- Trae Patton/NBC
Tina Fey’s new NBC comedy, “Great News,” premieres on Tuesday, and it arrives at a time when the president refers to respected media institutions as “fake news.” But don’t expect the show to address that – at least in its first season.
“We wrapped the show in October. The entire show was done before this surprise of 2017,” Nicole Richie, who stars on “Great News,” recently told Business Insider of the show’s scheduling and Donald Trump’s presidential win. “Going forward, I think dealing with that would be up to [show creator Tracy Wigfield]. But at the core, this is not a political show.”
So if “Great News” isn’t about current political news and isn’t tackling President Donald Trump, what is the show about?
Executive produced by Fey and “30 Rock” producer Robert Carlock, “Great News” is set at a national cable news show. It stars Briga Heelan (“Undateable”) as Katie, one of the show’s producers, whose retired, overbearing mother Carol (“My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s” Andrea Martin) lands an internship at the show. Nicole Richie plays the show’s young cohost Portia opposite veteran newsman Chuck (“Best in Show” actor John Michael Higgins).
“The conversation that we’re having in our show is really just about the generational gap of what is news, and how are we getting it to people,” Richie said. “Do we have to make things aesthetically pleasing and bright and colorful and poppy? Or can we just give people the hard-hitting news and just the facts without some sort of opinion? And that’s the biggest difference between my character and Michael’s character, because he feels one way and I represent a younger audience who feels a totally different way.”
In her actual life, Richie, 35, wouldn’t consider herself to be the prime example of millennial tastes. But among the show’s cast, she feels like she’s the best bet.
“I have a few friends who are in their early 20s and I feel so old compared to them,” she said. “They’re talking about, like, 17 new apps that I’ve never heard of and social media this and social media that. I’m very late to the game when it comes to people my own age. But then I do the show and I’m around Michael and Andrea and they look at me like I’m young, hip, and cool. So I’m in this weird middle ground. I would say that I’m a healthy medium. I use social media, I’m probably the last millennial to get it, but I’m there.”
And as for confronting today’s political noise, Richie doesn’t believe “Great News,” or any TV show for that matter, could keep up.
“I think that the show can probably touch on today’s news in a generic enough way,” Richie told us. “I think probably for the future of TV, it’s going to be impossible to keep up with the pace of the topical scandals that we’re talking about.”
Watch a trailer for “Great News” below: