Netflix Orders Mindy Kaling Coming-of-Age Comedy

Netflix has ordered a coming-of-age comedy series from Mindy Kaling.

The untitled series, which is created by Kaling and Lang Fisher, is about the complicated life of a modern-day first-generation Indian American teenaged girl, inspired by Kaling’s childhood. Howard Klein and David Miner will executive produce with Kaling and Fisher.

Kaling is attached only as a co-creator and executive producer at this time.

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The series, which was ordered for 10 episodes, is under Kaling’s deal with Universal TV, which she is leaving for a multi-year deal with Warner Bros. TV.

Kaling had been with Universal Television since getting her start on NBC’s “The Office.” She went on to create “The Mindy Project” for the studio, which ran for a total of six seasons on Fox and Hulu, as well as the short-lived NBC comedy “Champions.” She also has a limited series adaptation of “Four Weddings and a Funeral” in the works at Hulu.

Kaling’s most recent project is the feature film “Late Night,” for which she serves as executive producer, writer and star opposite Emma Thompson. The movie debuted at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was acquired by Amazon Studios for a hefty $13 million.

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Netflix Denies Arranging ‘Love, Death and Robots’ Episode Order Based on Users’ Sexual Identity

Netflix is denying that the order in which viewers are presented with the episodes of “Love, Death and Robots” — its new Tim Miller and David Fincher-created adult animated anthology series — has anything to do with a user’s own sexual identity.

“We’ve never had a show like ‘Love, Death & Robots’ before so we’re trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders,” Netflix said via Twitter on Tuesday. “The version you’re shown has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity — info we don’t even have in the first place.”

That tweet was in direct response to a thread started by Out in Tech co-founder Lukas Thoms on Monday, where he wrote: “Just discovered the most INSANE thing. The ORDER OF THE EPISODES for Netflix’s new series ‘Love Death & Robots’ changes based on whether Netflix thinks you’re gay or straight.”

We’ve never had a show like Love, Death & Robots before so we’re trying something completely new: presenting four different episode orders. The version you’re shown has nothing to do with gender, ethnicity, or sexual identity — info we don’t even have in the first place.

— Netflix US (@netflix) March 19, 2019

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Thoms included screengrabs of the order that his episodes came in versus that of a heterosexual friend, noting: “On the left is my account, starting with the one with a lesbian storyline, and the right is my straight friend Andrew’s account, starting with the one that has the most realistic and explicit hetero sex.”

See below:

On the left is my account, starting with the one with a lesbian storyline, and the right is my straight friend Andrew’s account, starting with the one that has the most realistic and explicit hetero sex. pic.twitter.com/kSMuaFhSbU

— Lukas Thoms (@LukasThoms) March 19, 2019

“We’ve known for a while that Netflix personalized the marketing of their shows based on sexual orientation (trailers, cover images etc) but it’s next level weird to change the actual experience of watching it,” Thoms added. “Thought I was losing my mind trying to talk to Andrew about the show.”

When asked if the four different episode-order versions are assigned at random or by using some other kind of user data, a representative for Netflix declined TheWrap’s request for comment beyond the statement given by the streaming service on Twitter.

Thomas updated his own thread Tuesday in a tweet that said, “a friend I trust at Netflix looked into this, and apparently the episode ordering is just a 100% random A/B test that doesn’t involve any ML. Identity-based recommendations are still a good discussion to have, in this case it was just random!”

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“This makes sense to me as episode ordering is completely new, and there’s nothing keeping them from using the data gathered here for future identity targeting,” he continued. “I hear Netflix thinks and cares a lot about ethical algorithms, but every company needs to be more transparent here.”

A final update: a friend I trust at Netflix looked into this, and apparently the episode ordering is just a 100% random A/B test that doesn’t involve any ML. Identity-based recommendations are still a good discussion to have, in this case it was just random!

— Lukas Thoms (@LukasThoms) March 19, 2019

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