6:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Space Force': Lisa Kudrow Joins Steve Carell's Netflix Comedy
Netflix's Space Force continues to build out its impressive cast.
The comedy, co-created by The Office's Greg Daniels and star Steve Carell, has enlisted Friends grad Lisa Kudrow. The streamer also revealed Wednesday that Space Force — one of the most anticipated scripted shows of 2020 — would premiere Friday, May 29. (Check out a first-look photo of the series below.)
Picked up straight to series in January 2019, Carell stars in the series, which is described as a workplace comedy centered around the people tasked with creating a sixth branch of the armed services — Space Force. Sources note the idea for the project was sparked by Trump's June order to establish a space force as the sixth military branch.
Kudrow — who received multiple offers to star in broadcast pilots — will recur in the series as Maggie Naird, the wife of Carell's Gen. Mark R. Naird. She's a Washington Air Force wife who has sublimated parts of herself to her husband's career for two decades. But as he takes on his biggest challenge, she is growing in a different direction.
Here's the show's formal description: A decorated pilot with dreams of running the Air Force, four-star Gen. Mark. R. Naird is thrown for a loop when he finds himself tapped to lead the newly formed sixth branch of the U.S. Armed Forces: Space Force. Skeptical but dedicated, Mark uproots his family and moves to a remote base in Colorado where he and a colorful team of scientists and "Spacemen" are tasked by the White House with getting American boots on the moon (again) in a hurry and achieving total space dominance.
Daniels executive produces alongside Carell and 3 Arts' Howard Klein, with the trio reuniting following their collaboration on NBC's The Office. John Malkovich, Diana Silvers, Tawny Newsome and Ben Schwartz star. Kudrow recurs alongside Jimmy O. Yang, Noah Emmerich, Alex Sparrow and Don Lake.
Sources say Carell's salary for Space Force — including co-creator and exec producer fees — sets a new overall record for talent, likely topping the $1-million-per-episode paydays that the castmembers of CBS' The Big Bang Theory previously netted. With The Office ranking as one of Netflix's most-watched acquired series — sources note that it often collects more viewers than some of its originals — the streamer stepped up after hearing Carell was ready to return to series-regular television and aggressively pursued the project. The show was not shopped elsewhere.
The Space Force date will cap a busy May for Daniels, whose Amazon comedy, Upload, launches May 1.