Warner Bros. and DC Entertainment’s cinematic DC Extended Universe officially kicked off this year with Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad, but television shows exploring characters from the DC comics have been growing as well. The CW’s universe consisting of Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl recently garnered exceptional ratings thanks to their crossover event, while Fox’s Gotham is currently in the middle of its third season. However, NBC is poised to break new ground in superhero television with the first comic book-based workplace comedy series in Powerless.
NBC ordered Powerless to series earlier this year based on a pilot following the employees of Retcon Insurance — a company that specifically dealt with the aftermath from superhero-related incidents in Charm City. However, with NBC moving forward on Powerless (the network recently assigned the series a February 2017 premiere date), a new synopsis teases certain changes to the show’s premise.
CBM is reporting NBC has released a new synopsis for Powerless that notably shifts the setting of the series from Retcon Insurance to a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises — the company owned by Batman himself, Bruce Wayne — called Wayne Security. Take a look at the synopsis:
In a world where humanity must cope with the collateral damage of Super Heroes and Super-Villains, Emily Locke (Vanessa Hudgens) begins her first day as Director of Research & Development for Wayne Security, a subsidiary of Wayne Enterprises that specializes in products that make defenseless bystanders feel a little safer. Full of confidence and big ideas, Emily quickly learns that her expectations far exceed those of her new boss (Alan Tudyk) and officemates, so it will be up to her to lead the team toward their full potential and the realization that you don’t need superpowers to be a hero.
In broad strokes, the new synopsis for Powerless doesn’t change the premise of the series too much — Emily is still the protagonist of a workplace comedy show, and she still butts heads with a new boss played by Tudyk. Plus, the series seems to be very clearly positioned in a world full of superheroes. The original pilot for Powerless featured an appearance from DC Comics hero Crimson Fox, as well as a nod to the iconic superhero Wonder Woman.
That said, there appears to be enough changes to the premise of Powerless that the series may have needed to reshoot part of all of the pilot. Additionally, it may be the case that these changes to the show have arisen due to the orignal showrunner’s departure from Powerless, though it remains unclear how extensive the alterations to the series will be when compared to Ben Queen’s initial vision.
Of course, setting Powerless at Wayne Enterprises at least gives the series an obvious connection to the DC Comics mythology that may help the show bring in comic fans. But, aside from the mention of certain heroes in the universe, it’s unclear whether other recognizable comic characters will appear in Powerless, such as Bruce Wayne himself. So, whether Powerless will be able to find an audience — either with DC fans or casual TV viewers — remains to be seen when the series debuts early next year.
Powerless will premiere on NBC on Thursday, February 2nd @ 8:30pm ET/PT.