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‘Ordinary Joe’: Cast, trailer and everything else you need to know about NBC’s new drama

Ordinary Joe
(Image credit: NBC)

Everybody wonders how they’re life could have been turned out if they had made a different choice at one point or another. NBC’s upcoming new drama series Ordinary Joe is using that general thought as its entire narrative structure. Matt Reeves (War for the Planet of the Apes) is the executive producer of the series, while Caleb Ranson, Russel Friend and Garrett Lerner are the principal writers. 

Ordinary Joe has been waiting a long time for its premiere on the network — it was picked up to pilot by NBC in 2020 but the pandemic shut production down. Now, NBC has given Ordinary Joe a series order, joining La Brea, American Auto and Grand Crew as new shows to NBC’s fall lineup.

Let’s review everything we know about Ordinary Joe.

What is the premise of ‘Ordinary Joe’?

At his college graduation, Joe Kimbreau is faced with a life-altering choice. The show will follow what Joe’s life will become based on the three possible decisions he can make. The same characters will appear in the parallel story lines, revealing how Joe’s decision has impacted everyone differently.

What we can glean from the promotional materials is that in the three different versions of Joe’s life he has become a doctor, a rock star and a police officer.

The series provides an insight into how your life can be different when you make decisions based on love, loyalty or passion, but also how no matter what happens, things are always messy, exciting, tough, unpredictable and beautiful.

Who is in the ‘Ordinary Joe’ cast? 

James Wolk has been cast to play Joe. Many viewers will likely recognize Wolk from his role as Joe Keene in the HBO series Watchmen. He’s also had roles on Zoo, Goliath, Billions, Mad Men, Political Animals and Shameless.

Joining Wolk in the cast are Charlie Barnett, Elizabeth Lail, Natalie Martinez, Teddy Sears and David Warshofsky. Should be fun getting to see all these actors play multiple versions of the same characters.

When does ‘Ordinary Joe’ air?

Ordinary Joe will take up the Monday at 10 p.m. slot on NBC’s fall schedule, coming after the two-hour block for The Voice.

Like other NBC shows, Ordinary Joe will also likely be available on the Peacock streaming service the day after it airs on traditional broadcast, so Tuesdays in this case.

Is there an ‘Ordinary Joe’ trailer?

NBC is using the opportunity of the Tokyo Olympics to showcase its new fall shows, which has included a full trailer for Ordinary Joe that was released during the games opening weekend. In it, we get a bit more clarity on the choices that Joe made that takes him on his different life paths. Watch the full trailer below.  

Expect to see more promotions for Ordinary Joe, as well as NBC's other big new fall show, La Brea, throughout the Olympics.

What to Watch will continually update this page as new information becomes available.

Are there 'Ordinary Joe' reviews?

The first review for Ordinary Joe has come from the USA Today (opens in new tab), which gave it an overall rating of three out of four stars.

Reviewer Kelly Lawler writes that "it's the kind of show that you want to root for, creatively and commercially, in part because Wolk is so darn likeable. ... Joe feels like it could be something special."

Others, including Variety (opens in new tab) and Newsday (opens in new tab), found the early episodes to be struggling to get over its high concept.

How to watch 'Ordinary Joe'

Ordinary Joe airs live on NBC, meaning that anyone with a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV subscription, or even a TV antenna, can watch the show as it airs as NBC is available in all local markets. Check your local listing to see what channel NBC is on.

NBC is also available on all of the major live TV streaming services, including Fubo TV, Hulu with Live TV, Sling TV and YouTube.

For anyone who has cut the cord or if you just don't watch the show live, all recent episodes of Ordinary Joe will be available on the Peacock streaming service. You will need Peacock Premium to access this or any next-day episodes from the network.

A virtual private network is another option to be able to watch live content, including Ordinary Joe, from wherever you are. VPN is designed to route network traffic through a specific set of servers in a specific country, allowing viewers to watch content on an encrypted feed over a computer. 

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ExpressVPN (opens in new tab) is one of the easiest and affordable ways to watch what you want from anywhere you want to watch it. Plus it'll help keep your network traffic away from any prying eyes on public networks.

And it's a great way to keep up with action from anywhere in the world.

Michael Balderston
Michael Balderston

Michael Balderston is a DC-based entertainment and assistant managing editor for What to Watch, who has previously written about the TV and movies with TV Technology, Awards Circuit and regional publications. Spending most of his time watching new movies at the theater or classics on TCM, some of Michael's favorite movies include Casablanca, Moulin Rouge!, Silence of the Lambs, Children of Men, One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest and Star Wars. On the TV side he enjoys Peaky Blinders, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Saturday Night Live, Only Murders in the Building and is always up for a Seinfeld rerun.