Later this year, NBC and ABC are going to be taking a chance on a new type of superhero show (or maybe it's a new type of sitcom). Both of these networks are developing shows in the exact same vein, however, one resides in the DC universe while the other one exists in Marvel. Essentially, they are office comedies about normal people dealing with living in a world full of superheroes (and if you squint a little they look almost exactly the same).
Powerless will be on NBC as an original concept about an insurance company that deals with super powered destruction of property. The creators of A to Z are coming back together to helm the project, and its set to star Vanessa Hudgens, Alan Tudyk, Christina Kirk, and Danny Pudi. On the flip side, Damage Control is actually based on a comic by the same name created in the late '80's, all about the clean up crew for the aftermath of superhero showdowns. This one pulled in some interesting creators with The Daily Show producer Ben Karlin, and of course David Miner and Jeff Loeb from Marvel. It's hard to say which show looks like it shows more promise, but let's take a deeper look and speculate who has the advantage in this scenario.
It's easy to say that the Arrow and Flash are major hits, but it might still be a little early to determine for Supergirl. The show has been solid so far, but still, Powerless will mostly have to ride on her coattails, rather than being able to rely on the brave and the bold heroes over on the CW. This means the show will need to distinguish itself early, although in its favor, the studio still is missing a solid new comedy to fill the hole of Parks and Rec. There have been rumors that the show will cleverly mention the biggest heroes in the DC Universe, but more than likely only the true D-list heroes will make it onto the screen. Mainly, the cast seems strong, and the writers have an endless amount of material to pull from, but audiences could very well be tired of single camera confessional shows in general. And, if they try to stay too far from the Justice League it could be hard to keep up the appeal, but Tudyk and Pudi are enough to bring me in. Plus, we recently got our first look at the Crimson Fox (a lesser hero in the DC Universe, yet still exciting).
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is ever expanding, and this show will be the first real attempt at an all out comedy that is apart of the ongoing continuity. An argument can be made for Ant-Man or Guardians of the Galaxy, but even those are more in the action adventure genre, where Damage Control will reportedly compare closer to the networks newer take on The Muppets. Almost everything with the Marvel label gets a good chance to work out, even Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter have struggled with attendance, but keep finding a way to get renewed. As of now, there is not much information on this series, but if it sticks close to the comic, it will have plenty of mention of the main Avengers (and hopefully a few cameos). At the very least it would be awesome to see a Netflix crossover, and have them address the extreme difference in their tones. Also, with the creative talent behind The Daily Show and Modern Family on board, I can't really see how this could go wrong.
To sum it up, Powerless is quite a bit further into production, or at least much more open about it, while Damage Control seems to be taking its time and staying away from affecting Daredevil Season 2 and Captain America: Civil War (which are both coming out super soon). It's hard to say whether this style of show will work with superheroes, given that No Ordinary Family didn't quite make the cut, and the current goofiness of the DC animated properties are still putting fans in an outrage. Hopefully they will be able to separate themselves enough to stand on their own while still paying homage to the world the around them. I personally love comedies, and the shows they are aiming to replicate, on top of it being about superheroes, these shows could potentially be a nerds dream!