‘Ordinary Joe’ Creators Reveal the Story Behind Bringing the Drama to TV

    Ordinary Joe might be a new and upcoming show for viewers, but it’s a concept that’s been in the works for quite some time, according to creators Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner.

    “Matt Reeves (The Batman) wrote the original script about 10 or 15 years ago, and he basically took it out of a drawer and graciously allowed us to be a part of it,” Friend reveals. The series follows Joe Kimbreau played by the charismatic James Wolk (Mad Men, Watchmen), a man who finds himself at a crossroads on graduation day about 10 years in the past.

    Ordinary Joe James Wolk NBC

    (Credit: Parrish Lewis/NBC)

    Ordinary Joe tracks three different paths Joe could take, one in which he becomes a rock star, another in which he becomes a nurse and marries his best friend, the third finds him following in his father’s footsteps of becoming a cop. “When we sat down to rewrite it, [Matt Reeves] encouraged us to really bring our personal lives to it, like he had,” Friend shares.

    “So that’s where we changed some of the Joes he had into the current version.”

    Friend revealed that the original script saw Joe as a “cop, lawyer, and teacher.” But at the end of the day, occupations are just one piece of the Joe Kimbreau puzzle as the series explores his love and family lives in all three storylines.

    “I think what drew us to the concept was the relatability of it,” teases Lerner. He notes the concept of making choices “especially at that super vulnerable time when you’re graduating college and adulthood is at the doorstep” there’s this feeling that “the decisions you make over the course of the next months are going to define the whole rest of your life.”

    In this series, Lerner reveals you get “to see the results of those decisions and get to see the road not taken.” See how Joe Kimbreau’s paths unravel as Ordinary Joe airs on NBC this fall.

    Ordinary Joe, Series Premiere, Monday, September 20, NBC

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