×

Ken Jeong on Balancing Acting & Producing ‘Dr. Ken’ in His First Leading Man Role

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.”

More TV

  • John Malone

    Liberty Global and Vodafone's $21.5 Billion Cable Deal Cleared by European Authorities

    The European Commission has approved Vodafone’s $21.5 billion deal for a raft of Liberty Global assets in Europe, with conditions attached. The commission had investigated the deal on the grounds that it could reduce competition and lead to higher prices for consumers. It concluded, however, that the deal could go ahead with conditions. These include [...]

  • Harlots

    ITV Takes Majority Stake in ‘Harlots’ Producer Monumental Television

    ITV Studios now has a controlling stake in Monumental Television, the production company that makes Hulu series “Harlots” and that was founded by Oscar-nominated film producers Alison Owen and Debra Hayward. ITV first bought into the company in 2015 and has upped its stake from 26% to 51%. Julian Bellamy, managing director of ITV Studios, [...]

  • Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New

    Fremantle Owner RTL Group Forms New Unscripted Formats Unit

    RTL has created a new unit that will work up unscripted formats exclusively for broadcasters and streaming services in the group. Fremantle, which is a major force in unscripted, is part of the RTL Group, and makes shows for RTL and third parties. The new Format Creation Group will develop ideas exclusively for in-house outlets. [...]

  • Pennyworth

    TV Review: 'Pennyworth'

    Is there a law that says there must always be a certain number of Batman properties on air at all times? Just as Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” films germinated a fandom that seemed to demand not merely a Ben Affleck Batman but also two different Joker-based franchise, so too did the conclusion of Fox’s “Gotham” [...]

  • She's Gotta Have It Review

    'She's Gotta Have It' Canceled After Two Seasons at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled Spike Lee’s series adaptation of “She’s Gotta Have It.” The show ran for two seasons at the streamer. Lee is expected to shop the series to other outlets. The news comes less than two months after the release of Season 2 back in May. “Spike Lee is one of the greatest filmmakers [...]

  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

    'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Will No Longer Attend Comic-Con Panel

    “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with some beloved “Thrones” actors, have canceled their scheduled appearances at San Diego International Comic-Con. Actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), director Miguel Sapochnik, and dual writer-producers Benioff and Weiss are no longer attending, HBO revealed in a revised panel lineup [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content