NBC hopes that a few queens of comedy can help it reclaim its title as TV’s comedy king.
The network is welcoming a flock of funny female stars to its fall lineup, and many of the familiar faces will feel like old friends. Here’s a look at the ladies who will be making you laugh a few months from now:
Cristin Milioti in “A to Z”
The Mother from “How I Met Your Mother” has been resurrected for this NBC show produced by “Parks and Recreation” star Rashida Jones, and hopefully she’s found herself a guy who doesn’t have an Aunt Robin to pine for. At least Milioti gets more screen time as her new show documents her relationship from “A to Z” (surely the “Z” won’t be her death).
Milioti stars as Zelda, the love interest of Andrew, a “guy’s guy” who secretly likes to sing along to Celine Dion. He works at an online dating company, and, much like Ted Mosby, he believes in true love and destiny. Andrew is played by Ben Feldman, who recently made a shocking exit from “Mad Men.” Luckily, Andrew doesn’t seem like the type of guy who will try to win Zelda over by cutting off his nipple. “A to Z” looks absolutely adorkable, so check it out when it airs Thursday’s at 9:30 p.m.
Krysten Ritter in “Mission Control”
Shows set during the 60s don’t last long on network TV – the groovy setting couldn’t save “The Playboy Club” or “Pan Am.” However, they didn’t have the B from Apartment 23. In “Mission Control,” Ritter plays Mary, “a tough but brilliant aerospace engineer” who works at NASA. Because the show is set during the 60s, obviously sexism is a big problem in her testosterone-filled workplace.
Ben Feldman isn’t the only former love interest from “The Mindy Project” coming to NBC – here Tommy Dewey stars as “a former hotshot test pilot” who manages Mary and her team as they try to make it to the moon. With “Mad Men” saying farewell soon, at least we’ll have somewhere to turn when we start feeling nostalgic for the ’60s. “Mission Control” is set for a midseason premiere.
Ellie Kemper in “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt”
The ghosts of “30 Rock” and “The Office” had a baby, and it’s going to haunt NBC when this show makes its midseason premiere. Kemper was most recently seen playing Tommy Dewey’s other woman on “The Mindy Project,” but she’s probably best known for her role as Erin, the ditzy receptionist on “The Office.” Here her character named Kimmy does a very Erin-esque thing by joining a cult. After getting rescued, she decides to start over in NYC. She learns all about the city from her new roomie, a gay theater actor named Titus (Tituss Burgess). “30 Rock” star Jane Krakowski plays a well-to-do woman who hires Kimmy to be a nanny.
I get the feeling that Jane and Ellie are going to be playing characters similar to those on their former NBC shows, and this might not be a bad thing. “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” was produced by Tina Fey and fellow “30 Rock” writer Robert Carlock.
Casey Wilson in “Marry Me”
“Happy Endings” fans, rejoice! Penny just might get her happy ending in this series that focuses on a recently engaged couple. It’s the baby of “Happy Endings” creator David Caspe, who just happens to be engaged to Casey Wilson. Ken Marino is the poor guy who has to put up with Penny, Part II, and she’s just as emotionally unstable as ever – the trailer features Wilson’s character having a meltdown during a badly botched proposal. Caspe has promised that he’s trying to get other “Happy Endings” stars to make cameos on the show, and it would be ah-mah-zing if he succeeded. “Marry Me” will air Tuesday’s at 9:00 p.m. this fall.
Elisha Cuthbert in “One Big Happy”
Two of Wilson’s “Happy Endings” costars will be joining her on NBC. Nick Zano will star as Luke, a guy who agrees to be the sperm donor for his platonic lesbian pal Lizzy (Elisha Cuthbert). Lizzy and her BFF/roomie create one big happy modern family when she gets pregnant. However, things get complicated when Luke meets the love of his life, a British girl named Prudence (Kelly Brook) who Lizzy can’t stand. You can watch this awkward threesome try to make things work when “One Big Happy,” produced by Ellen Degeneres, makes its midseason debut.
Kate Walsh in “Bad Judge”
This is like “Bad Teacher,” but with a judge. Walsh was most recently seen playing a former stripper in “Fargo,” and the “Grey’s Anatomy” star is continuing to give off sexy vibes as she rocks a leopard bra and beds a guy in her chambers. Of course her party girl judge character has cake and wine for breakfast, and she dishes out unorthodox punishments like making a bigamist wear a shirt that says “I’m a convicted bigamist” while taking a college course on feminism. You can check out the dishonorable Judge Rebecca Wright Thursday nights at 9:00 p.m.
Debra Messing in “The Mysteries of Laura”
Messing’s new show isn’t a straight-up comedy, but the crime procedural definitely has comedic elements (think “Castle”). Josh Lucas, who plays Messing’s soon-to-be ex-husband, describes it as “Agatha Christie meets ‘Modern Family.’”
Messing plays a wise-cracking homicide detective who doesn’t get to escape seeing red stuff splattered all over the walls when she comes home after a long day of investigating murders. In one scene from the trailer, she walks into what looks like a gruesome crime scene. However, the red stuff all over the walls is just paint, and it was put there by her trouble-making sons. There’s also a scene featuring an angry-looking Messing rocking Spanx with Uggs. The humorous bits were the best part of the trailer, so this one could be a winner if it keeps the comedy coming. It will air Wednesdays at 8:00 p.m.
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