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TCA: Wilting Of Big Screen Romantic Comedies Discussed At Fox Comedy Panel

TCA: Wilting Of Big Screen Romantic Comedies Discussed At Fox Comedy PanelWith the $15 million weekend opening of Sex Tape serving as exhibit A, it would be an understatement to say that romantic feature comedies have been in a sling creatively and at the B.O. for sometime.  But for those TV creators who love the genre at Fox’s “Behind the Laughs” TCA panel, if romantic comedies are alive, then it’s on the small screen with such shows as Elizabeth Meriwether’s New Girl and Mindy Kaling’s The Mindy Project. Chalk the death of romantic comedy movies up to the staling of set premises like the sexy wedding planner who can’t get anybody or, as Kaling pointed out, “Matthew McConaughey falling into a cake.”

“They are so predictable, but that’s why I love them so much. I think they can be good, but they’ve been suffering for so long.  I think the easiest way to your voice out there (for romantic comedies) is TV,” said Kaling whose next season of The Mindy Project dotes on her character’s relationship with long-love Danny (Chris Messina). Read More »

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EMMYS: Carson Daly & Mindy Kaling To Announce Primetime Noms On July 10

By | Wednesday June 18, 2014 @ 9:29am PDT

EMMYS: Carson Daly & Mindy Kaling To Announce Primetime Noms On July 10The Television Academy has pulled from the NBC family for presenters for the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards nominations. Carson Daly (The Voice) and Mindy Kaling (The Mindy Project) have been tapped to announce the noms from the Television Academy’s Leonard H. Goldenson Theatre in North Hollywood on July 10, beginning at 5:40 AM PT. The noms also will be streamed live on Emmys.com. Seth Meyers hosts the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards, which airs live Monday, August 25th (8 PM ET/5 PM PT) on NBC from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. Don Mischer is exec producer.

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EMMYS Q&A: Mindy Kaling Of ‘The Mindy Project’ On Pushing The Envelope

By | Wednesday June 11, 2014 @ 3:09pm PDT

Anna Lisa Raya is editor of Awardsline.

Mindy Kaling Emmys Mindy ProjectMindy Kaling — creator, star, executive producer and writer on Fox’s The Mindy Project – is living her childhood dream, albeit with backbreaking, endless days on set. Her big break into TV comedy came when she was the first woman hired — at 24 — as a writer on NBC’s The Office. She’s now the first and only woman of color to run and star in her own network show. With these firsts has come great responsibilities, some of which Kaling bristles against, such as viewers’ demands that her Indian-American character date more ethnically diverse men on the show. She can’t make everyone happy, but Fox certainly is. Despite middling ratings, the critically well-received show was renewed for a third season.

AWARDSLINE: What would you say were the biggest differences between Season 1 and Season 2?
MINDY KALING: We try every season for there to be certain scenes and journeys that each Awardsline logo_use this oneof the characters go on, certainly the leads. But it’s harder because, unlike a cable show, we have 22 or 24 episodes a year so we can’t do that wonderful thing I’ll see on some of my favorite cable shows where they’ll have 12 episodes to do a full arc that in the course of two and a half months is done. Our journeys have to be longer, so usually what we do is set up a couple of different arcs, which is something I learned on The Office. The single biggest difference is that you just know the characters more this year.

Related: Women Crowd Season Finale Screening Of ‘The Mindy Project’

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Women Crowd Season Finale Screening Of ‘The Mindy Project’

'The Mindy Project' screeningIf the TV networks are wondering where their female under-25 audience was last night — they were at the Awardsline screening of Fox’s The Mindy Project. Fox always knew better than to cancel Mindy Project, and for anyone who ever had their doubts about the show’s popularity, given its low nightly ratings, look no further than the stampede of women who showed up at the Landmark Theatre in West LA to catch the season finale “Danny and Mindy” and to get a chance to meet star/executive producer Mindy Kaling and castmembers Ike Barinholtz, Adam Pally, Ed Weeks, Xosha Roquemore and Beth Grant.  Making good with those who couldn’t get into the overbooked screening, Kaling threw herself into the crowd for selfies, autographs and hugs. One fan exclaimed to Kaling, “To have an Indian woman like you onscreen, who is so nuanced, so smart and witty, who has flaws and strengths, it means so much to girls like me.”
Related: ‘Mad Men’ Cast Reflect On Season Ending & Bert Cooper’s Final Dance Number

