surprisingly passed on the show.
"The show was originally nurtured and created for NBC," Jane Krakowski, who currently stars in the Netflix program, told HuffPost Live's Alyona Minkovski on Wednesday. "We actually made all the episodes under the understanding that they were going to air on NBC, so they were made with NBC and network television standards in mind."
It was only on the second-to-last day of filming that the series found its new home, "so there was really no time to sort of adapt or re-write it in any way to fit more of the Netflix profile," Krakowski said.
The actress recounted getting a phone call from co-creator Tina Fey with the shocking news.
"I was expecting her to say when were going to be airing on NBC, because we hadn't had an air date yet, and ultimately she goes, 'We're not going to be on NBC. We're going to be on Netflix,'" Krakowski recalled.
While Krakowski reminisced about how warmly the cast received the change-up, NBC's decision was unexpected considering Fey, one of the major creative forces behind "Kimmy Schmidt," has long been a part of the NBC family. Fey's "SNL" roots and almost a decade spent on the beloved sitcom "30 Rock," in which much of the "Kimmy Schmidt" cast also starred, made NBC seem like a natural home for the project.
The opportunity to air on Netflix was not without unexpected benefits, Krakowski noted.
"I've never filmed ... a show in its entirety before it's aired," she recounted. "A lot of times when you're making a network series, you make three or four [episodes], they start airing, and by the time you get to 22, you sort of know what the vibe is and what people feel about it. So it was a very interesting experience for me to film all 13 without -- they aired pure, basically. The show that Tina and Robert [Carlock] wanted to make is what was presented, not with any outside influences, so it was a very different experience."
And a successful show will ultimately benefit NBC, according to Krakowski.
"The show's still owned by NBC, so they're still a part of our Kimmy world," she added.
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