Actor and Ex-White House Staffer Kal Penn Joins Fusion's Election Coverage

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Kal Penn

He'll contribute to the live primetime program 'Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown'

Actor Kal Penn, who took a break from Hollywood to work for the Obama administration, is returning to politics — sort of.

Penn is joining the ABC/Univision joint venture Fusion as a special correspondent for its midterm election coverage.

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Penn will contribute to Fusion's live primetime program Midterm Mayhem: The Ultimate Political Smackdown, which Fusion says "will apply the high-minded and thoughtful analysis usually associated with professional wrestling to the heart-stopping, pulse-pounding spectacle of the upcoming midterm election."

The show, set to air Sunday through Thursday at 9:30 p.m., will include all the essential political news of the day and provide insight into why viewers should vote and who they should vote for.

"It's definitely possible to be entertaining while having conversations about things that actually matter in the democratic process," Penn said in a statement. "Our political debates generate a lot punchlines and crazy segments, and that's fun, but we're hoping to offer some smart, engaging, and entertaining reporting without obsessing over the lowest common denominator. We hope to inspire people to get off the sidelines, get engaged and wake up on election day and actually vote." 

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Penn is known for his roles in the Harold and Kumar trilogy, The Namesake, House and How I Met Your Mother. In 2009, he took a break from acting to work as an associate director of the White House's Office of Public Engagement, serving as the Obama administration's liaison to young Americans.

He's set to star in Vince Gilligan's upcoming CBS series Battle Creek as well as a number of independent films.

Midterm Mayhem will be hosted by Nando Vila and anchors Jorge Ramos and Alicia Menendez and investigative producer Alice Brennan and reporter-producer Romina Puga will contribute coverage. FiveThirtyEight's Nate Silver will be a guest on the Sunday, Oct. 5 premiere.

The show will be executive produced by Comedy Central's InDecision '92 alum Billy Kimball and Fusion's vp of news, Mark Lima.

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