Powerless (TV series)

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Powerless
Powerless (TV series logo).jpg
Genre
Based on The characters from DC Comics
Developed by Ben Queen
Starring
Composer(s) Jefferson Friedman
Craig Wedren
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12[1] (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
  • Justin Halpern
  • Patrick Schumacker
  • Dean Lorey
  • Marc Buckland
  • Len Goldstein
Producer(s) Douglas S. Orestein
Location(s) Vancouver, British Columbia, Los Angeles, California
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s)
Release
Original network NBC
Picture format HDTV 1080i
Original release February 2 (2017-02-02) – April 20, 2017 (2017-04-20)
External links
Website

Powerless is an American sitcom series developed by Ben Queen, that aired on NBC from February 2, to April 20, 2017.[2] The series is a sitcom set within the world of the DC Universe. The pilot, which was green lit in August 2015, was ordered to series on May 11, 2016. On April 25, 2017, NBC pulled the final three episodes of the series from its schedule, with no indication whether they would be rescheduled at a later date. The series was officially cancelled on May 11, 2017.[3] The unaired episodes were made available on TVNZ OnDemand starting May 12, 2017.[4]

Premise[edit]

Powerless takes place in the DC Universe and follows the adventures of Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) as Director of Research & Development at Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises based in Charm City, that specializes in products for ordinary humans who are poised to be victims of the battles between superheroes and supervillains.

The storylines in the television series are not directly based on storylines in the DC comic franchise, including the Batman franchise. Rather the premise imagines stories that run parallel to the plots in the comic franchise.[5]

Cast and characters[edit]

  • Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke: Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders in a world of superheroes and supervillains feel a little safer. She loves her job because she gets to help people.[6]
  • Danny Pudi as Teddy: Working underneath Emily, he spends his days creating time-wasting pranks as a way to make their office, that he calls "the least super place on earth", just a little less "un-super".[7]
  • Christina Kirk as Jackie: Van's personal assistant.[7]
  • Ron Funches as Ron: He works with Teddy. In the episode "Sinking Day", it's revealed he's from Atlantis, although others believed he was from Atlanta. He won't tell anyone he serves under their King Arthur Curry aka Aquaman.[8]
  • Alan Tudyk as Vanderveer "Van" Wayne: Boss of Wayne Security who is the son of Vanderveer Wayne Sr. and the cousin of Bruce Wayne.[7][9] He aspires to work in the Gotham office with Bruce. The character was created by Batman's original writer Bill Finger with artist Sheldon Moldoff, and made his first appearance in Batman vol. 1, #148 (June, 1962).
  • Jennie Pierson as Wendy: She works with Teddy and Ron.

Atlin Mitchell has been cast in a recurring role as Crimson Fox.[10] Adam West, who portrayed Bruce Wayne / Batman in 1960s television series Batman and its theatrical feature film, narrated the pilot episode, introducing Wayne Security.[11] He also portrayed Chairman West on the 11th episode, "Win, Luther, Draw."[12] Marc McClure, who portrayed Jimmy Olsen in the 1978 film Superman and its sequels and 1984 spin-off film Supergirl, portrayed Emily Locke's father in the pilot.[13]

Production[edit]

In January 2016, it was reported that NBC gave the pilot order for Powerless.[14][15] In February 2016, the main cast was announced: Vanessa Hudgens as the main character, Emily Locke,[6] Danny Pudi as Teddy, Alan Tudyk as Van and Christina Kirk as Jackie.[7] In July 2016, Ron Funches joined the cast as Ron.[8] In August 2016, it was reported that Ben Queen had departed as showrunner.[16] On April 25, 2017, NBC pulled the final three episodes of the series from its schedule, with no indication of if they would be rescheduled at a later date.[1]

Segue shots of Charm City feature a western view of the Cleveland skyline with fictional buildings, including the skyscraper headquarters of Wayne Security, occupying the foreground.[17]

The episode "Emergency Punch-Up" was mistakenly aired instead of "Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice" in Canada, several regions of the US and on the NBC website, the running order had been changed because of the prominence of a chemical gas attack in the episode which similarly occurred in Syria just before the episode was aired.[18] "Win, Luthor, Draw" was subsequently released on DC Comics' YouTube channel on June 16, 2017, six days after West's death.[19]

Episodes[edit]

