Tonight's episode of Powerless will not be seen tonight so that NBC can air encores of Trial and Error...
I liked Powerless. I thought it was cute. I suppose this means I was one of the quarter-million viewers it averaged when it aired on Thursday nights. That was a problem. I think network sitcoms MUST average between 5 and 12 million to get a full season commitment or even a renewal. It doesn't help that the show's lead-in, Superstore, offered the same kind of material and was a program owned by the network...why renew a sitcom they don't own when they can renew a sitcom they can profit from when the reruns are offered in syndication/cable TV?
Powerless had some ambition. If you're not one of the quarter-million viewers who watched it, I'll try to summarize: the show was a sitcom set at a security company that specialized in the research, marketing and development of consumer safety products. The big twist was that it took place in the world of DC Comics superheroes and the company name was Wayne Security, so this meant we had a second Batman TV series currently on the air that did not feature Batman, but featured a peripheral branch of the massive umbrella corporation Wayne Enterprises. Or Waynecorp. Or Wayne Industries. Or the Wayne Foundation..recalling offhand, I'm sure it's Wayne Enterprises, or "W.E" for short. The "Wayne" in charge of overseeing Wayne Security was Van Wayne, a cousin of Bruce, played by Alan Tudyk. Van Wayne could be a reasonable man, but is an immature, incompetent, egocentric buffoon at heart. Enter Emily Locke, the company's new R&D director and show's heroine, played by Vanessa Hudgens, who often had to play straight man to the quirks of Van and her officemates (played by Danny Pudi, Ron Funches, Christina Kirk and Jennie Pierson).
Most of what I just described sounds like the premise a standard sitcom formula with a new element to give it some originality. The weakest thing about the show is that it needed more time to figure out how to mingle it's mashup of genres...and the frustrating thing, here, is that the most-recent episodes hinted that the cast and crew were just starting to find their way...and the network pulled the plug.
There are 3 episodes left to air; I suspect NBC will probably burn them off in a mini-marathon on a Saturday or Sunday night after May, when they need to air some new material after the returning shows have aired their "Season Finale". Could it be revived on another network? Maybe, but I think it might find a happier home on a streaming service like Netflix...or, rather conveniently, the recently-announced streaming service set to debut in 2018 from DC FILMS and Warner Brothers that may or may not have been created to capitalize/compete with Marvel Studios' Netflix offerings..
I would say that it wasn't until the 6th episode that it felt like everyone had their feet planted, so there's a possible 6 (I could be generous and make it 8, but that's kind-of moot) out of 13 episodes in the debut season that are solid and show potential being realized. Not bad.
People who saw the first 2 episodes and bailed were willing to admit that the show does have an awesome title sequence: actual comic book covers featuring DC superheros in action would zoom in to reveal caricatures of the cast members incorporated into the background, with the exception of Jackie - Christina Kirk's character. It turns out that a background character on Norm Breyfogle's cover illustration bore enough of a resemblance to use as-is, so...does that mean you could get her autograph on that comic if she ever attends a comic book convention?