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“Superstore” was a hilarious comedy that followed the lives of workers inside a big box retailer. Now, creator Justin Spitzer is going into the executive suite for his new NBC comedy, “American Auto.” But thankfully for us, transitioning from blue collar to white collar doesn’t make for any less funny of a show.

“Auto” centers on Payne Motors, a car company that has been led by a member of the Payne family for decades. But when it’s determined that the last Payne, Wesley (Jon Barinholtz), is not competent enough to be the CEO, Katherine (Ana Gasteyer), a former pharmaceutical company CEO, takes over. Katherine not only knows nothing about cars, she doesn’t even own one. Her communications person, Sadie (Harriet Dyer), tries to help Katherine navigate landmines, but Katherine has her own way of doing things.

In the premiere, a major glitch is discovered in Payne’s newest car, causing the team to scramble to pull something together before the car is unveiled to the media. Meanwhile, Wesley finds ways to undermine Katherine, and Sadie is distracted from helping the presentation when a one-night stand inconveniently resurfaces. In the second episode, the team faces a public relations crisis when a serial killer uses a Payne car in his crimes.

The situations in “Auto” can be a little over the top, but there’s a thread of truth running through them that really makes the humor work. Gasteyer has long deserved this kind of series role, and Katherine is a perfect character for her talents. She’s surrounded by an outstanding supporting cast, led by Dyer, playing the America Ferrera role of the most levelheaded person in the middle of the zaniness. Michael Benjamin Washington is also outstanding as Payne’s top designer, Cyrus.

“Superstore” had one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen, and Spitzer is picking up right where he left off with another hilarious workplace comedy.

“American Auto” premieres with a special preview of back-to-back episodes at 10 p.m. Monday, Dec. 13, on NBC. The show premieres in its regular timeslot at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 4.

NBC is using part one of the season finale of “The Voice” to bring viewers to “Auto.” Last week, Catlettsburg’s Holly Forbes was eliminated from “The Voice” after what can only be described as a terrible voting mistake by viewers. While I’m disappointed in the voters, we should all be extremely proud of Holly and the way she represented herself and the Tri-State. Her impact was obvious by the devastation her coach, Ariana Grande, showed at her elimination. I met Holly, ironically, when we judged a talent competition together. She is a true powerhouse, and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Angela Henderson-Bentley writes about television for HD Media. Contact her at ahenderson-bentley@hotmail.com.

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