"Great News" may not be great, but it is pretty good. It's sort of worthy of the timeslot (9 p.m. Tuesdays, NBC) that just had "Truak & Error," the season's best new comedy. Here's the story I sent to papers:
By Mike Hughes
Amid the comedy and
chaos of NBC's “Great News,” one person stands out.
She fills her
daughter's days with perpetual advice. She's odd and outrageous and
... well, sort of real. “My mom is very much the character,”
Tracey Wigfield said.
the show, mining a lifetime of mom-watching.
“My mother would
constantly come to work,” she said, “back when I was writing
(for) '30 Rock' .... The good thing about her is she sort of talks to
everyone exactly the same, whether it's the lady at the grocery store
or, like, Alec Baldwin.”
Now she visits this
show. “I love her,” Briga Heelan said. “Everything's better
with Tracy's mom.”
Heelan plays Katie,
a TV reporter whose mom becomes an intern at the station. It's a big,
splashy role for Andrea Martin. “I definitely grew up watching
Andrea on 'SCTV,'” Tina Fey said.
Consider this a
merger of generations: Martin, 70, co-wrote and co-starred in “SCTV”
from 1976 to '84, when comedy was male-dominated. A generation later,
Fey, now 46, did the same for “Saturday Night Live” and “30
Rock.” She and Wigfield co-wrote the Emmy-winning script for the
Now both produce
“Great News,” which has a mom and daughter at a show anchored by:
-- A news veteran,
almost obsolete. “There's just a hair's breadth between him and
me,” said John Michael Higgens, 54, who plays him.
-- A young anchor
who “wants to report about Snapchat and lipstick and anything kind
of pertaining to her,” said Nicole Richie, 35, who plays her
Richie knows the
type. As the frequent subject of tabloid journalism, did she ever
wonder why people weren't reporting on real news? “All the time.”
Now she plays such a
person, at a make-believe show dominated by Katie's mom.
-- “Great News,”
9 and 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, NBC, starting April 25