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Mindy Kaling Netflix Comedy Series Casts Newcomer in Lead Role

Mindy Kaling’s forthcoming Netflix comedy series, based on her childhood, has cast Canadian newcomer Maitreyi Ramakrishnan in the lead role.

Ramakrishnan was selected from 15,000 applicants who replied to the open casting call that Kaling posted online. Making her on-screen debut, Ramakrishnan will play Devi, an overachieving high school sophomore who has a short fuse that gets her into difficult situations. The series will follow her life as a modern-day first generation Indian American teenage girl.

The as-yet-untitled series, which received a 10-episode order in March, was co-created by Kaling and Lang Fisher, with the latter also set to serve as showrunner. Both Kaling and Fisher will executive produce along with Howard Klein and David Miner. The series was set up under Kaling’s overall deal at Universal Television, with Universal set to produce the new series. Kaling recently exited that deal for a rich new pact with Warner Bros. Television.

In a previous interview with Variety, Kaling described how the series came to be. “Netflix approached me about doing a series on young Mindy,” she said. “I wasn’t as interested in telling a period piece about an Indian girl growing up in the ’80s, but I told them I’d love to do a show about a 15 year old Indian girl now.”

Kaling is best known for creating, executive producing, and starring in “The Mindy Project,” which ran for six seasons – three on Fox and then three on Hulu. Prior to that, she was a writer and executive producer on “The Office” at NBC in addition to appearing onscreen.

Her series adaptation of “Four Weddings and a Funeral,” is set debut on Hulu later this month. Also in 2019, Kaling wrote, executive produced, and starred in the film “Late Night.” The film, which stars Emma Thompson, debuted to considerable acclaim at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon Studios for $13 million. She has also published two comedic memoirs to date–“Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” and “Why Not Me.”

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