Here’s Why Wall Street Likes People Like Tina Fey

30 Rock

So it turns out that Tina Fey is an unstoppable, one-woman entertainment hurricane who, instead of leaving wanton destruction in her wake, leaves behind only comedy excellence and an apparently insatiable desire for more.

Fey is probably most well-known for 30 Rock, a comedy series that ran from 2006 to 2013 on NBC, which is owned by Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). To call the show simply “good” and move on would undermine the point of this article (that Fey is an unstoppable, one-woman entertainment hurricane). The show earned 10 Emmy nominations in its first season alone, 17 in its second season, so on and so forth, setting a new record for the most Emmy nominations ever received in 2009 with 22. To date, the show has been nominated for 145 different awards, winning 39 of them.

With this in mind, it seems more apt to say that the show was great, not just good, and this distinction is relevant for one primary reason: Great shows make heaps of money, and good shows make only modest amounts of money. And as we all know, it is heaps of money — not merely modest amounts of money — that make the world go ’round.

In that spirit, in its own way, 30 Rock has helped move the massive cogs of the NBCUniversal-entertainment industry mechanism. And, perhaps more to the point, it established Fey as a brilliant entertainer. Or from the point of view of the business mechanism, an enormously valuable asset.

For the record, it’s not necessarily fair to pile all of the credit for the success of 30 Rock on to Fey, but for the purposes of time and space, we can only focus on just the one.

Anyway, the entire reason we are here is to follow the money. Or, more specifically, to follow expected future revenue for NBC and its parent company, Comcast. The Los Angeles Times reports that Fey and producing partner Robert Carlock will be orchestrating another comedy series for the network, set to debut next fall.

“Tina and Robert, who cemented their partnership on ‘30 Rock,’ have created a new signature comedy for us that is audacious, emotional, and clever,” said Robert Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, in a press release. “While tapping into very relatable themes, there isn’t anything like this anywhere else on television. NBC has been their home for many years and we’re so happy that they’ve found another way to push the comedy envelope for us.”

In other words, the duo is expected to make heaps of money. How much money is still unclear, but if the show has anywhere near the success rate of 30 Rock, it will certainly be a lot. Variety reports that the show fetched as much as $800,000 per episode (there were 136 episodes) for syndication rights between Comedy Central and WGN. That’s not a bad way to end a project.

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