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NBCU Press Day: Comedy Stars Not Fans Of Multi-Cam, Question ‘Shameless’ Decision To Compete For Emmy As Comedy

Mindy KalingIt is the golden age of comedy now, Mindy Kaling told reporters at NBCU Press Day, because whereas once you used to have to wait 2 1/2 years for Larry David to get around to writing another season of Curb Your Enthusiasm, “now there’s always something happening” in comedy on the TV landscape. She was joined by stars of other Universal TV comedies airing on NBC and elsewhere.

Related: Mindy Kaling Exits UTA

andy-sandbergJenna Elfman is a big fan of single cam comedies, like her new Growing Up Fisher, because “with the Internet … audiences are more savvy, and with a single camera you can home in on nuance more than with multi-cam and capture the smarter side of the story.”

Related: NBC Press Day: Bill Lawrence Talks ‘Undateable’

Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Andy Samberg chimed in: “I was on SNL, which was live, but everything I did was pre-taped, so I was already headed in that direction. Parks and Recreation’s Adam Scott said there a “weird thing” about doing comedy on a multi-cam. “If you don’t say a joke with a particular inflection, the laughs just don’t occur. I did very badly in that format.” But he acknowledged, “Shows like Cheers were able to make it work.” Read More »

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Mindy Kaling Exits UTA

By | Tuesday April 8, 2014 @ 12:33pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

kalingMindy Kaling, creator, executive producer and star of Fox’s The Mindy Project, has departed UTA. She is going agent-less for the time being and has not set up meetings with other agencies but continues to be manged by 3 Arts Entertainment. Kaling was a breakout on NBC’s The Office, where was a writer and co-star, before segueing to creating her own show. Sophomore Mindy Project, which has been well received but has struggled to attract wide audiences, already has been renewed for a third season.

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PaleyFest: ‘The Mindy Project’ Cast Discusses The Kiss And James Franco

By | Tuesday March 25, 2014 @ 10:50pm PDT

nOdJLOY - Imgur“The death of comedy is political correctness,” Mindy Kaling said at The Mindy Project Q&A at PaleyFest.  The comment was apropos of some lines delivered on the show, but could be a response to the group Media Action Network for Asian- Americans which wants Kaling’s character to stop dating so many white guys on the series. “We are concerned that in the course of two seasons, her character, Dr. Lahiri, has had a ‘white-only’ dating policy involving about a dozen men,” the org wrote the other day to Fox, noting Kaling’s “strangely defensive” response to Entertainment Weekly on the subject: “Do people really wonder on other shows if female leads are dating multicultural people? Like I owe it to every race and minority and beleaguered person. I have to become the United Nations of shows?” At PaleyFest tonight, Kaling said of her show, “My writing staff on this show is the best writing staff on television…they love women and love their characters”

Related: TCA, ‘The Mindy Project’ On Returning Guests, Haiti And That Haircut

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‘The Mindy Project’ At PaleyFest: She’s Writing A 2nd Book, Will Do ‘Office’ Finale

By | Friday March 8, 2013 @ 9:58pm PST

Ray Richmond contributes to Deadline’s TV coverage.

Mindy Kaling confirmed during tonight’s PaleyFest 2013 panel in Beverly Hills that she will be spending her hiatus down time between seasons writing a new book. It’ll be the second book for the former regular on The Office and current creator/exec producer/star of her freshman Fox comedy The Mindy Project, which earned an early second season renewal on Monday despite tepid ratings. During the PaleyFest event for Mindy Project, Kaling revealed that the untitled book would find her looking at “the high highs and low lows of the past 18 months” and would come out “in like a year and a half.” Her first book, titled Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), was published in November 2011. And she said early in the evening that she will be returning to shoot The Office series finale. “It’s really exciting,” she offered. “I’ve just read the pages, and it’s a really amazing episode of television.”
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Mindy Kaling Weighs In On Changes To Her Fox Series: TCA

