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NBC comedy Powerless mashes DC superheroes with ordinary office workers

Imagine a workplace comedy a la The Office, but instead of the worker drones commiserating over the banality of the day-to-day toil, and suffering under an insufferable boss, they’re looking out the window in envy as real-life superheroes save the world. That’s the idea behind Powerless, a new single-camera series heading to NBC that exists within the DC Comics universe.

Truly embracing the current Hollywood philosophy that anything superhero-related equals ratings gold, Powerless proposes to dig into the earthy depths of the tangential connection between the thrilling lifestyle of superheroes, and the mere mortals who inhabit their world. Created in partnership with Warner Bros. by Ben Queen, the man behind the short-lived romantic comedy series A to Z, Powerless will make its way to NBC in pilot form, adding to a slew of new comedies the network is preparing to revitalize its schedule.

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As reported by Deadline, the show will detail the lives of office workers in “one of the worst insurance companies in America,” only in this alternate universe their mundane lives intertwine with the comings and goings of superheroes as they presumably fight villains, avert catastrophes, and save the day. As if office work weren’t boring enough, imagine adding the envy of supernatural beings to the equation to make the job seem all the more tedious and unfulfilling.

As strange as it sounds, the plot is certainly a fresh take on the ubiquitous superhero model, and one that very well could be ripe for comedy. As for the superheroes, Deadline reports that the show will likely steer clear of the big guns in DC’s universe, such as Batman and Superman, instead focusing on lesser known entities. But it appears that the majority of the action will take place away from the fight, anyway, focused instead on the hilarity that arises from chronic superhero-envy.

This isn’t the first show to take on a superhero universe without focusing on the heroes themselves: Fox’s Gotham has built an entire world around Batman (and his villains), before there was Batman. Still, it’ll be interesting to see if viewers will tune in to watch a show that displays the action only from a distance, as seen through the filter of a boring insurance company.

There’s no word on a release date for the pilot yet, but we’re hoping the wheels will be set in motion soon — we’re excited to get eyes on this collision of worlds, be it triumph or train wreck.