NBC Powerless
Courtesy of NBC

NBC has begun ordering series for the 2016-2017 season by picking up two comedies: “Powerless” and “Trial & Error,” Variety has learned.

“Powerless” is the first-ever DC Comics comedy. Vanessa Hudgens stars as 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 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.

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The workplace comedy also stars Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi and Christina Kirk. Ben Queen wrote the pilot and will exec produce with Michael Patrick Jann who directed the pilot.

“Trial & Error” is a fish-out-of-water comedy, starring “3rd Rock From the Sun” alum John Lithgow. The series follows a bright-eyed New York lawyer (Nicholas D’Agosto) who heads to a tiny Southern town for his first big case, which is to defend an eccentric “rollercizing” poetry professor (Lithgow) who is ccused 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, the young lawyer suspects that winning his first big case will not be easy, especially when his client is always making himself look guilty.

The comedy also stars “The View’s” Sherri Shepherd, Steven Boyer, Krysta Rodriguez and Jayma Mays. Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller are writers and exec producers, and Jeffrey Blitz is director.

Both shows hail from Warner Bros. Television. “Trial & Error” also comes from Barge Productions and Good Session Productions.

NBC is expected to order around two more comedies for 2016-17, and they’ll likely come from Universal Television. Insiders tell Variety that Marlon Wayans’ comedy and a project from Tracey Wigfield, both of which are produced by Universal TV, are garnering big buzz.

“Powerless” and “Trial & Error” join new shows on NBC’s upcoming slate, straight-to-series sitcom “The Good Place,” starring Kristen Bell and Ted Danson, plus dramas “Taken,” a prequel series of the action film franchise, and “Emerald City,” a darker twist on the stories of Oz, which also landed a straight-to-series order.

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