Amazon Freevee is debuting a very interesting documentary-style comedy series Jury Duty. The feature chronicles the inner workings of an American jury trial through the eyes of one particular juror, Ronald Gladden, a solar contractor from San Diego, who is unaware that this is not an official jury duty summons. The amusing trailer sees Gladden as a dutiful juror who doesn’t figure that the entire case is fake and everyone except him is an actor, including James Marsden. It builds some hilarious moments as everything that happens, inside the courtroom and outside, is scripted.
Marsden reveals in an official statement, “What interested me was the challenge of creating a hero’s journey for someone who has no idea the world around him was completely manufactured.” Adding, “Whether this high wire act could lead him to unite this family of wonderful weirdos and in the process become an inspiring leader for us all under the process of serving Jury Duty.” The premise does present the opportunity to create some epic comedic moments as the timing in the trailer looks perfect.
Lauren Anderson, head of AVOD Original Content and Unscripted Programming, at Amazon Studios, adds, “There are no guarantees but there’s ambition, creativity, pure comedy, and the desire to do something different but with great care. That’s what drew us to this wildly inventive idea from this incredible group of producers.” She further emphasized the themes of the series telling, “How does one respond when the most outlandish moments happen in something as seemingly mundane as jury duty? We hope audiences are pleasantly surprised by what they see and delighted by what the show says about humanity.”
Who is Behind Jury Duty?
Marsden stars as an alternate version of himself alongside an ensemble cast including Alan Barinholtz, Susan Berger, Cassandra Blair, David Brown, Kirk Fox, Ross Kimball, Pramode Kumar, Trisha LaFache, Mekki Leeper, Brandon Loeser, Edy Modica, Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola, Kerry O’Neill, Whitney Rice, Maria Russell, Ishmel Sahid, Ben Seaward, Ron Song, and Evan Williams.
Executive producer Todd Schulman, elaborates on the idea divulging, “Jury Duty originated with a question: Was it possible to make a sitcom like The Office about a trial, populate it with brilliant comedic performers, and put a real person at the center of the show who doesn’t realize he’s surrounded by actors?” He admits, “We honestly had no idea but when we pitched it to Freevee we pretended like it was a sure thing. Thank God, we pulled it off.”
Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky co-created the series while Cody Heller serves as showrunner, and Jake Szymanski directs. The series is executive produced by David Bernad, Eisenberg, Ruben Fleischer, Nicholas Hatton, Heller, Schulman, Stupnitsky, Szymanski, and Andrew Weinberg.
The first four episodes of Jury Duty will premiere on April 7 with two new episodes released each Friday afterward. You can check out the trailer below: