Mindy Kaling discusses her new show 'The Mindy Project'

Mindy Kaling and other stars of new TV shows talk about what makes their pilots stand out. Mindy Kaling not only stars in the medical comedy, she’s the series creator and executive producer.

John Shearer/Invision/AP
Mindy Kaling stars as OB/GYN Mindy Lahiri on the new show 'The Mindy Project.'

The launch of new shows for the 2012-13 fall TV season continues with three new programs.

FOX adds “Ben and Kate” and “The Mindy Project,” which will run along with “New Girl,” and “Raising Hope,” which will begin its third season Oct. 2. The four create a full night of laughs-and-giggles programming.

And CBS looks at the early days of Las Vegas with the new crime drama “Vegas.”

Here’s a look at each show:


The show is called “The Mindy Project” for a reason. Mindy Kaling not only stars in the medical comedy, she’s the series creator and executive producer.

After a long run with “The Office,” she wanted to do a series where she could show her feelings.

“I’m someone who loves romance. I always have loved it. Most people who grew up as nerds, as I was surprisingly, have loved romance. On ‘The Office,’ so much of the show is kind of disguising your true feelings and your romantic feelings because it was a documentary, a mock documentary, and so I think in a lot of ways, it’s like a reaction to that, because I just wanted to explore love and romance, but with people who are, like, legitimately busy and have busy lives,” Kaling says.

She made the character a doctor because her mother’s an OB/GYN and Kaling did a lot of research accidentally throughout her life.


The new comedy stars Nat Faxon and Dakota Johnson as mismatched siblings.

The responsible single mom Johnson plays in the series will be miles away from her real life as the daughter of celebrities (her parents are Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson). That won’t be a problem because she never thought of her parents as stars.

“Growing up that way, it just it was my life. It was the way that it was. I didn’t know any different. And, of course, as a child, I was into all different sorts of activities and I thought about being lots of different things. But the one thing that stuck with me and made sense to me is telling stories and acting and working in this business,” Johnson says.

This is an offbeat comedy that puts Johnson in a lot of weird situations. Series creator Dana Fox hired the young actress because she was willing to look stupid, silly or ugly.

“Because I often do in real life anyways,” she says. “So it’s fine to do that on camera.”


The new CBS drama marks Dennis Quaid’s first starring role in a TV series.

He gets to play a Nevada rancher who lives on the outskirts of the new booming community of Las Vegas in the ‘60s who gets pressed into being the local law. It’s based on a true story.

The film actor decided to join the weekly grind of TV because he saw a lot of exciting things happening on the small screen.

“A lot of the best writers have come to television. I think they feel like they have more control and the story lines which get continued,” Quaid says. “It just seemed really authentic and a chance to really play a character and let him unfold over a long period of time.”

And, it’s a chance for him to work with Michael Chiklis, who plays a ruthless Chicago gangster. Chiklis proved with “The Shield” he can play bad.

“He’s on the darker spectrum, like in the Vic Mackey mode, but I just I try not to make comparisons like that,” Chiklis says. “This is a different guy and a different set of circumstances and a different time period.”

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.