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The Premise - What We Know So Far

B.J. Novak, better known as infamous "The Office" character Ryan Howard, is set to make his streaming television debut with a new anthology series called "The Premise." 

Now, one look at Novak's IMDb reveals this charmer is no stranger to TV, be it appearing in front of the camera, overseeing a project as a producer, or writing TV episodes. Previous to "The Premise," Novak wrote on numerous episodes of "The Office," as well as an episode of "The Mindy Project" (which starred his longtime "The Office" co-star Mindy Kaling) the 2003 comedy show "Raising Dad," and even an Indian adaptation of "The Office" in 2019.

Now, Novak is ready to take the streaming world by storm with "The Premise," a five-episode anthology series he created. A press release shared by FX on Hulu offers an intriguing description of "The Premise" as a whole, calling it "a fearlessly ambitious new series that uses comedy to engage with the biggest issues of our unprecedented modern era." The press release also notes that in addition to being created by Novak, "The Premise" also sees Novak wearing the hats of writer (or, in the case of two episodes, co-writer), director of two episodes, and co-executive producer. Additional episode directors for "The Premise" are Kitao Sakurai ("The Eric Andre Show"), Darya Zhuk ("Crystal Swan"), and Jake Schreier ("Paper Towns"). Additional episode writers on "The Premise" are journalist Jia Tolentino and Josie Duffy Rice ("The Daily Show"). 

Here's what we know so far about the release date of "The Premise," its cast, and the plot of each of the five episodes ahead of the anthology's FX on Hulu premiere.

What is the release date of The Premise?

Thanks to a press release from FX, we know that "The Premise" will premiere on FX on Hulu on Thursday, September 16. 

More specifically, the first two episodes of "The Premise" will premiere on this date. Following the release of Episodes 1 and 2 on September 16, it's likely the case that new episodes of "The Premise" will be released weekly. If new episodes are released weekly following the premiere, audiences can expect the final episode of "The Premise" to be released on Thursday, October 7. Each episode of "The Premise" will be 30 minutes long, but depending on your Hulu subscription tier, might take longer to watch if you have to deal with ad breaks. Finally, all five episodes will be released exclusively on Hulu, which means that this streaming platform is the only place you'll be able to watch "The Premise" when it is released.

Who is in the cast of The Premise?

The cast of "The Premise" is one of the most formidable to assemble in recent memory. This is partially thanks to the fact that this show is an anthology, which provides numerous opportunities to high major stars who are likely more available to film one episode of this show rather than sign on for a full-on season of TV. The other reason the cast of "The Premise" is so formidable is down to the fact that every episode contains top-notch dramatic and comedic actors who have proven their bonafides in our favorite movies and television.

With that in mind, here's the complete line-up of the cast of "The Premise": Ben Platt ("Dear Evan Hansen"), Ayo Edebiri ("Dickinson"), Tracee Ellis Ross ("Black-ish"), Jermaine Fowler ("Coming 2 America"), Jon Bernthal ("The Punisher"), Boyd Holbrook ("Logan"), Beau Bridges ("Homeland"), Amy Landecker ("Transparent"), Lucas Hedges ("Ladybird"), Kaitlyn Dever ("Booksmart"), O'Shea Jackson Jr. ("Ingrid Goes West"), George Wallace ("Batman Forever"), Ed Asner ("Elf"), Brendan Scannell ("Heathers"), Grace Song ("Life Itself"), Lola Kirke ("Gone Girl"), Soko ("Her"), Melissa Saint-Amand ("Ozark"), Sylvia Grace Crim ("The Hunt"), Daniel Dae Kim ("Lost"), Eric Lange ("Narcos"), and Bryan Batt ("Mad Men"). 

What is The Premise's plot?

"The Premise" is an anthology, with each episode telling an independent story. Per an FX press release, here's the plot of each episode:

  • "Social Justice Sex Tape" – When a white, woke, twenty-something ally to social justice causes (Ben Platt) discovers video evidence of a disputed police incident in the background of his highly embarrassing sex tape, a savvy young lawyer (Ayo Edebiri) and her mentor (Tracee Ellis Ross) strategize on how to best use the tape and witness to save an innocent man (Jermaine Fowler) from prison.
  • "Moment of Silence" – After losing his daughter to gun violence, a grieving father (Jon Bernthal) pursues a new job as a PR director at the National Gun Lobby, where he's befriended by a coworker (Boyd Holbrook) who starts to suspect the man's motives may be far more dangerous than they seem.
  • "The Ballad of Jesse Wheeler" – A pop megastar (Lucas Hedges) returns to his high school to pledge a donation to build a new library, but instead promises to have sex with the school's valedictorian as an academic achievement prize. The promise inspires the disillusioned Abbi (Kaitlyn Dever) along with the rest of the student body, while the star's manager (O'Shea Jackson Jr.) and the school's principal (George Wallace) desperately try to walk back the promise.
  • "The Commenter" – A young woman (Lola Kirke) with a happy life and loving partner (Soko) becomes obsessed with a critical anonymous comment online, eventually upending her life in a quest for the commenter's approval.
  • "Butt Plug" – A once-poor child of immigrants (Daniel Dae Kim) who has now become one of the world's richest men presents a chance at redemption to his former school bully (Eric Lange): an uninterrupted hour with his board of directors to pitch a very specific product.