This week has ended on a good, and a bad note, because while some new shows with Indian American talents are seeing the light of day, others have been put on the chopping block after just one season.
On the one hand, NBC has given a series order to Indian American actor Kal Penn’s immigrant-themed comedy, “Sunnyside,” on the other, the network has cancelled “I Feel Bad,” the comedy which starred Indian American actor Sarayu Rao, also known as Sarayu R. Blue, in the lead role.
The cast of this modern comedy about being perfectly ok with being imperfect – from Indian American filmmaker Aseem Batra, Amy Poehler, Julie Anne Robinson and Universal TV – also included Paul Adelstein, Indian American Madhur Jaffrey, Brian George, James Buckley, Zach Cherry and Johnny Pemberton.
The show explored how Rao as Emet Kamala-Sweetzer, who seems to be the perfect mom, boss, wife, friend and daughter, is not really “perfect,” and is just figuring it out like the rest of us. (Read earlier India-West story here: https://bit.ly/2MPEcUo)
NBC has also pulled the plug on “Reverie,” a thrilling drama also featuring Indian American actor Sendhil Ramamurthy.
Another show which has met an untimely death, to the disappointment of thousands of fans, is the ABC action-adventure drama, “Whiskey Cavalier.”
Staring Scott Foley, Lauren Cohan and Indian American actor/comedian Vir Das, the show, which, according to ABC, opened to the network’s biggest audience in the time slot, that is 10:00 p.m. Wednesday, since September when it premiered in February, probably could not sustain the momentum, and so will not be renewed for a second season.
Das played the role of agent Jai Datta in “Whiskey Cavalier,” the high-octane, hour-long action dramedy that followed the adventures of secret agents Will Chase (code name: “Whiskey Cavalier”), played by Foley; and Frankie Trowbridge, played by Cohan, as they led an inter-agency team of flawed, funny and heroic spies who periodically saved the world.
Since news broke of the cancellation, the lead actors have been posting emotional tweets. Das took to Twitter May 12 to write: “It was an honour to move to Prague with this crazy group of wonderful Americans and try and save the world every week. @scottkfoley @TheRealAnaOrtiz @TylerJamesWill @MrJoshHopkins @TheMeanChick @LaurenCohan. This show...it lives in our hearts #WhiskeyCavalier,”
Foley shared a video on Instagram in which he thanked fans and said: “It was a tough call for the network. Ultimately, they decided not to go with us. We wish them best…” He also posted a note alongside, writing: “Thanks to all who watched and enjoyed and believed in our show. RIP #whiskeycavalier.”
But there’s still a ray of hope for the freshman drama. Deadline reports that series producer Warner Bros. TV will be shopping it to other outlets/platforms.
Another show which won’t have a second season is “The Fix.” ABC has also nixed the legal drama starring Robin Tunney, Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje and Scott Cohen, and featuring Indian American actress Mouzam Makkar in a recurring role. It premiered March 18.
“The Fix” followed Maya Travis (Tunney), an L.A. district attorney who suffers a devastating defeat after prosecuting an A-list movie star for double murder. With her high-profile career derailed, she flees for a quieter life in rural Washington. Eight years later, when this same star is under suspicion for another murder, Travis is lured back to the DA’s office for another chance at justice.
(See earlier India-West story on “Sunnyside” here: https://bit.ly/2Q1Amuk)