Will 'Dr. Ken' Return For Season 2? ABC Would Be Smart To Keep This Comedy Around
This season on ABC, the network has continued to demonstrate their commitment to both great comedy and increasing diversity onscreen, adding Ken Jeong's Dr. Ken to their comedy lineup. After its debut season, will Dr. Ken return for Season 2? It makes sense for the series to come back. After all, Ken Jeong is a recognizable name after his work on Community and the Hangover series, and the sitcom takes from his own life — he used to be a doctor before making his film debut (playing a doctor!) in Knocked Up. And TV Series Finale reports that Dr. Ken 's ratings have been respectable. While the numbers aren't amazing, it's hovered around a million viewers in the key 18-49 demographic per episode, with overall ratings closer to five million, showing that the show has developed a fanbase that has been watching every episode live. Update: On May 12, ABC renewed Dr. Ken for Season 2, as reported by Deadline.
Earlier: ABC hasn't announced if Dr. Ken will return in the fall of 2016 (it premiered around that time last year), or if it will continue to remain on Friday nights. Traditionally, networks tend to finalize their schedules for the following fall by late spring, so the news will be announced soon. The only bad sign? Other series on the network, like black-ish, have already been renewed for the 2016-2017 season. But if ABC is still thinking over whether or not to bring back Dr. Ken, here are the most persuasive arguments in this show's favor.
It's Part Of ABC's Mission
In 2014, ABC's former president Paul Lee pledged to strengthen representation on the network. “It is a mission statement to reflect America,” he said at the Television Critics Association, as reported by Variety. “In a way it’s not so much diversity as it is authenticity.” In the years since, ABC has proven that not only can it greenlight multiple shows featuring people of color in starring roles, but that it can do so in comedies, dramas, and make the majority of those shows successful.
And It Makes For An Important Milestone
When Fresh Off the Boat premiered, PBS reported that it was the first sitcom about an Asian-American family on American TV in years. Now, there are two shows that are exactly that, on the very same network.
I know the child actor who plays Dr. Ken's son is named Albert Tsai, and he's very funny. But I remember him from the wonderful and gone-too-soon family comedy Trophy Wife, which had a great character for Tsai as a hyperactive, weird kid named Burt.
Again, I know that Tisha Campbell-Martin is a lot more than just her signature role on Martin, but the more work she gets, the better. The supporting cast on this show is fantastic.
It's Part Of A Throwback Wave
Dr. Ken is a classic, three camera, laugh track sitcom, with equally classic sitcom beats. It's part of a little mini-retro wave of similar throwback shows, like The Carmichael Show, Mom, and even The Ranch. Every network seems to have one, and Dr. Ken can be ABC's.
All The Community Cameos
So far, Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, and Jim Rash have already made appearances on Dr. Ken. I'd love to see a way for the entire study group to guest star.
Many Shows Improve After Season 1
Network comedy seasons can be long, often over 20 episodes, and, after all of that practice, the writers, producers, and cast can get to the point where they're ready to make a huge jump in quality. Fresh Off the Boat and black-ish both had good first seasons, but ascended to great seasons in their second year. If ABC is smart, it will give Dr. Ken a chance to also ascend to greatness sometime this fall.
Image: Danny Feld (2), Ron Tom (4), Eddy Chen/ABC