For the "Modern Family" episode, see Benched (Modern Family).
Genre Comedy
Created by
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 12 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Michaela Watkins
  • Damon Jones
  • John Enbom
  • Mark Gordon
  • Andrea Shay
Camera setup Single-camera
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) ABC Signature
The Mark Gordon Company
Distributor Disney–ABC Domestic Television
Original network USA Network
Picture format 1080i (HDTV)
Original release October 28 (2014-10-28) – December 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)
External links
Official website

Benched is an American single-camera comedy television series, created by Michaela Watkins and Damon Jones,[1] 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.[2]

On January 14, 2015, USA Network cancelled Benched after one season[3] 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.[4] 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.[5]



Development and production

On May 17, 2012, the American cable television network USA ordered a pilot presentation directed by Michael Fresco, from the script by Watkins and Jones. Eliza Coupe signed on to star in the lead role of the series, produced by John Enbom, Mark Gordon and Andrea Shay.[10] On January 24, 2014, a 12-episode first season was ordered, with Jay Harrington joining the series.[11]

Casting announcements on the remaining series regular roles began in the following February, with Oscar Nunez cast in the series regular role of Carlos, a public defender and new colleague of Nina's.[6] Shortly afterwards, Jolene Purdy was cast in the series regular role of Micah, an intern in the Public Defender's Office.[7] Carter MacIntyre was the last actor to join in the series regular role of Trent, Nina's former fiancée and professional nemesis.[8]


No.TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateU.S. viewers
1"Pilot"Michael FrescoMichaela Watkins & Damon JonesOctober 28, 2014 (2014-10-28)0.87[12]
2"Downsizing"Claire ScanlonAndy BermanNovember 4, 2014 (2014-11-04)0.98[13]
3"Hooked & Booked"Claire ScanlonLindsey ShockleyNovember 11, 2014 (2014-11-11)0.77[14]
4"Sell It"Victor Nelli, Jr.Damon Jones & Michaela WatkinsNovember 18, 2014 (2014-11-18)0.75[15]
5"Shark, Actually"Tristram ShapeeroJoanna CaloNovember 25, 2014 (2014-11-25)0.78[16]
6"Rights & Wrongs"Victor Nelli, Jr.John EnbomDecember 2, 2014 (2014-12-02)0.93[17]
7"Curry Favor"John EnbomMichaela Watkins & Damon JonesDecember 9, 2014 (2014-12-09)1.00[18]
8"Diamond Is a Girl's Worst Friend"Tristram ShapeeroBen SmithDecember 16, 2014 (2014-12-16)0.75[19]
9"A New Development"Michael McDonaldJim CashmanDecember 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)0.87[20]
10"Solitary Refinement"Michael McDonaldJessica ConradDecember 23, 2014 (2014-12-23)0.64[20]
11"Campaign Contributions"Eric AppelAri Berkowitz & Scott HanscomDecember 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)0.85[21]
12"Brief Encounters"Eric AppelAndy Berman & Lindsey ShockleyDecember 30, 2014 (2014-12-30)0.72[21]


Benched received positive reviews from television critics and holds a score of 63/100 on Metacritic.[5] It also holds a 67% fresh ratings on review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes with the site consensus stating, "Benched's talented ensemble raises the show above its trite writing, resulting in a nicely diverting half-hour of comedy."[22][23] Alexa Planje of The A.V. Club gave the series the most praise saying, "From the writing, to the cast, to impactful details like the spot-on styling and sets, Benched exudes confidence and commitment."[24] Melissa Maerz of Entertainment Weekly lauded the series and Eliza Coupe's performance and said, "Benched is more lightweight [than Enlightened], but it's encouragingly funny thanks to Coupe, whose attempts at anger management showcase impeccable comic timing."[25] Maureen Ryan of The Huffington Post also gave a positive review writing, "It's rare to come across a comedy that displays such admirable focus and delivers such smartly packaged slices of diverting escapism. More, please."[26] On the negative side Los Angeles Times wrote, "Benched is nowhere near as funny as it thinks it is, mainly because Watkins and Jones seem to believe that the endless humiliations of a thin, attractive, previously well-compensated blond woman are all it takes to make people laugh."[27]


  1. 1 2 3 "USA Network Picks-Up Half Hour Original Comedy Series Benched" (Press release). USA Network. 24 January 2014. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  2. "USA Network to Premiere Original Comedy Series "Benched" on Tuesday, October 28th". The Futon Critic. September 22, 2014. Retrieved October 7, 2014.
  5. 1 2
  6. 1 2 Andreeva, Nellie (12 February 2014). "The Office's Oscar Nuñez Joins New USA Comedy Series Benched As Regular". Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  7. 1 2 "Jolene Purdy Joins News USA Network Comedy 'Benched'". TV by the Numbers. February 21, 2014. Retrieved February 21, 2014.
  8. 1 2 "USA's Eliza Coupe Comedy 'Benched' Books Carter MacIntyre". The Hollywood Reporter. February 27, 2014. Retrieved February 27, 2014.
  10. Andreeva, Nellie (23 October 2013). "USA Orders Comedy Presentation Starring Eliza Coupe & Produced By ABC Signature". Deadline. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  11. Ausiello, Michael (24 January 2014). "USA Network Picks Up Eliza Coupe-Jay Harrington Courtroom Comedy Benched". TVLine. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  12. "Tuesday Cable Ratings:'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, '19 Kids & Counting', 'Ink Master', 'Face Off', 'Awkward' & More". TV by the Numbers. October 29, 2014. Retrieved October 30, 2014.
  13. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + '19 Kids and Counting', Election Coverage & More". TV by the Numbers. November 5, 2014. Retrieved November 12, 2014.
  14. "Tuesday Final Nationals: 'The Voice' and 'Chicago Fire' Lift NBC to Win Among Adults 18-49 - TV Media Insights - TV Ratings & News - Network TV Show Reviews and Daily Ratings". TV Media Insights. November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 14, 2014.
  15. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + College Basketball, 'Anarchy Afterword', 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' & More". TV by the Numbers. November 19, 2014. Retrieved November 19, 2014.
  16. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Curse of Oak Island' Wins Night, 'Ink Master', 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', 'Bad Girls Club', 'Awkward', 'Faking It' & More". TV by the Numbers. November 26, 2014. Retrieved November 30, 2014.
  17. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Tops Night + 'Anarchy Afterword', 'Moonshiners', 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' & More". TV by the Numbers. December 3, 2014. Retrieved December 4, 2014.
  18. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Sons of Anarchy' Wins Night, 'Anarchy Afterword', 'Pretty Little Liars', 'Benched', 'Ground Floor' & More". TV by the Numbers. December 10, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2014.
  19. "Tuesday Cable Ratings: 'Ink Master' Tops Night + 'The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills', 'The Curse of Oak Island', NBA Basketball & More". TV by the Numbers. December 17, 2014. Retrieved December 17, 2014.
  20. 1 2 "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Tuesday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 12.23.2014". December 24, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.
  21. 1 2 "SHOWBUZZDAILY's Top 25 Tuesday Cable Originals (& Network Update): 12.30.2014". December 31, 2014. Retrieved January 3, 2015.

External links

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