Wash of ‘Firefly’ and Abed of ‘Community’ are ‘Powerless’ on NBC

The lives of superheroes are kind of a nightmare if you stop to think about it for two seconds. They balance garbage jobs and secret identities with regularly going toe-to-toe with villains and creatures powerful enough to wipe out humanity. That”s a lot of stress, especially since superheroes don”t have company-paid health insurance.

But as much as it might suck to be a superhero, being a normal person living in a superhero world is 1000% times worse. Here you are just trying to get up in the morning, drop your kids off at school, get to work, figure out dinner, and worry about mundane things. Then along comes a superhero fighting a Monster of the Week™ and suddenly your office building is a pile of ash. NOW how are you supposed to get those TPS reports done!?

Such is the premise of Powerless, a new un-superhero show that NBC picked up for a pilot. Set in the DC Universe (though whether the Arrow-verse, the Supergirl-verse, Earth-2, or some new multiverse has not yet been revealed), Powerless is based on the DC comic of the same name that ran from 2004 to 2005*. Yesterday NBC announced that Vanessa Hudgens would be starring in her first regular television series role as Emily Locke. The character is an insurance claims adjuster who just wants to put her head down and help people. But Locke becomes increasingly exasperated by the destructive terror that is superheroes and supervillains.

[*Whoops! It was Marvel that had a POWERLESS comic which stripped superheroes of their powers.]

Hot on the heels of that announcement, NBC has locked down three more cast members. Danny Pudi (Community), Alan Tudyk (Firefly), and Christina Kirk (A to Z) have signed on as series regulars. From the press release:

    • Danny Pudi is Teddy, best friend of Emily (Vanessa Hudgens) at work and her trusted confidante. He spends his days creating time-wasting pranks as a way to make their office, the “least Super place on earth,” just a little less “unsuper.”
     • Alan Tudyk is Del, Emily”s new boss in the claims department. Del has just been promoted – not through any merit of his own, but because he”s the owner”s son. A self-proclaimed “rich, over-educated globetrotting wastrel,” Del is a power-mad disastrous dictator of a boss.
     • Christina Kirk is Jackie. A fan of Super Heroes, Jackie has plastered her office cubicle with beefcake shots of super guys. New claims department boss Del makes her his personal assistant, and she begins buckling under his unreasonable and impossible demands.

The Powerless pilot will be a single-camera, half-hour comedy. Part of the Warner Bros. Television DCEU (DC Extended Universe), the pilot will be written by executive producer Ben Queen and directed by Michael Patrick Jann.