Joining the list of the many pilots about and starring South Asians is writer Ajay Sahgal’s comedy, “Pandas in New York,” which received a pilot order from CBS last month. In it, a family of Indian doctors run a successful practice in New York City. They embark on a new project of sorts to help sort the life of the youngest son, unaware of the plans he has already made for himself.
“The Originals” alum Nishi Munshi has signed on as one of the leads. She plays Gita Panda, an orthopedic surgeon who is tough and like a second parent to her siblings and a mother to triplets.
The word is out! Excited to share with you all. ❤️ Thank you @cbstvstudios @cbstv for the opportunity. Let’s have some fun & make magic! ✨😊 It takes a village to nurture & cultivate an artist. I’m so grateful for mine. My team goes hard @abramsartists & the woman who has stood as my rock from the beginning of my journey as an actor @soulla8 (aka world’s most amazing manager & human) @deadline THANK YOU 🙏🏼 for the great press release. It’s a unique show I’m truly excited to be a part of. A new kind of family story. Article in link 👇🏼 http://deadline.com/2018/02/pandas-in-new-york-nishi-munshi-cast-cbs-comedy-pilot-1202300213/ #comedyPilot #multicam #actor #fun #laughs #werk #getummmms #LookMAAweInTheNewsPaper 👀😂
Munshi, who recurred as Gia on “The Originals” season 2, also starred in the comedy “Halfway There,” which premiered at the Sundance Festival.
Sahgal’s previous credits include “The Carmichael Show,” for which he was a producer and writer. He’s also worked on TV Movies and shorts like “Friend Me,” “The Angriest Man in Suburbia,” “Nevermind Nirvana,” and “It’s A Shame About Ray.”
“Pandas in New York” is a multicamera comedy that comes from Sahgal, who will be the writer and executive producer along with Aaron Kaplon and director Andy Ackerman. It hails from CBS Television Studios, Kapital Entertainment, and TrillTV.
While it’s exciting to see a show based almost entirely on an Indian family, I am hopeful that this family of doctors will avoid the stereotypes we are usually surrounded with. As a network, CBS doesn’t do well with diversity. Most of their shows are white male-heavy. The only South Asian character on an ongoing show is Kunal Nayyar’s Rajesh Koothrappali on “The Big Bang Theory,” and he doesn’t really have the best track record for accurate representation. Here’s hoping that this pilot order turns into a full-blown series order and it’s the show that sets new boundaries for us.