Showtime’s most recent estimates are that a single episode of The Mindy Project (which is only being shown in select American markets for now) costs around $40 million. If that seems a little high, consider that NBC’s comedy Revolution averaged $45 million and was made by the same executives who oversaw the show on CBS and The Big Bang Theory — one of the highest-rated shows of 2014 and the most expensive comedy on TV.
The Mindy Project may yet make the cut to HBO if it can get the rights to the entire 13-episode season. (Though it’s not clear how HBO might use the series.) HBO also has been looking closely at the series and plans to air it in some form at some point. But the show will likely be only a small part of a deal.
How did you get involved with the project?
I am an executive producer (and a former exec producer for FX) on the Mindy project. After landing the job, I contacted Mindy’s co-creator Jennie Snyder Urman (who directed the pilot) about doing an episode of the project. The idea of an episode that would be a love story between the lead characters — Mindy and her (unnamed) co-creator (played by The Mindy Project co-creator Jason Mantzoukas) — came up in a group effort. Jason got on board, a bit of a surprise to me, given my years as a showrunner with a number of successful comedies, including 30 Rock, The Mindy Project, and New Girl.
Who would play Mindy and her co-creator?
As for the rest of the mindy team, I want to make sure that they’re a part of this effort, and that Mindy as a character is at the center of the show. I want it to be as clear as possible that this is exactly where these characters come from. Mindy is one of the most complicated and multifaceted people I’ve ever come across; I want to portray that complexity in a way that feels organic and meaningful to her.
How do you see the show playing out over time?
You cannot just start a show and expect it to run forever. You have to keep that audience, whether or not that audience is willing to pay for it. Mindy is at the heart of her own story, and I hope it continues for many years to come.
The first half of season four is in the books,
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