No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
1"Wayne or Lose"Marc BucklandJustin Halpern & Patrick SchumackerFebruary 2, 2017 (2017-02-02)T12.154023.10[20]
Emily Locke is hired as the new R&D director at Wayne Security in Charm City, but finds the staff unmotivated and her boss and the head of the division, Van Wayne, only looking to move up the corporate ladder at Wayne Enterprises. Van announces that his cousin Bruce Wayne is going to close the division if it cannot compete with rivals like LexCorp. However, Van wants Wayne Security to fail so that he can leave Charm City in hopes of moving to Gotham City and thus makes no attempt to save it. Under Emily's leadership, the team develops a wrist-worn supervillain detector that alerts the wearer when one is nearby, saving the company. This forces Van to remain in Charm City out of his obligations towards his company and causes him to dislike Emily. The news reports that the vigilante Batman used the new device to locate his archenemy, the Joker, and help the Gotham City Police Department apprehend him.
2"Wayne Dream Team"Marc BucklandDean LoreyFebruary 9, 2017 (2017-02-09)T12.154032.53[21]
Emily accidentally tells Van that their Rumbrella, an umbrella that can protect the user from falling rubble, will be done within a week, but the R&D team is more focused on FSL (Fantasy Superhero League), a hobby in which they don't allow her to take part. Meanwhile, Van is upset that only his shoulder is in the "Wayne Dream Team" poster. Emily tries to come across as both a friend and boss to the team while Van works on getting himself into the poster.
3"Sinking Day"Jay ChandrasekharPaul MatherFebruary 16, 2017 (2017-02-16)T12.154062.49[22]
Van forgets to tell the team about an important feature their latest project needed to have, causing Van to lose Ace Chemicals, Wayne Security's oldest and largest client, as well as his father Vanderveer Wayne Sr.'s respect. In an effort to earn back his father's respect, Van and Emily work on getting the Atlanteans as their clients by throwing a Sinking Day party for them to celebrate the day Atlantis sunk into the ocean. Ron tries to convince Jackie and Teddy that Wayne Security's new accountant, Alex, is also Charm City's newest superhero, The Olympian.
4"Emily Dates a Henchman"Matt SohnNeel ShahFebruary 23, 2017 (2017-02-23)T12.154072.27[23]
After she receives a wedding invite from her ex-boyfriend, Emily goes out to a bar with Jackie and Wendy who encourage her to find someone new. She meets a man who appears to measure up to her high standards; however, what she doesn't realize is that her date is a henchman for the Riddler. Meanwhile, Teddy and Ron find a Batarang stuck to the door of a safe that Wayne Security is supposed to improve. After learning about the Batarang, Van, who blames Batman for causing $30,000 in damage to his side-view mirror, hatches a plan: he wants to lure Batman to Charm City using the Batarang and convince Batman to pick him as the next Robin so he can get him to pay back the money.
5"Cold Season"Clark MathisAmy MassMarch 9, 2017 (2017-03-09)T12.154052.38[24]
While cold-themed villains rampage Charm City, Emily tries to convince Teddy to submit his heat-emitting gloves to an in-company competition for new inventions. Meanwhile, Van convinces Ron to assemble toys that'll help him win over his new girlfriend's daughter.
6"I'ma Friend You"Alex ReidSabrina JaleesMarch 30, 2017 (2017-03-30)T12.154081.81[25]
With Crimson Fox leaving Charm City, Emily decides to take self-defense classes and tries to get Jackie to join her. However, in trying to help Jackie, Emily over-steps Jackie's boundaries. Meanwhile, Van is convinced that someone besides him used his personal work toilet and wants to fire the culprit. He tries to get Teddy, Ron, and Wendy to turn on each other.
7"Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice"Jaffar MahmoodGreg Lisbe & Jared MillerApril 6, 2017 (2017-04-06)T12.154102.02[26]
Emily challenges Van to an archery contest in order to win her own office. The others advise her to throw the contest, as they have survived in the office by stroking Van's ego. However, Emily believes that Van needs to face reality. Meanwhile, after Teddy is saved by Green Fury, he becomes infatuated with her and tries to meet her again, despite having an upcoming date with another girl.
8"Green Furious"Michael McDonaldDean LoreyApril 13, 2017 (2017-04-13)T12.154112.04[27]
Emily earns a favor from Green Fury by saving her life and standing up for her to the media. Later, in an effort to get the Wayne Security Board of Directors to pay attention to her ideas, Emily convinces Green Fury to star in a commercial, claiming it will help the superhero be taken seriously by the media. But things don't go as planned when the Board of Directors wants to change the commercial to just the opposite of what Emily had storyboarded. Teddy, still smitten with Green Fury, tries to improve his image to get her to go out with him. Meanwhile, Jackie's daughter Ruby has been suspended from school for punching a boy and won't tell Jackie why she did it; Jackie becomes resentful of Wendy when Ruby befriends Wendy and opens up to her.
9"Emergency Punch-Up"Linda MendozaLillian YuApril 20, 2017 (2017-04-20)T12.154092.03[28]
Everyone at Wayne Security is looking forward to a company island retreat. But, on the day of the retreat, a gas attack by supervillain Doctor Psycho leaves Emily, Van, and the team trapped under lockdown in the office. They are forced to make the best of it while they wait for the all-clear.
10"No Consequence Day"Joe NussbaumMaggie BandurMay 12, 2017 (2017-05-12) (TVNZ OD)[29]T12.15412N/A
11"Win, Luthor, Draw"Rebecca AsherPaul MatherMay 19, 2017 (2017-05-19) (TVNZ OD)[30]T12.15413N/A
12"Van of the Year"Michael WeaverMaggie BandurMay 26, 2017 (2017-05-26) (TVNZ OD)[31]T12.15404N/A

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

After the original pilot was shown at Comic Con 2016, reviews were generally positive. Eric Goldman of IGN gave it a 7.5/10 saying "it's very endearing and amusing and has me looking forward to seeing where it can go".[32] Sydney Bucksbaum of Nerdist praised the pilot episode, saying it's "the superhero comedy we deserve" and "Fans of comic books, office comedy, rom-coms or just having a good laugh, Powerless is for you."[33] After the Pilot episode aired at SDCC 2016, series creator Ben Queen departed the series, after which it was given a new premise and almost the entire episode was reshot.[16]

The reviews for the second pilot episode of Powerless were much less positive. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 64% critic approval rating with an average rating of 5.36/10 based on 33 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "Powerless has a strong premise leaving room for improvement -- and strong performances from a talented cast -- but the show's initial spark is dimmed by uneven execution and a lack of laughs."[34] Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 57 out of 100 based on 26 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[35]

Jesse Scheiden of IGN gave the pilot episode a 4.2/10 saying "there's a lot of potential in that idea, but very little of it is realized here" calling the script "lousy" and calling the show "generic".[36] Yahoo's Dominic Patten called Powerless "a charming comedy with legs and a smart premise".[37] The opening credits, which were part of the original pilot and which use classic artists like Carmine Infantino, were praised by Yahoo's Ken Tucker, saying "the credits aren't funny, they're just beautiful",[38] while Sonia Saraiya praised the cast, particularly Vanessa Hudgens as Emily Locke calling her performance charming, and Tudyk's performance as "the standout". Additionally she said she is optimistic about the show, saying that "there’s a light, nimble humor to the show’s treatment of superpowers and heroic antics — a much needed respite".[39]

After the first two episodes were panned by critics, the third and fourth episodes received favorable reviews. Jesse Scheden of IGN gave "Sinking Day" a 7.2/10, saying that "the show improves enough in its third episode to leave hope that the show will eventually realize its full potential".[40] About the fourth episode "Emily dates a Henchman", Jesse Scheden gave it an 8/10 saying that "the show still isn't particularly deep, and it still struggles to take advantage of every member of the main cast, it is developing into an entertainingly goofy take on the DC Universe".[41]

