Fresh off of “Community’s” Yahoo season, Ken Jeong is headlining and producing his own show, ABC’s medical comedy “Dr. Ken.” Formerly a doctor in real life, the one he plays on TV is loosely based on his life. Jeong was leaving pre-production on the Sony lot when he called Variety: “I’m in the writers’ room every day, so the show has taken over my life now,” he says, “In a good way.”
How much does your life influence the show?
It’s loosely based on my life working as a physician in L.A., and loosely based on my family life. I’m married with two children, although in real life I have two beautiful twin daughters, and there’s no conflict — (but) no show is necessary if you don’t show any conflict.
Do you enjoy being behind the camera?
This is the first time I’ve ever developed anything at this level for television. I really am a rookie. This is exactly where I want to be in my career. Any time I wasn’t working on “Community,” I was developing.
Is it nerve-wracking stepping into a leading-man role?
You’re the lead, and your name is all over it. And my character name is my name, so there’s definitely more pressure to it.
How will “Dr. Ken’s” humor compare with that of “Community” and “The Hangover?”
I think 93% less nudity — I can safely say that metric is accurate. Comedy is truth, so this project represents how I live my life. I’m a lot more low-key, and my background is a lot different from my parts in “The Hangover” and “Community.”