By | Tuesday January 8, 2013 @ 3:56pm PST

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

During a TCA panel promoting the Fox comedies New Girl, The Mindy Project, Ben and Kate and Raising Hope, Mindy Kaling was asked to address recent cast alterations designed to punch up the remainder of her show’s rookie campaign. It included the demotion of regular Anna Camp to recurring status due to the show’s increased workplace focus and the promotion of Ike Barinholtz to regular. “Ike becoming a series regular was good for the show,” Kaling said. Read More »

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Fox’s ‘Mindy Project’ Takes Weeklong Hiatus

By | Thursday September 13, 2012 @ 2:15pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Production on the upcoming Fox comedy series The Mindy Project will stop for a week. The series, which is finishing up Episode 7 right now, was scheduled to continue shooting next week. On Monday and Tuesday, it was to film without star/creator/executive producer Mindy Kaling, who is scheduled to do promotional appearances in New York on Today, The Late Show With David Letterman and Live! With Kelly And Michael. Instead, the producers of the Universal TV series decided to move up one of the two weeks of planned October hiatus to next week. Although there will be no filming, the writers will continue work next week, catching up on scripts. Mindy Project, which stars The Office alumna Kaling as a young OB/GYN doctor, premieres September. 25.

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Mindy Kaling To Return To ‘The Office’ For Guest Stint: TCA

By | Monday July 23, 2012 @ 11:00am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.

TCA 2012 Mindy Kaling ProjectUPDATED: The Office co-star/writer/producer Mindy Kaling, who left the NBC comedy at the end of last season to topline her own series, Fox’s The Mindy Project, will make a return visit to The Office. Mindy Kaling Office“I’ll definitely be in the first episode next season and probably at least one other one too, which I’m really excited about,” Kaling said this morning during the TCA session for Mindy Project. She said she will return to resolve the story involving her character Kelly Kapoor. ”I got attached to that character”, she said. “It’s fun top see what’s going to happen to Kelly.” All Office regulars are coming back next season with the exception of James Spader, who left after a season, and Kaling. B.J. Novak scaled back his presence to recurring.

Kaling said earlier in the panel that Office costar Ed Helms would be one of her love interests on her new series and that her former show’s co-creator Greg Daniels would direct an episode. “It’s like, hey, who’s the boss now?” she joked. Earlier, she responded to a question about the rise of Indian-American actors such as herself in primetime. “It’s really exciting,” Kaling said. “I don’t think about it all the time, but it is a cool … Read More »

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Will NBC Be Responsible For Fox’s Next Hit Series? How Hot Comedy Jumped Networks

By | Friday May 11, 2012 @ 7:10am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

It’s Messy is being hailed as one of the top comedy pilots this season, sailing through production, testings and screenings as the clear frontrunner at Fox and landing on the network’s fall schedule as a likely companion to flagship comedy New Girl. How come a hot show developed at NBC, created by and starring a home-grown NBC talent, The Office‘s Mindy Kaling, ended up on Fox?

Kaling developed the project, about a Young Bridget-Jones type doctor trying to navigate both her personal and professional lives, as a starring vehicle for herself at Universal Television where she has had an overall deal stemming from her role as a co-star/writer/executive producer on the NBC/Universal TV veteran comedy series The Office. Kaling has spent virtually her entire TV career to date at NBC, coming out of the network’s diversity writing program that landed her a writing gig on The Office.

While it is an office comedy, It’s Messy has a strong female lead. By last November, before the majority of the pilot scripts commissioned by NBC, including Kaling’s, were in, the network had already given early pilot orders to three pilots with female leads, the Sarah Silverman project, Save Me and Isabel. Save Me‘s order was cast-contingent and it looked touch-and-go for awhile but, after a long search, on January 19 Anne Heche signed on to star. Four days later, NBC made the bulk of its pilot orders, including a fourth female-centered comedy, the … Read More »

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‘Notorious’ & Mindy Kaling Pilot Add Casts

