Simon Rich’s 2012 comic novel, “What In God’s Name,” opens this way: “The CEO leaned back in his swivel chair and flicked on his flat-screen TV. There was some kind of war going on in Venezuela. He forced himself to watch for a few minutes: It was the type of thing that people would expect him to know about.”
The “CEO” here is God, and “What in God’s Name” is about to become a TBS series, titled “Miracle Workers,” starring one of the finest of character actors, “Boardwalk Empire’s” Steve Buscemi (not to mention, Daniel Radcliffe as well). Of added (or greater) significance, Buscemi grew up in Valley Stream, went to Valley Stream Central High, and set his ’96 movie, “Trees Lounge” — which he wrote and directed — in Valley Stream.
No (to answer your question) Valley Stream will not assume a role in “Miracle Workers.” Sorry, you can’t have everything.
Now that we’ve gotten the Valley Steam mentions out of the way, what about this new, and undoubtedly amusing new series? Former “SNL” scribe Rich, 34 — son of boldface name authors Frank Rich and Alex Witchel — is a funny writer with a scabrous streak, as his FX series “Man Seeking Woman” established. “Miracle Workers,” which he created (his former boss, Lorne Michaels, is an executive producer), promises something a little different, if the tease is any indication:
Radcliffe (an Angel) entering God’s (Buscemi) brightly lit lair: “Sir, an urgent prayer has just come in. ‘Oh God, please stop this terrible typhoon.’ ”
Buscemi (as God, with stubble and stringy gray hair): “Is that the one that goes whooshy whooshy or spinny spinny?”
Buscemi is, of course, also a comic actor of long standing, with the memorable credits as proof (“Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt,” “Portlandia,” “30 Rock,” even his Tony Blundetto of “The Sopranos” if you choose to classify Tony B. as “comic”). He took over the role of God when Owen Wilson bowed out, reportedly over creative differences.
The seven-episode “Miracle Workers” is set, per TBS, “in the offices of Heaven Inc. [and] when God plans to destroy the earth, two low-level angels must convince their boss to save humanity.” The other angel, Eliza, is played by Australian-born Geraldine Viswanathan.
“Miracle Workers” launches Feb. 12 at 10:30 p.m.