‘Jury Duty’ trailer brings ‘The Office’ meets Borat ‘docu-comedy’ to Amazon Freevee

The reality comedy series “Jury Duty” is an elaborate prank on one normal man, and you’ll want to be in on the joke.  

On Tuesday, Amazon released a trailer for the series, which is coming to the free ad-supported service Freevee on April 7. It’s a “docu-comedy” following Ronald Gladden, a solar contractor from San Diego who thinks he’s taking part in a documentary about an American jury trial, from juror selection through verdict. In reality, it’s all fake, every other participant is an actor, and everything that happens is carefully scripted to make him feel like he’s taking crazy pills.

“Jury Duty” was created by “The Office” veterans Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky. “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm” and “Who Is America?” producer Todd Schulman is an EP. Cody Heller (“Dummy”) is the showrunner, and Jake Szymanski (“The Package”) is the director.  

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?” Schulman said in a statement. “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.”

You’ve seen how people react to crazy events on hidden camera shows, but you’ve never seen someone try to not react for weeks because they think they’re part of something both very important and totally mundane. It’s like “The Truman Show” meets “The Office.”  

The cast includes some comic actors Ron Glidden didn’t recognize but you might, including Alan Barinholtz, Susan Berger (“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”), Cassandra Blair (“Hacks”), David Brown, Kirk Fox (“Reservation Dogs”), Ross Kimball, Pramode Kumar, Trisha LaFache (“Westworld”), Mekki Leeper (“The Sex Lives of College Girls”), Brandon Loeser, Edy Modica (“Made for Love”), Rashida “Sheedz” Olayiwola (“South Side”), Kerry O’Neill (“Murderville”), Whitney Rice (“Suits”), and James Marsden (“Westworld,” the X-Men franchise), who plays a fictionalized version of himself. 

“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,” said Marsden, “and whether or not 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 first four (of eight) episodes “Jury Duty” premieres on April 7 on Freevee. Four episodes will be released on April 7, followed by two on April 14 and the final two on April 21.

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