Asianspotting: The New Fall TV Season

September 18, 2009



It's can let your inner show choir geek out. Anyone who says they don't appreciate an a capella version of Bell Biv Devoe's "Poison" is clearly lying. Here's to hoping that we see Tina Cohen-Chang (Jenna Ushkowitz, a former cast member on Broadway's Spring Awakening) get a solo sometime this season. Also, look for brief but hilarious moments from football coach Ken Tanaka (Patrick Gallagher) and morally ambiguous Principal Figgins (Iqbal Theba).


Community, set at a colorful junior college, is slated be the next big comedy hit for NBC after Parks and Recreation failed to connect with audiences this past spring. I thought the pilot was spot-on thanks to a charmingly smarmy Joel McHale as a disbarred lawyer and the delightfully manic half-Indian, half-Palestinian pop culture junkie Abed played by Danny Pudi. Also in the cast is Ken Jeong as Spanish teacher Señor Chang, offering up some redemption from a maligned Hangover/The Goods summer.

Flash Forward


It's not premiering until September 24, but ABC has released the first 18 minutes of the premiere of new sci-fi drama Flash Forward starring John Cho. Here's a synopsis of the show: "When the world’s population is given a glimpse of their future due to a mysterious global event, it forces everyone to come to grips with whether their destinies can be fulfilled or avoided." Let's hope they don't see cancellation in their future. When Lost ends in 2010, ABC will lose most of its Asians!

America's Next Top Model

The CW

Cycle 13 features model wannabes all under 5'7" including Asian American contestant Jennifer from Philadelphia. It's another typical, guilty pleasure season of the prolific reality series but with a tad more Tyra sanctimony for giving one of these Lilliputian gals a chance at a hundred G's from Cover Girl and temporary stardom.  



Lindsay Price stars as one of three women suddenly blessed with magical powers in this adaptation of John Updikes' The Witches of Eastwick.

Three Rivers


Daniel Henney is part of a team of organ transplant specialists in this new medical drama. Yeah, that's all I got.

Melrose Place

The CW

Aussie Stephanie Jacobsen plays an Asian American medical student who comes up with "a creative way to pay her tuition" in this (unnecessary) re-boot of the 90's Aaron Spelling soap opera. The writers have certainly nailed the Asian American tendency to be simultaneously whorish and academically brilliant!

Returning Asian Americans:

Michaela Conlin on Fox's Bones

Aziz Ansari on NBC's Parks and Recreation

Maulik Pancholy on NBC's 30 Rock

Mindy Kaling on NBC's
The Office
Sandra Oh on ABC's Grey's Anatomy

James Kyson Lee and Masi Oka on NBC's Heroes

Tim Kang on CBS's The Mentalist

Daniel Dae Kim, Yunjin Kim, and Naveen Andrews on ABC's Lost
Cheryl Burke and Carrie-Ann Inaba on ABC's Dancing with the Stars
Padma Lakshmi on Bravo's Top Chef



Sylvie Kim

contributing editor & blogger

Sylvie Kim is a contributing editor at Hyphen. She previously served as Hyphen's blog coeditor with erin Khue Ninh, film editor, and blog columnist.

She writes about gender, race, class and privilege in pop culture and media (fun fun fun!) at and at SF Weekly's The Exhibitionist blog. Her work has also appeared on Racialicious and Salon.



Don't forget returnees Kunal Nayyar (The Big Bang Theory) & Dichen Lachman (Dollhouse)!
or C.S. Lee in Dexter!
and don't forget adrian pasdar on heroes!
Awesome post. Will link to it!