Ratings[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
1 "Wayne or Lose" February 2, 2017 1.1/4 3.10[20]
2 "Wayne Dream Team" February 9, 2017 0.8/3 2.52[21]
3 "Sinking Day" February 16, 2017 0.8/3 2.49[22]
4 "Emily Dates a Henchman" February 23, 2017 0.7/3 2.27[23]
5 "Cold Season" March 9, 2017 0.7/3 2.38[24]
6 "I'ma Friend You" March 30, 2017 0.5/2 1.81[25]
7 "Van v Emily: Dawn of Justice" April 6, 2017 0.6/2 2.02[26]
8 "Green Furious" April 13, 2017 0.6/2 2.04[27]
9 "Emergency Punch-Up" April 20, 2017 0.6/3 2.03[28]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Goldberg, Lesley (April 25, 2017). "'Powerless' Pulled From NBC Schedule as DC Comedy Effectively Canceled". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 25, 2017. 
  2. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (December 8, 2016). "NBC Midseason Schedule: 'Trial & Error' & 'Great News' Succeed 'This Is Us', 'Shades Of Blue' Moves, DC's 'Powerless' Slotted". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 8, 2016. 
  3. ^ Ausiello, Michael (May 11, 2017). "Powerless Cancelled at NBC". TVLine. Retrieved May 11, 2017. 
  4. ^ "Powerless TVNZ OnDemand". TVNZ OnDemand. May 12, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  5. ^ Begley, Chris (December 10, 2016). "NBC's DC Comics comedy 'Powerless' now takes place at a Wayne Enterprises company". Batman News. Retrieved April 26, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Elizabeth Wagmeister (2016-02-22). "Vanessa Hudgens to Star as Emily Locke in DC Comics Comedy 'Powerless' at NBC". Variety. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  7. ^ a b c d Jamie Lovett (2016-02-23). "DC Comics Sitcom Powerless Adds Alan Tudyk, Danny Pudi, And Christina Kirk". Comicbook.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  8. ^ a b Schneider, Michael (18 July 2016). "'Powerless': Ron Funches Joins the DC Comics Comedy - IndieWire". IndieWire. Retrieved 19 January 2017. 
  9. ^ Finger, Bill; Moldoff, Sheldon; Paris, Charles; Starkman, Stan (June 1962). Schiff, Jack, ed. "The Boy Who Was Robin". Batman. Vol. 1 no. 148. 
  10. ^ Sean K. Cureton (2016-03-07). "Powerless TV Series Set Photos Reveal Crimson Fox". Screenrant.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  11. ^ Schmidt, Joseph (January 30, 2017). "New Powerless Featurette With Batman '66s Adam West". ComicBook.com. ComicBook.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017. 
  12. ^ Bleeding Cool (2017-06-17), Powerless: DC Honors Adam West By Releasing Unaired Episode, retrieved 2017-06-17 
  13. ^ Weldon, Glen (February 1, 2017). "'Powerless': A workplace comedy for the superhero era". Southern California Public Radio. Southern California Public Radio. Retrieved 4 February 2017. 
  14. ^ "DC Comics' 'Powerless' & 'Trial & Error' Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC". Deadline Hollywood. 2016-05-11. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  15. ^ Spencer Perry (2016-01-07). "NBC Has Ordered a Pilot for DC's Powerless". Superherohype.com. Retrieved 2016-05-12. 
  16. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (August 16, 2016). "'Powerless' Creator Ben Queen Departs NBC's Midseason DC Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Downtown Cleveland stands in for Charm City on DC Comics' Powerl - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH". Cleveland19.com. 2017-02-27. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  18. ^ TV.com (2017-04-08). ""Van v. Emily: Dawn of Justice" and "Emergency Punch-Up" - Powerless S01E07 and S01E?? Review". TV.com. Retrieved 2017-04-26. 
  19. ^ DC Entertainment (2017-06-16), POWERLESS w/ ADAM WEST – "Win, Luthor, Draw" Full Episode, retrieved 2017-06-21 
  20. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 3, 2017). "'Scandal' adjusts down a little: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  21. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 10, 2017). "'Riverdale' adjusts up; 'Great Indoors,' 'Powerless,' 'Mom,' 'Chicago Med' down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 10, 2017. 
  22. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 17, 2017). "'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Big Bang Theory' adjust up, 'Scandal' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 17, 2017. 
  23. ^ a b Porter, Rick (February 27, 2017). "'How to Get Away with Murder' finale, 'Training Day' adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 10, 2017). "'Mom' and NBC shows adjust down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 10, 2017. 
  25. ^ a b Porter, Rick (March 31, 2017). "'Big Bang Theory' adjusts up; 'Grey's Anatomy,' 'Scandal,' 'Mom,' 'Powerless' down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 31, 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Porter, Rick (April 7, 2017). "'Big Bang Theory,' 'Blacklist: Redemption' adjust up, 'Scandal' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ a b Welch, Alex (April 14, 2017). "'Grey's Anatomy' and 'Chicago Med' adjust up, 'Scandal' adjusts down: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 14, 2017. 
  28. ^ a b Porter, Rick (April 21, 2017). "'Scandal,' 'Superstore' and all others hold: Thursday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 21, 2017. 
  29. ^ ""No Consequence Day"". TVNZ OnDemand. May 12, 2017. Retrieved May 14, 2017. 
  30. ^ ""Win, Luthor, Draw"". TVNZ OnDemand. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  31. ^ ""Van of the Year"". TVNZ OnDemand. May 19, 2017. Retrieved May 19, 2017. 
  32. ^ "COMIC-CON 2016: POWERLESS - "PILOT" REVIEW". IGN. July 21, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  33. ^ "POWERLESS IS THE SUPERHERO COMEDY WE DESERVE (SDCC REVIEW)". Nerdist. July 21, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  34. ^ "Powerless (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  35. ^ "Powerless (2017)". Metacritic. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  36. ^ "POWERLESS: "WAYNE OR LOSE" REVIEW". IGN. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 3, 2017. 
  37. ^ "'Powerless' & 'Training Day' Review: Comedy Has Punch, But Adaptation Stinks". Yahoo. February 1, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  38. ^ "'Powerless' To Make You Laugh". Yahoo. February 2, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  39. ^ "TV Review: NBC's 'Powerless,' Starring Vanessa Hudgens". Yahoo. January 30, 2017. Retrieved February 11, 2017. 
  40. ^ "POWERLESS: "SINKING DAY" REVIEW". IGN. February 17, 2017. Retrieved February 18, 2017. 
  41. ^ "POWERLESS: "EMILY DATES A HENCHMAN" REVIEW". IGN. February 24, 2017. Retrieved March 11, 2017. 

External links[edit]