NBC has kicked off the pickups of pilots to series with a nod to two comedies, the DC Comics-themed Powerless and Trial & Error, both from Warner Bros. TV. Powerless had an early pickup deadline, with the network supposed to make a decision by end of day today.
Both single-camera comedies had been early favorites at NBC, which landed the pitches with big commitments last summer, and had been high on both pilots since their early stages. Written by Ben Queen, the workplace comedy Powerless features (mostly fringe) DC Comics superheroes and stars Vanessa Hudgens. The pickup gives DC a half-hour comedy series to go with the company’s superhero drama series Gotham on Fox, Supergirl on CBS and Arrow, Flash and Legends of Tomorrow on the CW.
Trial & Error, written by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, is a comedic take on the hot genre of murder trail documentaries like Making a Murderer. Nick D’Agosto stars and John Lithgow star.
Powerless and Trial & Error join Mike Schur’s straight-to-series NBC comedy The Good Place starring Kristen and Ted Danson, from Universal TV. The network is yet to give series orders to comedy pilots from its sister studio, with the multi-camera Marlon and single-camera Tracy Wigfield high on the list of hopefuls. On the drama side, the network has straight-to-series orders to a Taken prequel and the Oz-themed Emerald City.
Here are descriptions of NBC’s newly picked up comedy series:
POWERLESS (single camera)
STUDIO: Warner Bros TV
TEAM: Ben Queen (w, ep), Michael Patrick Jann (d, ep)
LOGLINE: In the first comedy series set in the universe of DC Comics, Vanessa Hudgens plays Emily, a spunky young insurance adjuster specializing in regular-people coverage against damage caused by the crime-fighting superheroes. It’s when she stands up to one of these larger-than-life figures (after an epic battle messes with her commute) that she accidentally becomes a cult “hero” in her own right … even if it’s just to her group of lovably quirky co-workers. Now, while she navigates her normal, everyday life against an explosive backdrop, Emily might just discover that being a hero doesn’t always require superpowers.
CAST: Vanessa Hudgens, Danny Pudi, Alan Tudyk, Christina Kirk
TRIAL & ERROR (fka The Trail; single camera)
STUDIO: Barge Productions & Good Session Productions in association with Warner Bros TV
TEAM: Jeff Astrof (w, ep), Matt Miller (w, ep), Jeffrey Blitz (d)
LOGLINE: In this outrageous fish-out-of-water comedy, bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case. His mission? To defend an eccentric, “rollercizing” poetry professor (John Lithgow) accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife. Settling into his makeshift office behind a taxidermy shop and meeting his quirky team of local misfits, Josh suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty. “Making a Murderer” can be funny!
CAST: Nick D’Agosto, Steven Boyer, John Lithgow, Sherri Shepherd, Jayma Mays, Krysta Rodriguez