‘Dr. Ken’ starring Ken Jeong premieres tonight on ABC

October 2, 2015

HOLLYWOOD (CNS) – “Dr. Ken,” a comedy starring physician-turned-comedian Ken Jeong as a physician with a lousy bedside manner and an easily irritated father of two, premieres at 8:30 p.m. tonight on ABC.

A scene from 'Dr. Ken.' (Yonhap)

A scene from ‘Dr. Ken.’ (Yonhap)

ABC signed Jeong, best known for his roles in “The Hangover” trilogy and the NBC comedy “Community,” to development deals at two studios “cause we really wanted to find a show that would go with him,” ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee said.

“The script that we got in that’s now a co-production between ABC Studios and Sony Pictures Television we thought was hilarious,” Lee told City News Service. “This is Ken’s life. This is his view of the world.”

Jeong said he has “unprecedented creative input” over the series. He was among the three writers of tonight’s premiere episode and is one of the series’ co-executive producers.

Jeong said at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour he views “Dr. Ken” as “an ensemble show with the specificity based on my life (as) a doctor in an HMO.”

“What I think will carry the show and will be the key ingredient to its success is the writing led by Mike Sikowitz, the showrunner, and … the emphasis on cast,” Jeong said.

“It really isn’t the emphasis on me. I think I’m more the building block of this specific universe.” he said.    The cast also includes Suzy Nakamura as the wife of Jeong’s character, Dr. Ken Park, Albert Tsai and Krista Marie Yu as their children, Tisha Campbell-Martin as the clinic’s receptionist, Jonathan Slavin as the nurse and Dave Foley as the hospital administrator who is Park’s nemesis.

“We just found the most amazing scene stealers in the universe,” Jeong said.

Jeong began doing standup comedy 24 years ago in Raleigh, North Carolina, performing after a Grateful Dead cover band.

“It was like 20 minutes of possibly the worst comedy ever invented,” Jeong said.

Jeong continued doing standup comedy as a hobby in the midst of his medical career.

“I think my patients were very surprised that I would do standup comedy on the side because, if anything, I overcompensated,” Jeong said. “I was so serious with my patients.

“When patients found out that I did standup on the side, because I was so intense as a doctor and I was always stressed out, patients were like `Good for you. You have a hobby. That’s amazing.”’

Jeong was still working as a doctor when he appeared in his first film, the 2007 Judd Apatow comedy “Knocked Up.”

Jeong said his wife knew he had a secret ambition to act full-time, encouraged him, but “ironically enough, I was the one that wanted to keep my job because I didn’t know if I could do this full time.”

“My wife was like a good college coach, telling the star player it’s time to go pro,” Jeong said. “She was kind of like, ‘If you don’t do it now, you’ll ever do it.’

“It was really my wife’s confidence in me that really encouraged me to do this full time. I owe my whole career to her.”


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