When you have actor and comedian Kal Penn working on a new comedy series with the network that brought us The Office, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and The Good Place, then you just know the show’s going to be a hit.
Sunnyside is the latest comedy series on NBC’s fall schedule line-up. After the production was given a pilot order at the end of January 2019, Penn got straight to work writing the pilot episode, which was then co-executive produced and directed by Oz Rodriguez. The title was made official in March and together with NBC’s legal drama Bluff City Law Sunnyside was given a series order in early May 2019.
Who’s behind the show?
It’s being brought to us by the creative minds of Kal Penn and Matt Murray. Who also act as executive producers alongside Michael Schur, David Miner, Morgan Sackett, and Dan Spilo. With 3 Arts Entertainment and Universal Television as the production companies involved with the pilot.
There’s no official news as to how many episodes each season will have. However, NBC has confirmed that just like its other sitcoms, each episode will be half an hour long and shot with a single camera.
What’s the story?
True fans of Kal Penn will know that he was a public servant during the Obama administration. And it looks like he may have drawn inspiration from that for Sunnyside’s main character, Garrett Modi (yup, he even used his own real last name for the character!).
Garrett was the youngest New York City councilman and was truly living the American dream – socializing with society’s elite and powerful. But sadly, as it sometimes happens, he ended up ruining his career – and his reputation – when he got busted for public intoxication.
Now, he’s crashing on his sister Mallory’s couch and moping over his loss of purpose. That is until he meets a random group of immigrants who believe. He can help them achieve the American dream, just like he did. He ends up being hired to teach them all they need to know to become American citizens. And, in the process, find a chance for personal redemption.
Who will we see on Sunnyside?
Penn is wearing many hats in Sunnyside, as he is also playing the lead role of Garrett Modi.
Cast opposite Penn in lead roles is a group of immigrant actors themselves. Including South Korea-born Joel Kim Booster as Jin Hao (Comedy Central Presents). Dominican-born Diana Maria Riva (Man with a Plan) as Griselda. Africa-born Samba Schutte as Hakim. China-born Poppy Liu as Mei Lin. Romania-born Tudor Petrut as Drzen. As well as UK-born Kiran Deol (New Girl) as Garrett’s sister Mallory. Also cast in a main role is Moses Storm (This Is Us, Arrested Development) as Brady, the Moldovan immigrant in the group.
Sunnyside sheds a comedic light on the lives of immigrants and the process they have to go through to become an American citizen – no matter how long they’ve already been in the country or how hard they work to stay there. And as the trailer promises, it’s going to bring out the American in all of us.
The series debuts on September 26, 2019, and will air every Thursday at 9:30/8:30 central.