By | Tuesday March 13, 2012 @ 5:45pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Katherine LaNasa and Neil Jackson have been cast in NBC’s drama pilot Notorious, from Universal TV and BermanBraun. Written by Liz Heldens, it is described as an opulent soap in which a female detective returns undercover to the wealthy and troubled Lawson family she grew up in — as the maid’s daughter — to solve the murder of the notorious heiress who was once her closest friend. LaNasa will play the beautiful, elegant sharp-tongued Sofia Lawson, the second wife of the patriarch Robert Lawson (Victor Garber), who is used to managing the family crises with ruthless expertise. Jackson will play the handsome, sexy and smart bad boy of the family who has returned home for the funeral.  Jackson, repped by IFA, Flutie Entertainment and Trioka, will next be seen in Upstairs Downstairs 2. IFA-repped LaNasa, repped by IFA, will next be seen in the features Dogfight, Frozen Ground and Jayne Mansfield’s Car.

Anna Camp, who just completed a major arc on CBS’ The Good Wife as Alicia’s (Julianna Margulies) mentee-turned rival, is set to co-star in Kaling’s Fox single-camera comedy pilot, in which Kaling stars as Mira, a young Bridget Jones-type Ob/Gyn balancing her personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office. Camp will play Mira’s former college roommate and best friend.

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‘Office’s Mindy Kaling Moves To Fox With Comedy Pilot, Network Also Picks Up Josh Berman Drama, Port/Guarascio Comedy

By | Monday January 30, 2012 @ 1:55pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

Mindy Kaling is moving to another office. Fox has given the green light to two medical pilots, a comedy from Office co-executive producer/co-star Kaling and a drama from the Drop Dead Diva duo of creator Josh Berman and producer Rob Wright. Additionally, the network has picked up to pilot the half-hour El Jefe from comedy veterans Moses Port and David Guarascio (Aliens In America).

Kaling wrote the single-camera comedy, in which she stars as a young Bridget Jones-type Ob/Gyn doctor balancing personal and professional life, surrounded by quirky co-workers in a small office. The project, which she executive produces with Howard Klein, has a personal element — Kaling herself is the daughter of an ob/gyn mother and an architect father. If the project goes to series, Kaling won’t be able to return to The Office next season. Like most core cast members, her contract is up at the end of this season. Universal TV is producing the pilot, originally developed for NBC. When the peacock network passed on the script, the studio took it to Fox, which immediately jumped on it. This marks the second outside pilot order for Universal TV this season, following CBS’ pickup over the weekend of a Spike Feresten/Louis CK comedy. This is also the studio’s consecutive medical pilot at Fox. Last year, Universal TV’s predecessor UMS was behind drama Weekends At Bellevue.

Michael Dinner has come on board to direct the Josh Berman/Rob Wright medical drama pilot, … Read More »

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Greg Daniels Teams With Mindy Kaling & Alan Yang For Animated Projects At NBC

By | Wednesday December 7, 2011 @ 5:30pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

EXCLUSIVE: The Office and Parks & Recreation executive producer Greg Daniels is teaming with a writer from each of his two NBC series to develop new animated comedy projects for the network. One of the projects will be written/executive by The Office co-executive producer/co-star Mindy Kaling, who will also voice a character, the other – by Parks & Recreation producer Alan Yang. Daniels and his manager/producing partner Howard Klein will executive produce both comedies. The Mindy Kaling project revolves around a girls high-school volleyball team. Alan Yang’s toon is about a group of 20something guys sharing a house in Los Angeles’ upscale community of Hancock Park. For King Of The Hill co-creator Greg Daniels, returning to his animated roots was important when he closed a new overall production deal with Universal Television this past summer. “One of our focuses will be to return Greg to primetime animation, for which he had particular success with King of the Hill when he and I worked together at FBC,” NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said in announcing the deal. In addition to the two animated projects, Daniels has a live-action comedy in the works at NBC, a U.S. version of the UK series Friday Night Dinner, which is looking for a writer. Kaling, repped by UTA and 3 Arts, will next be seen … Read More »

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Mindy Kaling Signs New ‘Office’ Deal

By | Thursday September 15, 2011 @ 8:21am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Kelly Kapoor will stick around the office for a while. The Office co-star/co-executive producer Mindy Kaling has signed a new one-year deal with Universal Television to continue on the veteran NBC comedy — both as an actress, playing Kelly, and as a writer-producer. Under the new pact, Kaling will be elevated to executive producer on the show, which will be transitioning from previous star Steve Carell to new leading man James Spader this coming season. More from our sister site TVLine, which has the story.

