B.J. Novak may forever be associated with his role as Ryan Howard, the douchey temp-turned-corporate VP-turned-temp again in The Office, but Novak had as much to do behind the scenes on the beloved comedy as a writer, director, and executive producer on the series. While he’s largely stuck to acting in the years since The Office ended, he’s about to embark on a whole new — and totally bonkers-sounding — adventure for FX on Hulu with The Premise.
FX is describing The Premise, which will feature an impressive lineup of guest stars, as “a fearlessly ambitious new series that uses comedy to engage with the biggest issues of our unprecedented modern era,” and based on the descriptions of the upcoming episodes, it seems like an appropriate summation. Like a purely comedic version of Black Mirror (minus the pig-f*cking… we think), The Premise will tackle topics like police misconduct, gun control, and immigration, with Novak writing (or co-writing) all five of the announced episodes and directing two of them.
The trick, of course, will be finding the right balance between comedy and current events, but something tells us that Novak’s got that under control already. Just look at the summary for the first episode, “Social Justice Sex Tape,” which features Ben Platt, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Ayo Edebiri:
“When a white, woke, twenty-something ally to social justice causes (Platt) discovers video evidence of a disputed police incident in the background of his highly embarrassing sex tape, a savvy young lawyer (Edebiri) and her mentor (Ellis Ross) strategize on how to best use the tape and witness to save an innocent man (Fowler) from prison.”
The Premise—which will also feature appearances by Daniel Dae Kim, Lola Kirke, Soko, Lucas Hedges, Kaitlyn Dever, Jon Bernthal, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Ed Asner, George Wallace, Boyd Holbrook, and Beau Bridges—will debut its first two episodes on Thursday, September 16 on FX on Hulu.