Fey is an executive producer on the NBC comedy, and it was announced in May that she would have a guest arc in Season 2 for seven episodes. “She’s playing the new boss, Diana St. Tropez,” series creator Tracey Wigfield said at the Television Critics Association press tour on Thursday. “She’s sort of Sheryl Sandberg on steroids” and is a woman who “knows exactly how to have it all.”
“Great News” stars Briga Heelan as Katie, a news producer at the cable news show “The Breakdown” who is horrified when her mother Carol (Andrea Martin) is hired on as an intern. The series also stars Adam Campbell as “The Breakdown’s” executive producer Greg, John Michael Higgins as old-school anchor Chuck Pierce, Nicole Richie as hip young co-anchor Poria, editor Justin (Horatio Sanz), and kooky meteorologist Beth (Wigfield).
Fey’s character, Diana, also happens to be the author of a series of books called “Boss Bitch” — a thinly veiled tribute to “Bossypants” — and her take-charge demeanor awes Katie.
“She comes in and has this big attitude of, ‘The show is old-fashioned, and we need to make it relevant to cable news right now in 2017,’” Wigfield said. “Unfortunately, cable news in 2017 is kind of a dumpster fire of people screaming at each other, sort of an echo chamber of rage. She’s like, ‘Yeah, that’s what we want to do.’”
Not everyone will be as taken with Diana as Katie is, though.
Wigfield said, “In the first episode, she sort of sets off Chuck, John Michael Higgins’ character, saying that, ‘Everything you’ve done with the show is kind of old-fashioned. We’re going to have a panel segment.’ And he is struggling to keep up with that. She gets in a little bit of a squad feud with Nicole’s character Portia. She kind of takes Katie under her wing and gives her advice that Katie sort of takes the wrong way throughout certain episodes.”
Wigfield added, “It’s a big, fun character. We start shooting on Monday. It’s a few episodes at the beginning of the season. And then she goes away and she may come back at the end too.”
Beyond the new boss, Katie will be dealing with the near-kiss she had with Greg in the Season 1 finale. Wigield said the show would continue to tackle that will-they, won’t-they dynamic in Season 2.
“It’s definitely an element of the first episode,” she said. “Then in the second episode, Carol sort of finds out about it and kind of makes Katie’s life a living hell of trying to figure out, like, ‘Okay, you guys are dating now. I’m trying to plan a cruise for next summer. Will he be there? What kind of state room does he want?’ She sort of makes Katie’s life very difficult. We were trying to think what would it be like if you have this very light, gentle crush on a guy at work and your mother, who just says everything she thinks, is there the whole time. So we play it throughout the season. We haven’t broken the end yet, but I think there will be some development for the two of them.”
“Great News” returns for Season 2 on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 9:30 p.m. ET on NBC.