Trial & Error (TV series)

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Trial & Error
Trial & Error intertitle.png
Genre
Created by
  • Jeff Astrof
  • Matt Miller
Starring
Composer(s) John Swihart
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 13 (list of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Marlis Pujol
Location(s)
Editor(s) Yana Gorskaya
Dane McMaster
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s)
Distributor Warner Bros. Television Distribution
Release
Original network NBC
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release March 14, 2017 (2017-03-14) – present
External links
Website

Trial & Error is an American sitcom television series created by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller for NBC and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. It stars Nicholas D'Agosto, Jayma Mays, Steven Boyer, Krysta Rodriguez, and Sherri Shepherd, with John Lithgow also starring in the first season. The series, which spoofs documentaries and reality legal shows, follows New York City lawyer Josh Segal (portrayed by D'Agosto) and his eccentric local associates (portrayed by Boyer and Shepherd) in a fictional small town in South Carolina called East Peck as he represents accused local citizens.

The first season premiered on March 14, 2017, and was met with positive reviews. On May 20, 2017, NBC renewed the series for a 10-episode second season, with the entire cast, except Lithgow, returning. The season will feature the subtitle Lady, Killer, and is scheduled to premiere on July 19, 2018. Kristin Chenoweth joined the cast as the main suspect in the new case.

Premise[edit]

A comedic legal mockumentary about a young bright-eyed New York lawyer Josh Segal who settles in the small Southern town of East Peck, South Carolina with an oddball defense team and solves cases from behind a taxidermy shop. In the first season, they defend a compulsively eccentric poetry professor, Larry Henderson, accused of the bizarre murder of his beloved wife and it becomes challenging when his client is always making himself look guilty and the prosecutor Carol Anne Keane is determined to use the case as a stepping stone to greater local power.

Cast and characters[edit]

Main[edit]

  • Nicholas D'Agosto as Josh Segal,[1] a defense lawyer from New York who finds his first experience of murder trials in East Peck, South Carolina. He has to put up with the antics of his team members much to his chagrin.
  • Jayma Mays as Carol Anne Keane,[2] Assistant District Attorney of East Peck and Josh's rival as well as love interest.
  • Steven Boyer as Dwayne Reed,[3] Josh's lead investigator and a former police officer in East Peck.
  • Krysta Rodriguez as Summer Henderson,[4] the daughter of Larry Henderson who later joins Josh's team. Like Josh, she is serious and the least non-nonsensical of the group.
  • Sherri Shepherd as Anne Flatch,[5] Josh's assistant/head researcher who has rare and bizarre disorders.
  • John Lithgow as Larry Henderson (season 1),[5] a poetry professor and the suspect on trial for the murder of his wife.
  • Kristin Chenoweth as Lavinia Peck-Foster (season 2), an eccentric heiress of East Peck. She hires Josh and his associates after finding her husband stuffed in a suitcase in the back of her car.[6]
  • Amanda Payton as Nina Rudolph (season 2), a stylish podcast host who moves to East Peck from New York to follow the trial of Lavinia Peck Foster and ends up tangled in a love triangle.[7]

Recurring[edit]

  • Bob Gunton as Jeremiah Jefferson Davis, a tobacco businessman, Margaret's brother, and hence Larry's brother-in-law.
  • Cristine Rose as Josie Jefferson Davis, the quiet, alcoholic wife of Jeremiah and the sister-in-law of Larry and Margaret Henderson.
  • Angel Parker as Heidi Baker, a local TV journalist who reports on the investigation of Larry Henderson.
  • Dave Allen as Dave, a taxidermist who owns a shop next to Josh's office.
  • Kevin Daniels as Alfonzo Prefontaine, Larry's fitness trainer and lover.
  • Patricia Belcher as E. Horsedich (pronounced Hi-sen-dich), the judge who presides over the case of People v. Larry Henderson.
  • Kevin Durand as Rutger Hiss, a local police officer who leads the investigation of Larry Henderson.
  • Julie Hagerty as Madame Rhonda, a pet psychic who later becomes Juror 9 in the trial of People v. Larry Henderson.
  • Michael Hitchcock as Jesse Ray Beaumont (season 2), a horologist that was tried and convicted for the murder of Lavinia’s brother Chet nine years ago.[8]

Guest[edit]

  • Andrew Daly as Thom Hinkle, a DNA expert who suffers from a bizarre type of OCD.
  • Marla Gibbs as Mrs. Kratt, Larry's antipathetic neighbor.
  • Fred Melamed as Howard Mankiewicz, a founding partner of the firm where Josh works.
  • Andie MacDowell as Margaret Henderson, Larry's deceased wife whose murder becomes the subject of the mockumentary.

