Work in Progress (TV series)

Work in Progress is an American comedy television series produced by Showtime that premiered on December 8, 2019.[2][3] The series was created by Abby McEnany and Tim Mason, written and executive produced by McEnany, Mason, and Lilly Wachowski, and directed by Mason. Work in Progress stars McEnany in a semi-autobiographical role alongside Karin Anglin, Celeste Pechous, Julia Sweeney (as a fictionalized version of herself), and Theo Germaine. The entire series was written, filmed, and post-produced in Chicago.

Work in Progress
Created by
Written by
Directed byTim Mason
Composer(s)Ethan Stoller
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons1
No. of episodes8 (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
  • Abby McEnany
  • Tim Mason
  • Lisa Masseur (pilot)
  • Lilly Wachowski
  • Lawrence Mattis
  • Josh Adler
  • Ashley Berns
  • Julia Sweeney
  • Tony Hernandez
  • Mckenzi Cohen (pilot)
  • Brian McNeely (pilot)
  • Jacqueline "JJ" Ingram (pilot)
  • John Skidmore
Production location(s)Chicago
CinematographyMichael Ognisanti
  • Mike Berg
  • Joseph Jett Sally
Camera setupSingle-camera[1]
Running time23–30 minutes
Production company(s)
  • Tessa Films (pilot)
  • Monday
  • Squirrel Soup
  • Circle of Confusion
  • Jax Media
DistributorShowtime Networks
Original networkShowtime
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Audio format5.1 (Surround)
Original releaseDecember 8, 2019 (2019-12-08) –
present (present)
External links

The first season of Work in Progress, consisting of eight episodes, premiered on Showtime on December 8, 2019, and has received positive critical reception.

On January 13, 2020, Showtime renewed the series for a 10-episode second season, to be filmed in Chicago later in the year.[4]


A self-identified "fat, queer dyke" enters into a transformative relationship during a time of crisis.




  • Gerard Neugent as Mike, Alison's husband.
  • Echaka Agba as Melanie, Abby's ex.
  • Armand Fields as King, Chris's friend and co-worker.

Special guestsEdit


No. in
Title [7]Directed byWritten byOriginal
release date [7]
1"180 Almonds"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim MasonDecember 8, 2019 (2019-12-08)
2"176, 172, 171"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
December 15, 2019 (2019-12-15)
3"162"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
December 22, 2019 (2019-12-22)
4"161, 153, 137, 122, 106, 104, 102 (We're Still Counting Almonds.)"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
December 29, 2019 (2019-12-29)
5"66, 65, 64, 62"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
January 5, 2020 (2020-01-05)
6"15, 14 (pt. 1)"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
January 12, 2020 (2020-01-12)
7"14 (pt. 2), 12, 11, 10"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
January 19, 2020 (2020-01-19)
8"3, 2, 1"Tim MasonAbby McEnany & Tim Mason
& Lilly Wachowski
January 26, 2020 (2020-01-26)


According to Germaine, Lilly Wachowski was frequently on the set as an advisor and helped direct the sex scene of the third episode among others.[8]

Michael Ognisanti served as the series cinematographer. Because the series is inspired by McEnany's life, the challenge for Ognisanti was to capture the authenticity of the story in the look of the show. For this reason, filming took place in real locations, mostly night interiors, and for lighting they used practical light sources augmented with small LEDs, to avoid making it look artificial. Because of the improvisational style of acting, Ognisanti used two Arri Alexa Mini cameras, for a higher chance to capture unscripted moments that could not be recreated after the fact. The cameras were fitted with Zeiss Super Speed lenses. Ognisanti storyboarded the whole series based on input by Mason in Cinema 4D before they went to shoot on location.[9]


Critical reception of Work in Progress has been positive. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator website, reported a 100% critical approval rating with an average rating of 8.03/10 based on 23 reviews. The website's critical consensus reads, "As radically hilarious as it is relatably uncomfortable, Work in Progress is a stunning debut from co-creator and star Abby McEnany."[10] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the season is assigned a score of 78 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[11]


  1. ^ "Shows A-Z - work in progress on showtime |". Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  2. ^ Pedersen, Erik (May 30, 2019). "'Work In Progress': Showtime Orders Comedy Series Starring Abby McEnany; EP Lilly Wachowski Co-Writing". Deadline. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  3. ^ Petski, Denise (August 2, 2019). "Showtime Sets Premiere Dates For 'Work In Progress' & 'Couples Therapy' – TCA". Deadline. Retrieved December 13, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Petski, Denise; Petski, Denise (January 13, 2020). "'Work In Progress' Renewed For Season 2 By Showtime – TCA".
  5. ^ "'Work In Progress' Season 1 Episode 3 addresses offensive representations in 80s and 90s pop culture". Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  6. ^ Yankovic, Al (December 23, 2019). "Huge thanks to Abby McEnany and all the wonderful folks at @WiP_SHO for letting me explore an alternate universe where I'm short-haired, extremely boring, obsessed with sangria, and married to Julia". Retrieved December 30, 2019.
  7. ^ a b "Work in Progress – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  8. ^ Reddish, David (December 8, 2019). "Theo Germaine went from barista to 'The Politician' & 'Work in Progress'". Queerty.
  9. ^ "» Race to the Finish".
  10. ^ "Work in Progress: Season 1". Retrieved January 19, 2020 – via
  11. ^ "Work in Progress". Retrieved December 30, 2019 – via

External linksEdit