This new sitcom about auto industry pokes fun at the world of self-driving cars
National Broadcasting Company (NBC) is releasing a new workplace television comedy series about the automobile industry and the people in it, called ‘American Auto’. The series is set around the struggles of a 100-year-old auto company - Payne Motors - which is trying to navigate the world of self-driving cars and other industry challenges.
Set to officially debut on January 4, two episodes of the sitcom have already aired and are available to watch on Hulu and iTunes. The pilot episode shows the team at Detroit-based Payne Motors testing a new self-driving vehicle when an African American plant worker is struck as the car fails to apply brakes. Engineer Cyrus then suggest that the vehicle cannot properly sense dark skin and thus did not apply brakes. Worried that the vehicle will be perceived as ‘racist’, Payne Motors' new CEO then assembles a team to redesign the vehicle.
The show seems to be abreast with all the current developments in the automobile industry. While the first episode introduces the audience to Payne Ponderosa, the self-driving car with no brake pedal, the second episode explores the idea of whether all publicity is good publicity. In the latter, a serial killer makes the company's Payne Magellan model famous after using it in a crime.
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American Auto has a strong star cast with the likes of Ana Gasteyer, the former Saturday Night Live star, and Superstore-star Jon Barinholtz. The other actors too have worked before in The Office or Superstore, thus lending the series a strong cast pedigree. The show's creator Justin Spitzer, has previously worked as a writer for The Office and is also the creator of sitcom Superstore. Spitzer has been working on American Auto on and off since 2013, even before Superstore. “I just wanted it to be about a big multibillion-dollar American industry," he told Deadline, Car and Driver reported.