Borders Line: Kudos On Snapping Up Mindy Kaling, Fox.
Last week, I celebrated over the news that two different new pilots have been picked up, each boasting great female talent. I then read the news of recently ordered pilots from Community's Hilary Winston, about a shy woman who gets revenge after she's dumped, and from Roseanne Barr, starring as the owner of a trailer park. These all sound great and, along with Lena Dunham's Girls pilot on HBO, I'm definitely digging the landscape for women in television in 2012--both in front of and behind the camera. And then I read this, and I instantly stopped caring about everything else ever.
Mindy Kaling has a new pilot. Fox picked up the project after NBC foolishly, foolishly! passed in favor of a Dwight Schrute beet farm spin-off. The Office has been floundering for the past few years, and Kaling's contract is up in June. If her new pilot gets a full season commitment, The Office will lose Kelly Kapoor and NBC will lose Mindy Kaling, and both will be the worse for it. But hey, at least they'll have that beet farm show!
It's time, frankly. Kaling's a tremendous boon to the series, not only as the ditzy, celeb-obsessed Kapoor but as a writer of many of the best episodes of The Office ("The Dundies," "The Injury," "Golden Ticket"). Furthermore, as an executive producer on nearly every episode over the past few years, Kaling is serious muscle behind the scenes. It's time for the triple threat to be the star of her own project, and the Fox single camera sit-com pilot sounds choice.
Kaling will star as an OB/GYN trying to balance her personal and private lives. The summary refers to her as a "Bridget Jones-type doctor," which I can only assume means klutzy and earnest, two things Kaling does very well. She'll write and executive produce the show, and Howard Klein (The Office, Parks and Recreation, Carnivàle, King of the Hill) will pitch in as a nonwriting executive producer.
Although I'm frankly surprised that NBC passed on the show and the chance to keep Kaling around, I'm glad. She would have then likely been obligated to stay on The Office, splitting her time between her new passion project and a stale old commitment overstaying its welcome. I'm thrilled Fox snapped her up and I have every confidence in her writing. If Mindy Kaling is the creative force behind a show, it will be terrific. I feel certain of that.