We're enjoying a very prolific era of superhero TV, but NBC hasn't been in on the action for a while. While CBS has added Supergirl, ABC's continued to develop its Marvel series, and The CW has kept expanding the Arrowverse, NBC has been dormant in this department since Constantine left. Now they're hoping to change that with Powerless.
A production from Warner Bros. TV written by A to Z creator Ben Queen, Powerless will be set in the universe of DC Comics and will revolve a very non-super-powered insurance company where employees must struggle to do their jobs in a world in which superheroes and supervillains and constantly wreaking havoc. We don't yet know whether the series will connect to other DC-based shows, or which heroes and villains might be featured, but it's certainly a new approach that could easily rise above the field of comic-book shows on TV right now. So NBC ordered a pilot, and now that pilot is finally setting its cast.
Variety reported on Monday that Vanessa Hudgens (Spring Breakers, High School Musical), fresh off a triumphant performance in FOX's Grease Live, has been cast in the lead role of Emily Locke, a claims adjuster who loves her job and is dedicated to it, but is constantly thwarted by superhero antics. So we're definitely talking about a show that's more about reacting to superpowers than having superpowers.
Then, yesterday, HitFix reported that three more names had joined the cast, and two of them are icons who could bring plenty of nerds to the party. Community star Danny Pudi plays Emily's best friend Teddy, a guy who's constantly playing pranks in the office to distract from just how boring their working lives are. To add even more nerd appeal, there's Firefly star Alan Tudyk, who plays Del. Del's the new boss, he got the job because his father runs the company, and he is absolutely drunk with power. In other words, perfect fuel for Tudyk to bring the laughs. Finally, there's A to Z star Christina Kirk, who will play Jackie, a superhero superfan who has the unfortunate struggle of being Del's assistant.
At the moment, all we know for sure is that a pilot for Powerless is happening. We don't yet know if it'll make it all the way to series, but it's definitely got an exciting set of leads.