“The Mindy Project” continues to be a work in progress in its first season on FOX.
After last month’s news that Anna Camp (Gwen) will transition from regular to recurring cast member and Amanda Setton (Shauna) will be leaving the show, “Mindy” has lost another character but gained two more.
Character actor Stephen Tobolowsky was written out of the show in last week’s episode, “Two To One,” when his rarely seen character Dr. Shulman abruptly decided to leave his practice and turn over management to Mindy (Mindy Kaling), Danny (Chris Messina) and Jeremy (Ed Weeks).
Dr. Shulman was played by “West Wing” star Richard Schiff in the original pilot, and seemed positioned to be a key part of the series. But after Tobolowsky replaced Schiff in the pilot, he only appeared in one subsequent episode — October’s “Hiring and Firing” — before his own departure.
However, another character introduced in “Hiring and Firing” — crotchety nurse Beverly played by Beth Grant — will be returning full time, according to TVLine. This is good news. Grant was very funny in her single appearance on the show and she’s a respected character actress whose credits include everything from “Rain Man” to “Donnie Darko” to “No Country for Old Men.” As long as “Mindy” can make better use of her talents than they made of Tobolowsky, Grant could add a whole new dynamic to the show.
Additionally, Upright Citizens Brigade comedian Mary Grill will join “Mindy” in 2013 in the recurring role of Maggie, a tomboyish college friend of Mindy’s.
Will the new faces help boost the show in the ratings, or simply solidify its status as one of the season’s best new comedies? Either way, we’re sticking by our midseason assessment that “Mindy” is well worth watching.