Just wait until the new year starts if you thought 2017 was the year for South Asian Americans to flourish on television. It will be a real doozy. 2018 will provide us a plethora of talent, including a number of new and returning series that all include talented desi actors.
Here are the upcoming television programs for 2018.
1. “Alex, Inc.” (ABC)
The hilarious Zach Braff (“Scrubs”) stars as radio journalist Alex Schuman in this upcoming comedy. Alex quits his job to launch his own podcast. Tiya Sircar (“The Internship”) portrays his wife Noush Schuman. According to the teaser, a biracial partnership founded in reality (mortgage, kids, commitment) and without exploiting stereotypes appears to be what we can expect. Sircar is experienced with the big screen. She has guest-starred on shows including “The Vampire Diaries,” “The Mindy Project,” “Master of None,” and “Star Wars: Forces of Destiny,” but this will be her first main role on a primetime program.
2. “The Resident” (FOX)
It’s no surprise that Manish Dayal (“Viceroy’s House”) is scrubbing in for this new program given how popular medical dramas are right now. He portrays Dr. Devon Pravesh, a brand-new physician who works under the guidance of senior resident Dr. Conrad Hawkins (Matt Czuchry, “The Good Wife”) and is taught by him. Pravesh receives training from the eccentric, renegade doctor Hawkins to follow in his footsteps. The drama seems to be emotionally charged, has an excellent cast, and looks serious. Furthermore, is a medical drama still a true medical drama if it doesn’t feature a desi doctor?
3. “Champions” (NBC)
If you believed that Mindy Kaling was gone after “The Mindy Project,” you would be mistaken. This new comedy is being produced by the actress and stars gym owner Vince (Anders Holm) and his dimwitted brother Matthew (Andy Favreau). The two bachelors’ lives are going well until the former’s ex-girlfriend Priya (Kaling) unexpectedly delivers their 15-year-old brilliant son to his home. Two additional South Asian actresses play major roles in the comedy. Britney, Vince’s fiancée, is portrayed by Mouzam Makkar from “The Vampire Diaries,” while Lubna, Vince’s business adversary and salon owner, is portrayed by Nina Wadia from “Namaste London.” Kudos to Kaling and her team for representing us on television as usual.
4. “Reverie” (NBC)
alum of “Heroes” With his series regular role in this new psychological drama, Sendhil Ramamurthy is making a comeback on television. He portrays Paul Hammond, a developer of a virtual reality fantasy world that starts to have problems when visitors enter the built-in parallel universes but fail to exit them. In order to assist, one of the top investigators, Mara Kint (played by Iranian-American actress Sarah Shahi), is called upon. The program ticks all the appropriate boxes: it’s exhilarating, diversified, and emotional.
5. “A.P. Bio” (NBC)
This brand-new comedy from the network centers on a gifted but cranky professor named Jack (Glenn Howerton), who loses out on his dream position and winds up teaching AP Biology at a nearby high school. Instead of teaching his pupils, he uses their talents to get revenge on his adversary. Sarika, a straight-A student who is career-driven, will be portrayed by Aparna Brielle, whose previous work includes “Grimm” and “The Librarians.” Here’s hope the comedy deviates from the standard, even though it’s a little evident that the South Asian character is the smartest of the bunch.
6. “Quantico” (ABC)
The third season of Priyanka Chopra’s eagerly anticipated FBI drama will debut in the early part of 2018. The drama took a hiatus for the fall TV season after two productive years on screen to get ready for its several behind-the-scenes turns. At the last minute, it was revived for a condensed third season of 13 episodes. The show’s creator Joshua Saffran left, as did Lebanese-American actress Yasmine Al-Massri, who had played twins Nimah and Raina since the pilot. However, “Quantico” will make a victorious comeback due of Chopra’s widespread recognition.
7. “iZombie” (The CW)
The best aspect of this humorous zombie drama is undoubtedly British actor Rahul Kohli, who is of South Asian ancestry. He portrays the endearing and silly medical examiner Dr. Ravi Chakrabarti in it. When he discovers that his coworker Liv (Rose McIver) has also contracted the zombie virus, he sets out to find a cure. Though you’d assume a show about zombies would be violent and disgusting, “iZombie” manages to inject the mix with humor, heart, and tension. In early 2018, it is predicted that the fourth season will debut.
8. “Designated Survivor” (ABC)
Look no farther if you want a world in which an American who practices Islam is not just treated unfairly but also serves admirably as the press secretary. Seth Wright, played by Kal Penn, begins the series as a speechwriter for the President but swiftly moves up the corporate ladder. The program centers on Tom Kirkman (Kiefer Sutherland), who unexpectedly assumes the presidency following the bombing of the Capitol. Even though there are many surprising turns and twists, at least in this case you can support the president. January 2018 will mark the return of Season 2.
9. “The Magicians” (SyFy
Based on a book of the same name, this science fiction drama centers on Brakebill University for Magical Pedagogy, a school where students study magic. It has a stellar cast that includes Rizwan Manji from “Mr. Robot,” Summer Bishil from “Lucky 7,” and Arjun Gupta from “How to Get Away with Murder.” There are many exciting and entertaining moments in this underappreciated gem of a show. And to top it all off, it has three South Asian performers who are really fantastic. the start of Season 3 on January 10, 2018.
10. “The Good Place” (NBC)
Eleanor Shellstrop (Kristen Bell) dies unexpectedly and enters paradise or the happy place in this fantastic and funny comedy. She discovers that only the best humans are permitted here and that, given her poor performance, she must have gotten there accidentally. Tahani Al-Jamil (Jameela Jamil), a Pakistani-British socialite who embodies beauty, lives next door to her in this nice neighborhood. With every episode, Jamil’s talent is more evident. As the “actual” Eleanor, Tiya Sircar also stars, and she is excellent. On January 4, 2018, Season 2 resumes.