Renewal and Cancellation Updates for TV Shows Featuring South Asian Actors

Now that we’ve survived Upfronts week, the exciting time when television executives announce their planned programming for the 2018-2019 TV season, we have a clearer idea of which shows featuring South Asian actors will come back and which ones won’t.

The state of a couple of shows remain in limbo, like Sakina Jaffrey-starrer “Timeless,” and Mindy Kaling produced “Champions,” which stars JJ Totah and Mouzam Makkar. We’ll be updating this with more information as it starts coming in but here’s your handy guide of what to expect starting fall 2018:


1. “The Good Place”

Starring: Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, Jameela Jamil, Manny Jacinto, D’arcy Carden, Tiya Sircar

This wonderful comedy will return for a third season later in the year. It stars Bell as Eleanor, a woman who dies and goes to a utopian heaven [aka the good place] by mistake and is learning to be a better person after her death. The show’s strength lies in how it successfully subverts its own concept. Jamil plays the fantastic Tahani Al-Jamil, a British-Pakistani philanthropist and Eleanor’s neighbor in the good place. Sircar also recurs as Vicki, another entity of this heaven.

“The Good Place” season 3 will premiere this fall on NBC, airing at 8.30/7.30c on Thursdays.

2. “A.P. Bio”

Starring: Glenn Howerton, Patton Oswalt, Aparna Brielle, Lyric Lewis, Jacob McCarthy

In its first season, “A.P. Bio” proved to be a smart, biting comedy that grew into a charming comedy. Jack Griffin (Howerton), a disgraced Harvard professor, moves to Toledo and begins teaching high school. Well, calling it teaching would be a stretch. He uses his honor-roll students and their smarts to exact revenge on his nemesis. Brielle plays the headstrong Sarika Sarkar, a student with an A-type personality who immediately dislikes Jack and his techniques.

“A.P. Bio” season 2 will premiere in early 2019 on NBC.

 3. “The Big Bang Theory”

Starring: Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, Simon Helberg, Kaley Cuoco

One of network television’s highest rated comedies, it’s no surprise that this comedy will return for a 12th (!) and possibly its final season. Nayyar has been playing Rajesh Koothrapalli on the show for years now, an astrophysicist who is almost always down on his luck when it comes to women.

“The Big Bang Theory” season 12 will premiere this fall on CBS.

4. “Instinct”

Starring: Alan Cumming, Naveen Andrews, Bojana Novakovic, Daniel Ings, Sharon Leal

Based on author James Patterson’s “Murder Games,” this thriller focuses on Dr. Dylan Reinhart (Cumming), an openly gay professor who is lured back into his old CIA life when a serial killer uses his books as inspiration. Andrews plays Julian, Dylan’s former CIA colleague, who is also very brilliant and witty.

“Instinct” season 2 will premiere on CBS later this year.

5. “The 100”

Starring: Eliza Taylor, Bob Morley, Marie Avgeropolous, Sachin Sahel, Paige Turco

This emotional science fiction drama, with a really solid fandom, will return for a season 6. It is set 97 years after the Earth was ruined by a nuclear apocalypse. Survivors have been living in ‘The Ark’ in space and return to figure out whether or not the planet is habitable again only to discover there are already different groups of people living there. Sahel has been recurring on the show since it started, playing the role of Dr. Eric Jackson, a medical officer on the Ark.

“The 100” season 6 will premiere early next year on The CW.

6. “iZombie”

Starring: Rose McIver, Rahul Kohli, Malcolm Goodwin, Robert Buckley, Aly Michalka

Who knew a zombie dramedy could be this fun? Luckily, we get another shot at enjoying this show because its been renewed. McIver plays Liv Moore, a coroner and secretly a zombie. She ends up eating the brains of murder victims and uses their memories to help solve the case. Kohli, meanwhile, plays her best friend and boss Ravi Chakrabarti. He makes it his mission to figure out what caused the zombie virus and how to cure it, partly because he’s fascinated by it.

“iZombie” season 5 will premiere early next year on The CW.

7. “The Resident”

Starring: Matt Czuchry, Manish Dayal, Emily VanCamp, Bruce Greenwood, Shaunette Renée Wilson

This freshman medical drama will return for a sophomore run in the fall. Dayal stars as Dr. Devon Pravesh, a first year resident who begins working at Chastain Park Memorial Hospital under the mentorship of a rebellious and talented Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Czuchry). They balance hard cases, personal relationships, and also deal with the hospital’s corrupt schemes to make more money.

“The Resident” season 2 will premiere this fall on FOX, airing at 8/9c on Mondays.


The only plus of the following three cancellations? Actors like Tiya Sircar, Priyanka Chopra, and Kal Penn are available to snag meaningful roles in other TV shows.

  1. “Alex Inc.”

Starring: Zach Braff, Tiya Sircar, Elisha Hennig, Audyssie James, Hilary Anne Matthews

Unfortunately, it’s one and done for this sweet family comedy. Braff played Alex Schulman, a new podcast host who starts his own company named Ajana [the unknown in Bengali]. Sircar played his wife, Rooni, a successful lawyer who is supportive of her husband’s dreams. They played a wonderful interracial couple, one that we don’t see on TV very often. It was just finding its groove but ABC opted not to renew it for a second season.

2. “Quantico”

Starring: Priyanka Chopra, Jake McLaughlin, Johanna Brady, Blair Underwood, Russell Tovey

So long, Alex Parrish! Chopra’s breakout American TV show, “Quantico” will not continue once its current third season wraps up. ABC has cancelled the show following a huge dip in the ratings, which did not spike despite the show changing its format and keeping a lighter tone. It’s okay, though, because Chopra will continue to show up on our screens. Her movie “A Kid Like Jake” releases this summer, “Isn’t It Romantic?” will release next year, and she has signed her first big Bollywood film after a two year hiatus.

3. “Designated Survivor”

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Kal Penn, Maggie Q, Italia Ricci, Adan Canto, LaMonica Garrett

ABC‘s political thriller has been cancelled after two seasons. Sutherland played Tom Kirkman, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, who unexpectedly becomes the President after the entire cabinet is killed in an explosion. Penn, who has real-life experience of working in the Obama-era White House, played the Press Secretary Seth Wright.



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