Episodes[edit]

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
US viewers
(millions)
11"Pilot"
"Chapter 1: A Big Crime in a Small Town"
Jeffrey BlitzJeff Astrof & Matt MillerMarch 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)T11.101065.92[9]
Northeastern junior attorney Josh Segal arrives in East Peck, South Carolina to represent local poetry professor Larry Henderson, who is accused of murdering his current wife, Margaret, only during pre-trial. The case proves challenging as the client is somehow always making himself look guilty, and Josh quickly finds himself in competition with the determined, no holds barred prosecutor, Carol Anne Keane. Later, a shocking discovery regarding Larry's faithfulness causes his brother-in-law to turn on him and decide to finance the prosecution instead—forcing Josh alone to fully represent him—and everyone, except his daughter Summer, to (further) doubt his innocence.
22"Chapter 2: A Wrench in the Case"Jeffrey BlitzJeff AstrofMarch 14, 2017 (2017-03-14)T12.154524.58[9]
Josh starts his first duties as Larry's lead defense attorney: investigating the bloody handprint found in Larry's house, where Margaret was found dead, with the help of a DNA expert whom Anne brings and who suffers from a type of OCD; and sending Dwayne to Roanoke, Virginia to retrieve the body of Larry's first wife, who was allegedly murdered in the same manner as was Margaret, in order to get a proper autopsy... which ultimately becomes impossible to happen.
33"Chapter 3: The Other Man"Jeffrey BlitzBill CallahanMarch 21, 2017 (2017-03-21)T12.154535.29[10]
It is discovered that Margaret was having an affair, and the identity of the other man proves to be a shocker to everyone. Meanwhile, Larry becomes publicly humiliated at Margaret's funeral.
44"Chapter 4: An Unwelcome Distraction"Jennifer CelottaBill Martin & Mike SchiffMarch 21, 2017 (2017-03-21)T12.154544.25[10]
After the lead investigator of the murder—who is also the other man—is found comatose, Carol Anne uses this as an opportunity to bring frivolous charges against the defense, who may or may not be responsible for the incident.
55"Chapter 5: Right-Hand Man"Jeffrey BlitzCraig Gerard & Matthew ZinmanMarch 28, 2017 (2017-03-28)T12.154554.25[11]
Josh finds evidence that may link Margaret's brother to her murder; Dwayne tries to prove Josh that he can be the latter's valuable "right-hand man"; and Summer and Anne help Larry practice his testimony.
66"Chapter 6: Secrets & Lies"Ken WhittinghamSherry Bilsing-Graham & Ellen KreamerMarch 28, 2017 (2017-03-28)T12.154563.23[11]
77"Chapter 7: The Case Gets Big"Dean HollandAmy AniobiApril 4, 2017 (2017-04-04)T12.154573.76[12]
88"Chapter 8: A Change in Defense"Matt SohnStory by : Kassia Miller
Teleplay by : Patrick Kang & Michael Levin
April 4, 2017 (2017-04-04)T12.154583.01[12]
99"Chapter 9: Opening Statements"Rebecca AsherBill CallahanApril 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)T12.154593.64[13]
1010"Chapter 10: A Hostile Jury"Matt SohnBill Martin & Mike SchiffApril 11, 2017 (2017-04-11)T12.154602.88[13]
1111"Chapter 11: Unusual Suspect"Ryan CaseCraig Gerard & Matthew ZinmanApril 13, 2017 (2017-04-13)T12.154612.67[14]
1212"Chapter 12: The Defense Rests"Matt SohnJeff Astrof & Bill CallahanApril 18, 2017 (2017-04-18)T12.154623.79[15]
1313"Chapter 13: The Verdict"Jeffrey BlitzJeff AstrofApril 18, 2017 (2017-04-18)T12.154633.01[15]
The jury has reached a verdict that Larry is guilty. However, Carol Anne Keane changes her mind about the death sentence and instead simply sends Larry to jail. Several months later, Josh is back in New York, still trying to figure out how Larry could actually be innocent. A particular piece of evidence appears that reveals Larry is innocent, and Margaret was in fact killed by a bird knocking her through the window.

