This pilot season, there are two single-camera comedies in the works that chronicle the day-to-day grind of suffering as a lowly assistant — NBC has Assistance, starring Don't Trust The B---- In Apartment 23's Krysten Ritter, while FOX is developing the ensemble To My Future Assistant. This week, both projects added cast members.
Based on a blog and an upcoming book, FOX's To My Future Assistant takes place in the legal world and follows the assistants at a major New York law firm who band together as a family to deal with the obnoxious, overbearing bosses who test their patience — and their sanity — on a daily basis.
One of those bosses, an accomplished and stylish attorney named Magda, will be played by SCTV legend Catherine O'Hara. Magda is described as the type of woman who pretends to be your friend, but really isn't.
Also well-known for her roles in 1988's Beetlejuice and a variety of other films, O'Hara recently guest-starred on NBC's 30 Rock and lent her voice to Nick At Nite's adult stop-motion animation series Glenn Martin, DDS.
Two of Assistant's lead assistants have also been cast. Joe Egender, who appeared as Billy on FX's American Horror Story: Asylum and killer Ernest Cobb on FOX's Alcatraz, will play sarcastic paralegal Roy. He takes care of various unpleasant tasks for Magda and has a secret crush on a co-worker named Jen. Holy Ghost, a film starring Egender that he wrote and produced, will premiere at this year's SXSW festival.
Melissa Tang has been tapped for the role of Claire, a young assistant at the firm who always volunteers for the most undesirable chores and remains extremely cheerful until she lands a promotion.
In addition to guest appearances on New Girl, Harry's Law, and CSI, Tang has a co-starring role on FOX's unaired midseason comedy The Goodwin Games. The episodes that have been filmed may be burned off at some point, but the series is not going forward, freeing her up to join Assistants.
From Will Ferrell and Adam McKay's Gary Sanchez Productions, NBC's Assistance will focus on Krysten Ritter's character Nora, an idealistic personal assistant to a film producer who constantly finds herself pulled between her "work husband" colleague and her actual fiance Jeremy, all while trying to manage her demanding boss.
Peter Cambor will play Jeremy, Nora's long-time boyfriend and a recent medical school graduate. A co-star on TBS's recently canceled Wedding Band, Cambor also had a recurring role on NCIS and NCIS: Los Angeles as operational psychologist Nate Gertz.
From the moment ABC canceled Apartment 23, Krysten Ritter was hotly pursued for a number of comedy pilots, so that might give NBC's Assistance a leg up on FOX's Assistants. Do either of these workplace comedies appeal to you?