Netflix Nabs ‘Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ from NBC

Just days after ordering a fourth season of “Longmire” from A&E, Netflix is plucking yet another series from the hands of network TV.

This time it’s “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” an NBC comedy from Tina Fey and Robert Carlock that will now move over to the streaming service as part of a two-season order set to premiere in all Netflix territories next March.

“Kimmy,” which stars “The Office” alum Ellie Kemper as a woman who starts her life over after escaping a doomsday cult, is produced by Universal TV. NBC was intending to put “Kimmy” on its schedule sometime in the midseason.

“When the opportunity arose for Tina Fey and Robert Carlock to premiere their new show on Netflix with a two-season commitment, we decided this was the best possible scenario to launch this captivating new series,” said NBC Entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt.

“The very construct of — its offbeat premise, hilarious and rich characters and serialized storytelling — make it a perfect Netflix comedy series,” said Cindy Holland, VP of original content at Netflix.

Earlier this week, Netflix added to the three seasons of “Longmire” it already licenses from A&E by ordering a fourth season even after its original cable home canceled the series. Other series that began on network TV before continuing on Netflix include drama “The Killing,” which originated on AMC.

The two-season order is becoming a more common move by Netflix, which made waves in 2011 when the series made an unprecedented two-season order of the original drama series “House of Cards.” Earlier this year, Netflix ordered two seasons of “Love,” a comedy from executive producer Judd Apatow.

Although NBC has been struggling in comedy for years, and half-hour sitcoms are something of a dying breed on its schedule, the net had hoped to make some inroads with the genre this season.

Last May the Peacock announced that it would air seven new half-hours during the 2014-15 season, but that number has been trimmed to five with the move of “Kimmy Schmidt” to Netflix and the decision in October not to go forward with midseason Krysten Ritter laffer “Mission Control,” which had originally been given a six-episode order.

“A to Z” and “Bad Judge” are still on the air but have been canceled, while “Marry Me” is delivering decent numbers by virtue of airing behind “The Voice.”

That leaves for midseason the Ellen DeGeneres-produced “One Big Happy” and Craig Robinson teacher comedy “Mr. Robinson.”

NBC also has the final season of “Parks and Recreation” set to air this spring.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly suggested this project was set up at, and passed over, by Fox. Fox passed on a different Fey production.

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