Tina Fey

‘Mr. Mayor' Brings Comedy to City Hall

The new NBC series is produced by Tina Fey and Robert Carlock.

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

What to Know

  • "Mr. Mayor" premieres Jan. 7 on NBC at 8/7c
  • Tina Fey and Robert Carlock Executive Produced
  • The show is set in Los Angeles

Ted Danson wants to be clear. His new show “Mr. Mayor” is not about politics. It’s a workplace comedy set in Los Angeles’ City Hall. And in a time where anything political is so divisive, it’s smart to make that distinction less people start picking sides before the show debuts.

Here’s hoping they give it a chance. “Mr. Mayor” is the brainchild of Tina Fey and Robert Carlock ("30 Rock"). And the whip smart writing will feel familiar to fans of that show. 

Mitchell Haddad/NBC
MR. MAYOR -- "Pilot" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ted Danson as Mayor Neil Bremer, Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis -- (Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC)

“Mr. Mayor” follows a retired businessman Neil Bremer (Danson) who runs for mayor of Los Angeles to prove he’s “still got it.” Once he wins, he has to figure out what he stands for. And hopefully gain the respect of his biggest critic, Councilwoman-turned-Deputy Mayor Arpi (Holly Hunter). Bremer’s reason for running for Mayor? To connect with his teenage daughter Orly (Kyla Kenedy). 

Danson says although the show is set in Los Angeles, he didn’t use the current LA Mayor Eric Garcetti for reference on the role.

Tina Thorpe/NBC
MR. MAYOR -- "Pilot" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Ted Danson as Neil Bremer, Kyla Kenedy as Orly Bremer -- (Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC)

“The land we’re inhabiting is not so much LA City Hall, even though that’s where it’s set,” Danson says. “It’s Tina Fey and Robert Carlock’s brain. We’ve all kind of crawled into their brain and out comes this particular Mayor and Councilwoman.”

Mitchell Haddad/NBC
MR. MAYOR -- Episode 104/105 -- Pictured: Holly Hunter as Apri Meskimen -- (Photo by: Mitchell Haddad/NBC)

Academy Award winner Holly Hunter plays Arpi, the stereotypical LA liberal that you’ve heard about, or know directly. But rather than being the voice of reason, she marches to the beat of her own drum. One of Arpi’s many policy concerns include re-naming coyotes because she thinks that word is cultural appropriation and calling them “mini-wolves" would be better. 

“She may feel that she’s the voice of reason, but she’s not,” Hunter says. “She’s skewed, as all of the characters are.”

Tina Thorpe/NBC
MR. MAYOR -- "Pilot" Episode 101 -- Pictured: (l-r) Bobby Moynihan as Jayden Kwapis, Mike Cabellon as Tommy Tomas, Vella Lovell as Mikaela Shaw -- (Photo by: Tina Thorpe/NBC)

The rest of City Hall includes Bobby Moynihan as the socially awkward communications director Jayden Kwapis; Vella Lovell as Insta-famous chief of staff Mikaela Shaw; and Mike Cabellon as strategist Tommy Tomás. The series begins as though LA has just come out on the other side of the pandemic. That’s something Danson says will offer people hope.

“One of these days we will be past COVID in Los Angeles. This moment is horrifying and scary. But one of these days we will be past that,” Danson says.

“I want people to laugh,” Hunter says. “I just find the whole premise of the show extremely engaging.”

Viewers will decide if “Mr. Mayor” gets their vote when it premieres Thursday, Jan. 7 with back-to-back episodes.

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