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No.
overall
No. in
season
Title [16]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date [16]Prod.
code
US viewers
(millions)
141"The Suitcase"TBATBAJuly 19, 2018 (2018-07-19)TBATBD
152"The Timeline"TBATBAJuly 19, 2018 (2018-07-19)TBATBD
163"The Murder Clock"TBATBAJuly 26, 2018 (2018-07-26)TBATBD
174"A Hole in the Case"TBATBAJuly 26, 2018 (2018-07-26)TBATBD

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

In August 2015, it was announced that NBC had given the production, then titled The Trail, a put pilot commitment. The episode was set to be written and executive produced by Jeff Astrof and Matt Miller, from Warner Bros. Television.[17] The following January, NBC gave the production an official pilot order,[18] with Jeffrey Blitz set to direct the pilot episode.[19] In May 2016, the production received a series order from NBC, now titled Trial & Error, with Barge Productions and Good Session Productions also serving as production companies.[20][21] The first season premiered on March 14, 2017.[22][23]

On May 20, 2017, Trial & Error was renewed for a second season consisting of ten episodes.[24] The season will feature the subtitle Lady, Killer, and is scheduled to premiere on July 19, 2018.[25]

Casting[edit]

In February 2016, it was announced that Steven Boyer,[3] John Lithgow, Sherri Shepherd,[5] Jayma Mays,[2] Nicholas D'Agosto,[1] and Krysta Rodriguez had joined the main cast of the pilot.[4] The main cast all return for the second season, except Lithgow,[24] who only had a single season commitment to the series. However, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt felt there was the potential for Lithgow to appear in a couple episodes of season two.[26] Kristin Chenoweth was cast in February 2018 as the new character accused of murder and set to stand trial.[6] Amanda Payton also joins the cast for the second season.[7]

Filming[edit]

The second season is expected to film from March 19 to May 22, 2018, in Vancouver, after the first season was filmed in Burbank, California.[27]

Broadcast[edit]

Internationally, the series was acquired in Australia by the Seven Network[28] where it premiered on April 30, 2017,[29] and in New Zealand by TVNZ.[30]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Trial & Error has received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes the series has an approval rating of 85% based on 33 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Trial & Error hilariously parodies the true-crime genre with consistent laughs, irreverently funny 'stupid humor,' and animated characters who populate the show's dependably entertaining narratives."[31] On Metacritic, the series has a score of 67 out of 100, based on 29 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[32]

Ratings[edit]

Season 1 (2017)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "Pilot" March 14, 2017 1.4/5 5.92[9] N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 "A Wrench in the Case" March 14, 2017 1.0/4 4.58[9] N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 "The Other Man" March 21, 2017 1.2/5 5.29[10] N/A N/A N/A TBD
4 "An Unwelcome Distraction" March 21, 2017 1.1/4 4.25[10] N/A N/A N/A N/A
5 "Right-Hand Man" March 28, 2017 1.0/4 4.25[11] N/A N/A N/A N/A
6 "Secrets & Lies" March 28, 2017 0.8/3 3.23[11] N/A N/A N/A N/A
7 "The Case Gets Bigger" April 4, 2017 0.9/3 3.76[12] N/A N/A N/A N/A
8 "A Change in Defense" April 4, 2017 0.7/3 3.01[12] N/A N/A N/A N/A
9 "Opening Statements" April 11, 2017 0.9/3 3.64[13] N/A N/A N/A N/A
10 "A Hostile Jury" April 11, 2017 0.8/3 2.88[13] N/A N/A N/A N/A
11 "Unusual Suspect" April 13, 2017 0.6/2 2.67[14] N/A N/A N/A N/A
12 "The Defense Rests" April 18, 2017 0.9/3 3.79[15] N/A N/A N/A N/A
13 "The Verdict" April 18, 2017 0.7/3 3.01[15] N/A N/A N/A N/A

Season 2 (2018)[edit]

No. Title Air date Rating/share
(18–49)
Viewers
(millions)
DVR
(18–49)
DVR viewers
(millions)
Total
(18–49)
Total viewers
(millions)
1 "The Suitcase" July 19, 2018 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
2 "The Timeline" July 19, 2018 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
3 "The Murder Clock" July 26, 2018 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
4 "A Hole in the Case" July 26, 2018 N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A

Accolades[edit]

