It began with CBS’s “The Big Bang Theory” and Rajesh Koothrapalli, Caltech’s socially-inept astrophysicist entirely incapable of talking to women without first consuming large amounts of green grasshopper cocktails.
Television next continued its fling with nerdy Indian American characters in Nickelodeon’s “Sanjay and Craig,” an animated series based on the life of an awkward teenage boy, whose best friend is a talking snake.
And now, ABC Family will premiere its newest thriller “Stitchers” June 2, featuring Indian American actor Ritesh Rajan as geeky bioelectrical engineer Linus Ahluwalia who works with a team of four to investigate unsolved murders and mysteries. The network has dubbed the show a “procedural drama.”
“Stitchers” follows Kirsten – played by Emma Ishta – a young woman recruited by a covert government agency, who is “stitched” into the minds of the recently deceased to use their memories to obtain clues in cold cases.
Maggie – Sallie Richardson Whitfield – is a skilled veteran of covert operations who heads up the top-secret operation. Working alongside Kirsten and Maggie is the brilliant neuroscientist Cameron, played by Kyle Harris, and Maggie’s roommate Camille, a gifted computer scientist, played by Allison Scagliotti.
The first episode introduces the highly intelligent and emotionally distant Kirsten Clark, who has an aptitude for technology but never expected that she’d be hacking into the minds of the recently deceased. The next episode follows the “Stitchers” team as they investigate the death of a young woman who has overdosed on a dangerous new drug.
The series also has a social media app, “Hack the Case,” which allows users to be immersed into the world of ‘stitching’ through a virtual reality experience using 360-degree video.
Users will view multiple videos, collect clues and attempt to solve the case. Those who succeed in solving the case will be entered into a sweepstakes for the chance to win a trip to Los Angeles, Calif., where they will have an action figure created in their own image, noted the network in a press statement.
New York native Rajan graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. He will hit the big screen later this year in Disney’s “Jungle Book.”
The young actor made his debut in M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 film, “The Last Airbender,” playing the role of “Fire Nation Soldier.” He also appeared as Samir Patel in CBS’ 2011-2012 series “The Gifted Man,” and appeared in episodes of “Baby Daddy” and “Law and Order.”
Rajan was introduced to Bhangra as a freshman at NYU and now teaches a Zumba class in Los Angeles that incorporates the classic Punjabi dance style. Rajan was co-captain of NYU Pandemonium, a hip-hop/Bhangra fusion dance team, one of the top teams in the collegiate circuit, which won national and international competitions.