The first thing to realize about Fox's fall sitcom "The Mindy Project" is that Mindy Kaling is not playing Kelly Kapoor of "The Office." While they might have been raised on the same pop culture, Kaling's new incarnation is more earnest and real. And pretty charming on first appearance.

The writing has sharp promise, and the supporting cast, including Chris Messina, Ed Weeks, Anna Camp, Dana DeLorenzo, Zoe Jarman (with "Office"-mate Ed Helms as a guest), also looks up to the task. Airing after "New Girl" at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, "The Mindy Project" looks like a player.

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