On her new NBC comedy series, Champions, co-creator Mindy Kaling is continuing to do triple-threat duty as EP, writer and co-star. She’ll play Priya, an old high school girlfriend of Vince (Anders Holm) who reveals to him that he has a teenage son and needs to share custody of him. This sends Vince and his brother Matthew’s (Andy Favreau) single lives into a tailspin.
The network also announced today that Champions will premiere at 8:30 PM March 8.
Champions executive producer Charlie Grandy, who co-pens the series with Kaling, told reporters at TCA today that her character is in “four or five episodes. She has a big part toward the end of the first season.” While we hear Priya on the phone with Vince, she provides a significant amount of parent talk while her character is in Cleveland.
Kaling is on maternity leave and was a no-show at TCA, having welcomed baby daughter Katherine Swati Kaling on December 15. “She was breaking stories before the baby was born and continues to comment and give notes on every cut,” Grandy said. “It doesn’t feel like she’s been gone.”
Former Disney Channel star J.J. Totah plays Vince and Priya gay son. Totah enjoys the liberty in co-starring on a broadcast network series. The 16-year-old had been on Disney since he was 9. “Not having so many hard restrictions as an actor is so cool,” he said. “There’s a lot more improv I can do. I can even say, ‘Oh, my God!’ I used to stop at ‘Oh my’ [at Disney]. ‘God’ is real on NBC. You can say it.”
The comedy series, which is set at a gym, will tackle a number of modern issues revolving around LBGT, women and diversity.
Said Grandy, “A comedy show with a diverse cast is a great way to explore issues in a network sitcom format.”