Year Award Category Recipients and nominees Result
2018 Satellite Awards Best Actor in a Series, Comedy or Musical John Lithgow Nominated
Writers Guild of America Awards Episodic Comedy (For episode "The Verdict") Jeff Astrof Nominated

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 18, 2016). "'The Trail' NBC Comedy Pilot Sets Nick D'Agosto As The Lead". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 18, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 17, 2016). "Jayma Mays Cast In 'The Trail' NBC Pilot". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 17, 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (February 10, 2016). "'The Trail' NBC Pilot Casts Steven Boyer". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Petski, Denise (February 29, 2016). "'The Trail': NBC Comedy Pilot Casts Krysta Rodriguez; Ward Horton Joins CBS' 'Bunker Hill'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Andreeva, Nellie (February 16, 2016). "John Lithgow & Sherri Shepherd To Co-Star In NBC Comedy Pilot 'The Trail'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 16, 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 22, 2018). "Trial & Error': Kristin Chenoweth To Star In Season 2 Of NBC Legal Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 22, 2018. 
  7. ^ a b Petski, Denise (March 2, 2018). "'Trial & Error': Amanda Payton Joins Season 2 Of NBC Legal Comedy Series". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 2, 2018. 
  8. ^ Petski, Denise (April 12, 2018). "'Trial & Error': Michael Hitchcock Set to Recur In Season 2 Of NBC Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  9. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (March 16, 2017). "'This Is Us' finishes with season highs: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 16, 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (March 22, 2017). "'The Voice' and 'The Flash' adjust up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 22, 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (March 29, 2017). "'The Flash' adjusts up and avoids new series low, 'Legends of Tomorrow' adjusts down: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved March 29, 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (April 5, 2017). "'NCIS' and 'The Middle' adjust up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 5, 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (April 12, 2017). "'The Middle' adjusts up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 12, 2017. 
  14. ^ 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. 
  15. ^ a b c d Porter, Rick (April 19, 2017). "'The Middle' adjusts up: Tuesday final ratings". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved April 19, 2017. 
  16. ^ a b "Trial & Error Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved 3 June 2018. 
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 28, 2015). "Trial Comedy From Jeff Astrof & Matt Miller Gets NBC Put Pilot Commitment". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  18. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (January 23, 2016). "NBC Orders Amy Poehler/Charlie Grandy, 'The Trail' & 'Good Fortune' Comedy Pilots". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  19. ^ Petski, Denise (February 2, 2016). "Rupert Wyatt To Direct 'The Exorcist' Pilot; Jeff Blitz Set For 'The Trail'". Deadline. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 11, 2016). "DC Comics' 'Powerless' & 'Trial & Error' Comedies Picked Up To Series By NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved May 27, 2016. 
  21. ^ Wagmeister, Elizabeth (May 12, 2016). "NBC Orders DC Comics Comedy 'Powerless' and John Lithgow's 'Trial & Error' for 2016-17 Season". Variety. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  22. ^ 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. 
  23. ^ de Moraes, Lisa (February 8, 2017). "NBC Shuffles 'This Is Us' Season Finale, 'Trial & Error' Launch To Accommodate Donald Trump's "SOTU" Address". Deadline. Retrieved February 8, 2017. 
  24. ^ a b Andreeva, Nellie (May 20, 2017). "'Trial & Error' Renewed For Season 2 By NBC". Deadline. Retrieved May 20, 2017. 
  25. ^ Evans, Greg (April 12, 2018). "'Trial & Error' Starring Kristin Chenoweth Gets Season 2 Premiere Date On NBC". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 12, 2018. 
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 4, 2017). "'Trial & Error': John Lithgow May Return For Arc In Season 2 Of NBC Comedy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved April 13, 2018. 
  27. ^ Takeuchi, Craig (February 5, 2018). "Filming in Vancouver: The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Salvation, Trial and Error, Valley of the Boom". Inside Vancouver. Retrieved March 5, 2018. 
  28. ^ Knox, David (October 26, 2016). "Upfronts 2017: Seven highlights". TV Tonight. Retrieved October 27, 2016. 
  29. ^ Knox, David (April 26, 2017). "Airdate: Trial and Error". TV Tonight. Retrieved May 1, 2017. 
  30. ^ "Watch Trial and Error Episodes - TVNZ OnDemand". TVNZ. TVNZ. Retrieved 24 April 2017. 
  31. ^ "Trial & Error: Season 1 (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 
  32. ^ "Trial & Error: Season 1 reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved March 28, 2017. 

External links[edit]