“Designated Survivor” and “House” actor Kal Penn is set to star in and produce a new comedy pilot at NBC. The currently untitled project will be co-written by Penn alongside Matt Murray. “Parks and Recreation” creator Michael Schur will produce the show.
Penn’s new show will have a political and immigration-based backdrop. In addition to “Parks and Recreation,” Schur’s comedic TV show history includes creating beloved shows like “The Good Place,” and “Brooklyn 99.” His partnership with Penn may just result in his next big hit.
In this pilot, Penn will play Garrett Shah, “a disgraced New York City councilman and baseball wunderkind who finds his calling when faced with six recent immigrants in search of the American Dream.”
According to Deadline, it has received a pilot commitment at NBC, which basically guarantees the pilot or first episode will be shot by the studio and solidifies a series pick up. Schur’s company Fremulon will produce it alongside David Miner of 3 Arts Entertainment and Dan Spilo of Industry Entertainment.
Schur’s shows have always had some form of South Asian representation. “The Good Place” has Jameela Jamil as a series regular and Tiya Sircar recurs in it, “Parks & Recreation” was Aziz Ansari‘s claim to fame, and Schur also executive produced “The Office,” which was Mindy Kaling‘s big break as an actor and writer. However, this is the first time he is creating an immigrant-focused comedy with an Indian-American in the lead.
Penn will return to comedy after taking a small hiatus from it. He was a series regular on ABC’s political drama “Designated Survivor” for two years before the network cancelled it earlier this year. Netflix has picked it up for a third season with Penn returning in his role as press secretary Seth Wright.
The actor is known for his film work in “Harold & Kumar” and “The Namesake.” He’s also worked on popular shows like “House,” “How I Met Your Mother,” and “New Girl.” Penn will also host a financial docuseries for Amazon Prime Video.