4:31pm PT by Kate Stanhope
'The Mindy Project' Bosses Tease Nasim Pedrad Role, B.J. Novak Return and 'Pokemon Go' Joke
The Mindy Project is welcoming new faces and old friends for season five.
Nasim Pedrad (Saturday Night Live) is set to make her series debut, while Bill Hader and B.J. Novak are set to return to the Hulu comedy, star, creator and executive producer Mindy Kaling and executive producer Matt Warburton revealed Friday at the Television Critics Association's summer press tour.
Pedrad will play a "pediatrician to the stars" who likely treats Mindy's son, Leo. "Nasim is an actress I've been dying to write for forever," said Kaling. "She fits so perfectly in our world."
In addition to Hader, who has recurred since season one as Mindy's ex-boyfriend who broke her heart, Kaling also revealed that Novak, her longtime Office co-star, will reprise his role as Latin professor Jaime for a "juicy little arc." In addition to appearing onscreen, Novak also previously served as an executive producer on the series.
Pedrad joins fellow new additions Bryan Greenberg, who will play a pediatric nurse who helps treat Mindy's son Leo, and Rebecca Rittenhouse, who has been cast a young and put-together doctor who goes toe-to-toe with Mindy at work.
The news comes after the season-four finale, which saw Mindy struggle between choosing to give her rocky relationship with Danny (Chris Messina) another go or to pursue a potential romance with her colleague, Jodi (Garret Dillahunt). No matter what choice Mindy makes in the season-five premiere, aptly titled "Decision 2016," both executive producers stressed that Messina will continue to appear despite his reduced role in season four, which saw him move from full-time castmember to recurring actor.
"No matter what happens, he is Leo's dad. He will always have a place in the show," said Warburton. "It just makes sense for him to have a smaller role moving forward."
Added Kaling: "He's still in the world of the show."
In addition to casting news, the duo also discussed a particularly timely joke that will find its way into the upcoming 16-episode season.
"[Mindy] gets angry calls because [she] was following a Pokemon and ... fell into the reflecting pool at the 9/11 memorial," said the actress of her character. Interjected Warburton: "Yet another place that Mindy's been banned from."
The duo also discussed an idea that had been tossed around recently in the writer's room, for a more high-concept episode called "If I Were Born a White Man." In the potential episode, Mindy wonders how her life would be different and the next morning, she wakes up as a white man "and we get an actor that we like to live my life for me in the show but still do my VO," Kaling explained. "That's a thing, as a woman of color, I always think. If I was [Modern Family co-creator] Steve Levitan sitting up here, would the questions be different? That seems really funny to me and we can take those kinds of risks at Hulu."
The Mindy Project is set to return Tuesday, Oct. 4, on Hulu.