NBC is adding two new comedies to its lineup starring comedy veterans John Lithgow (Third Rock From the Sun) and Andrea Martin (SCTV) but with much different premises.
Debuting this Tuesday is a mockumentary based on crime documentaries, Trial & Error. It is a fish-out-of-water type of comedy that stars Nicholas D’Agosto as Josh Simon, a young, idealistic lawyer from New York sent to work his first case in a small southern town and doesn’t know what he is in for when he meets his eccentric client, Larry Henderson (John Lithgow). Henderson is a poetry professor with a passion for rollerskating who has been accused of murdering his wife. While the good professor may not be guilty of the crime (the show will apparently keep viewers guessing) he doesn’t do himself any favors by saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. The cast also includes Jayma Mays as a tough-as-nails attorney, Sherri Shepherd as a receptionist who has dyslexia, can’t remember faces and faints any time that she see something beautiful, Steven Boyer as Josh’s dimwitted assistant, and Krysta Rodriguez who is Larry’s stepdaughter.
Although a fine actor, Lithgow is probably best known for his comedy work, namely as the space alien he played in the Emmy-award-winning comedy Third Rock From the Sun from 1996 to 2001. “I’m someone who’s known for being really funny, very scary and occasionally very touching, and the role requires all those three parts,” says Lithgow in an interview with the Hamilton Spectator. “But as loonie as Larry is, the audience has to be able to buy it either way — that he either has or hasn’t murdered her — and really want to follow the clues and red herrings and find out the truth.”
In April, the Peacock network will premiere the new sitcom Great News which stars Briga Heelan as Katie Wendelson, a news producer for a fictional cable TV news show, The Breakdown. Everything appears to be going well for Katie until her mother shows up to serve as an intern at Katie’s work. Carol (Andrea Martin) has 30 years of stay-at-home-mom experience under her belt, so she is a little rusty going back to the work world. Though the pair have some mother/daughter issues to work out, the two are bound to rise to the top working as a great team. Martin was most recently seen in NBC’s live production of Hairspray.
Great News also stars John Michael Higgins as a traditional news veteran who is difficult to get along with and sits next to Nicole Richie’s Portia, who unlike him is hip, unpolished, and possibly more popular than the news anchor. The two clash and neither of them really understand where the other is coming from. Then there is Greg (Adam Campbell) who is the young executive producer trying to make his mark while corralling his co-workers and keeping his co-hosts from hurting each other. Also part of the crew is Justin (Horatio Sanz), the laid-back video editor who spends hours editing horrific news footage, and Beth (Tracey Wigfield), who NBC describes as “the creepy resident meteorologist who is far from our stereotypical weather girl.”
Wigfield also serves as creator and executive producer of Great News along with Tina Fey, Robert Carlock, and David Miner.
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Trial & Error debuts with back-to-back half hour episodes on Tuesday, March 14, beginning at 10:00 p.m. on NBC.
Great News‘ series premiere is Tuesday, April 25, at 9:00 p.m. on NBC.
[Featured Image by NBC]