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Secrets Of TV Showrunners Boot Camp

As Sunday’s Emmy Awards telecast approaches, the Writers Guild of America West last night hosted its annual ”Sublime Primetime 2010″. It was a panel discussion with Emmy-nominated TV writer-producers including Carlton Cuse (Lost), Rolin Jones (Friday Night Lights), Mindy Kaling (The Office), Robert King and Michelle King (The Good Wife), Bruce C. McKenna and Robert Schenkkan (The Pacific), and Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuck, and Ian Brennan (Glee). As part of Deadline’s ongoing series on TV’s top showrunners, freelance journalist Diane Haithman examines the WGA’s Showrunners Training Program about making the leap from writer to boss:



The sixth season of the Writers Guild West’s Showrunner Training Program begins January 2011 and is taking applications now. Conducted in partnership with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, it’s designed to help senior-level writer-producers hone the skills necessary to become successful showrunners in today’s television landscape. But if you want to find about 2010′s boot camp, then you have to first get past the “Cone of Silence”. It seems fitting that the people who make and create TV shows would turn to the sitcom Get Smart to describe the bubble of secrecy that shrouds the popular program. Though voluntary, the pledge to not reveal what happens is vital to the program’s effectiveness. “We’ve only had one instance in five years when something got out of the room, and it was unfortunate but it was the result of an honest mistake,” Jeff Melvoin, showrunner for Lifetime’s Army Wives and one of the founders of the program, tells me. “The reason we have the Cone of Silence is, we want the experience to be meaningful. We have top folks coming in and talking about their experiences, and I think that if people are going to give up six Saturdays and do this program, they deserve the best that we can give them, and that means not pulling any punches.”

While the artistic mission behind the program is making better TV, there’s also another compelling reason: money. Networks and studios are constantly complaining there aren’t enough experienced TV showrunners (creatives who also know how to handle the financial and managerial aspects of putting on their shows). The AMPTP collectively give an estimated $125,000 to $150,000 annually to fund the boot camp. After all, they benefit most from it. The program is one of the most sacrosanct even when the WGA and AMPTP negotiate contracts.

As program co-founder and WGAW president John Wells (E.R., Third Watch, West Wing) tells me: “It’s really kind of a crazy thing, if you think about it – there aren’t too many businesses where somebody writes something, they produce it in the spring [as a pilot episode] and come May 1st somebody says: ‘All right, here’s $26 million – go hire 150 to 200 people and spend it all by sometime next May.’” Wells says that it’s virtually impossible to be just a writer anymore in television. “Some people have done it very successfully, where they’ve found a partner who is willing to take over all the managerial stuff and they are allowed to just sit someplace and write,” says Wells. “But in television, it is certainly the aspiration to reach a point where you are controlling your own material, and feel that you are making decisions about what you are doing – the cast, the music, what the cut looks like.”

Wells and Melvoin formed the program because both believe the apprenticeship system long in place before the word “showrunner” even existed has disappeared. Plus, shows are being given to creators who cut their teeth in the feature film world or, more rarely, playwriting or other writing disciplines. So these creatives were coming to television with a unique vision but no practical experience in the medium. Read More »

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EMMYS: Producer Credits Still Controversial

By | Thursday July 29, 2010 @ 12:01am PDT

Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s 2010 Emmy coverage:

It’s an anxious annual guessing game – the vetting of producers for the outstanding series Primetime Emmy Award nominees. Now it’s nearly complete inside the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, with those who are ruled ineligible notified sometime this week. The Academy has aggressively cracked down on the producer lists submitted by nominated series contenders since about 2000, with the joint goals of weeding out the undeserving and capping the producing team’s size. Though there appears to have been a certain moderating of its stance by the Academy over the past couple of years.

Previously, the caps on the number of individual producers who can be nominated for a comedy series (11) and drama series (10) were viewed throughout the industry as arbitrary and punitive. This year, the program producer maximums are based, according to the 2010 Primetime Emmy Rules and Procedures, on “the average team size of eligible producers in the category over a prior five-year period.” But that still seems too random. Read More »

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