NBC Picks Up Immigrant Comedy ‘Sunnyside’ From Kal Penn & Legal Drama ‘Bluff City Law’ Starring Jimmy Smits
As we head toward the main network Upfronts next week (and the inevitable tv bloodbath…), NBC has handed out series orders to two new shows – legal drama ‘Bluff City Law‘ starring Jimmy Smits, and immigrant comedy ‘Sunnyside‘ from Kal Penn and Michael Schur.
Set in New York, ‘Sunnyside’ centres on a Garrett Shah (Penn), a former NYC Councilman who finds his calling when faced with 6 recent immigrants in need of his help and in search of the American Dream. Unlike a lot of shows dealing with immigration, ‘Sunnyside’ will use mainly genuine immigrant actors to take on the roles opposite Penn.
The six immigrants consist of Dutch-Mauritanian actor Samba Schutte, who plays Hakim; British-born Kiran Deol will star as Mallory; China-born actress Poppy Liu portrays Mei Lin; South Korea-born Joel Kim Booster plays Jin Hao; Romania actor Tudor Petrut stars as Drzen; American-Dominican actress Diana Maria Riva plays Griselda; And American actor Moses Storm takes the part of Brady.
The show is being written and exec produced by Kal Penn alongside writer-producer Matt Murray (‘The Good Place’, ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Parks and Rec’), with ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’ & ‘The Good Place’ creator, Michael Schur, supervising and exec producing. Universal TV will serve as the studio.
Kal Penn previously starred in the ‘Harold & Kumar’ movies, ‘How I Met Your Mother’, and ‘House’, which he exited, in a major career shift, to join the Obama administration as Associate Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He has since returned to acting and will be back as Seth in the 3rd Season of ‘Designated Survivor’, which was saved from cancellation last year by Netflix after being dropped by ABC.
‘Bluff City Law’ follows the lawyers of an elite Memphis firm that specialises in the most controversial landmark civil rights cases. Led by legendary lawyer Elijah Strait (Jimmy Smits) and his brilliant daughter, Sydney Keller (Caitlin McGee), they take on the toughest David-and-Goliath cases while navigating their complicated relationship. The series was co-created by Dean Georgaris (‘The Brave’) and Michael Aguilar (‘I’m Dying Up Here’, ‘Kidding’).
Jimmy Smits shot to fame in NBC legal drama ‘L.A. Law’, so this is somewhat of a homecoming for him. Since then, he went on to star in ‘NYPD Blue’, ‘The West Wing’, ‘Dexter’, ‘Sons of Anarchy’, ‘How to Get Away with Murder’, and of course, played Bail Organa, father of Leia, in the ‘Star Wars’ saga.
Dave has over 20 years experience in the digital industry, and is founder and editor of Geektown. Obviously a huge geek himself, he can often be found in front of the latest tv show or movie, on various video games, or with his head in a comic book.