NBC‘s new workplace comedy, Powerless, is set in Charm City, which is home to a variety of super heroes and villains, and apparently the giant alien starfish, Starro.
Powerless is set somewhere within the DC Universe, and it centers on the everyday lives of people in a world populated by super-powered heroes and villains. Enter Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens), a doe-eyed optimist who lands her dream job as Director of Research and Development for Wayne Security, a company that specializes in products that defend ordinary citizens from any damage caused by daily epic battles between good and evil.
Originally, the world of Powerless did not include certain DC–related elements such as the Wayne brandname and even Alan Tudyk‘s Van Wayne; they were added later in development. Initially, the premise of the show centered around an insurance company called Retcon Insurance.
“About 15 weeks into this, we decided that the insurance company angle wasn’t really generating the type of stories that we wanted to be telling,” executive producer Patrick Schumacker told journalists during the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour. He and fellow executive producer Justin Halpern were both latecomers to the project when they met with DC Entertainment President and Chief Creative Officer Geoff Johns. They wanted to come up with a way to “tell classic workplace comedy stories but in a way that kind of activates the DC Universe a little bit more.”
But just because Powerless is a little more established within the DC Universe, don’t expect A-listers like Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman to show up any time soon. It’s not directly connected to any particular television universe that has already established itself across two other networks — Fox with Gotham and The CW with the Berlanti-verse. In fact, Powerless is exists within its own world currently referred to as “Earth-P.” “P” as in “Powerless” not “Prime.” Probably. Perhaps. Perchance?
“The idea is that we’re going to pull from the whole cannon of the comics,” Schumacker said. “It really is the comics we’re pulling from. We really want to show as much of the berth of the DC Universe as possible.”
Powerless stars Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Ron Funches, Christina Kirk, and Danny Pudi. The series premieres Thursday, Feb. 2, at 8:30 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.