Next Superhero TV Frontier: Comedy
DC and NBC are teaming up for what Deadline.com calls “The Office, but with superheroes.” It’s a half-hour single-camera comedy by Ben Queen, who previously created the short-lived A to Z (which had strong casting but boring writing) and wrote Cars 2. The show is planned for pilot, without a series commitment yet, and here’s the description:
Powerless is a workplace comedy set at one of the worst insurance companies in America — with the twist being that it also takes place in the universe of DC Comics. The show is about the reality of working life for a normal, powerless person in a world of superheroes and villains.
They’re still figuring out which DC characters to use, but they’re not expected to be big names. Comic fans will be reminded of Marvel’s Damage Control, a similar setup of real people in a superhero world, or more obscurely, Love Fights.
NBC is also working on an hour-long Red TV series. The comic, by Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner, inspired two films which I enjoyed. From those movies, writers Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber and producers Lorenzo di Bonaventura and Mark Vahradian will be involved in the show, although DC/Warner Bros. don’t seem to be. The TV show
will retain the core concept of the films but will be set in a more grounded and authentic world, focusing on the characters’ darkly hilarious struggles to survive civilian life as they simultaneously fight for and against the very organization that threw them out.
I assume that the Red show won’t be able to get the same cast of Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, and Helen Mirren, which was a large part of the appeal, but yay for hilarious! And for not taking comic book concepts so darn seriously!