The flexibility of moving from Fox to the commercial-free environment of Hulu allows them longer running times to let the show breathe and showcase its ensemble cast, creator/exec producer Mindy Kaling said Sunday at the Television Critics Assn. press tour in Beverly Hills.
Past issues on Fox ranged from small considerations like the use of the word “Jesus” to larger no-nos such as a range of sexual innuendo. Asked what will change in the upcoming fourth season: “Full penetrative sex to open and close the episodes,” he joked.
“Mindy Project” exec producer Matt Warburton noted that the success of “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix seems to be opening the door for mainstream-ish comedies to work in a digital environment.
“Streaming isn’t just for indie projects,” Warburton said. “It’s nice seeing that there’s an audience for that too.”
Ike Barinholtz, a co-star and writer, observed that if comedies like “30 Rock” or “Parks and Recreation” were pitched today, they would likely land on an SVOD service rather than a broadcast network.
Kaling and Co. talked up plans for the new season, which will include guest shots from Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Garret Dillahunt. And of course, her character will have her own blessed event. “We always thought it was funny for an ob-gyn to have an accidental pregnancy,” Kaling said.
Cast members were quick to praise Hulu for rescuing the show in June after three seasons of always being on the bubble at Fox. Hulu’s 26-episode order is more than Kaling has ever done in a season, whether on “Mindy” or “The Office.”
“We went from ‘We’re never doing this show again’ to having more work than ever,” Kaling said. “I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to the show.”
(Pictured: Mindy Kaling, Ike Barinholtz, Chris Messina and Ed Weeks at Hulu’s “The Mindy Project” TCA panel)