Benched is an American single-camera comedy television series, created by Michaela Watkins and Damon Jones, about a high-powered corporate lawyer’s fall from grace into the rough-and-tumble world of a public defender. The series stars Eliza Coupe and Jay Harrington in pivotal roles with Maria Bamford, Jolene Purdy, Carter MacIntyre and Oscar Nunez as the supporting cast. The show’s first season premiered on USA Network on October 28, 2014.
On January 14, 2015, USA Network cancelled Benched after one season because of low ratings. The series premiered to 870,000 viewers in October, and while it held steady for much of its 12-episode run, its showing remained modest. Despite cancelation Benched received mostly positive reviews during its short run with the pairing of Coupe and Harrigton being pointed as the highlight of the show.
- Eliza Coupe (Happy Endings, Casual, Superstore, The Mindy Project) as Nina Whitley, a career-driven corporate attorney who has a nervous breakdown and becomes a public defender for Los Angeles County
- Jay Harrington (Better Off Ted) as Phil Quinlan, Nina’s colleague
- Oscar Nunez (The Office) as Carlos, Nina’s colleague
- Jolene Purdy (Gigantic, Under the Dome) as Micah, an intern in the Public Defender’s Office
- Carter MacIntyre (Undercovers) as Trent Barber, Nina’s former fiancé and professional nemesis
- Maria Bamford (Fresh Off The Boat) as Cheryl, one of Nina’s colleagues, described by the USA Network website as “useless and empathetic” and the “comic relief” of the office
- Jack McGee (The McCarthys) as Burt, Nina’s boss at the public defender’s office
- Gary Anthony Williams (In Gayle We Trust, Boston Justice) as Geoffrey, the new boss who replaces Burt, who is on extended-leave after having surgery.
- Fred Melamed (New Girl, Casual, House of Lies) as Judge Don Nelson, the impatient judge who usually has it out for Nina
- Cedric Yarbough (The Goldbergs) as Morris, the by-the-books bailiff in Judge Nelson’s courtroom
- Peter Spruyt (7 Deadly Hollywood Sins) as Larry, one of Nina’s co-workers who’s been given the nickname “Boring Larry” by everyone in the office.
- Catherine Reitman (Black-ish, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as Debbie, Nina’s former colleague in her old lawfirm. She was also given the promotion at Nina’s old lawfirm that she expected to get.