TV Article

Indian Jones

How ''Monsoon Wedding'' has changed NBC. The peacock network is now searching for Nirvana

Following such hits as Monsoon Wedding, TV execs are eager to board the South Asian bandwagon. Wedding writer Sabrina Dhawan is scripting a darkly comic look at Indian-American families for HBO, and last season ABC was developing a story about Indian-American motel owners. But NBC is fast-tracking its entry: Nevermind Nirvana is about an Indian-American doctor whose parents move in with him and his wife, loosely based on writer-producer Ajay Sahgal's life with wife Kelli Williams (''The Practice'').

Auditions for the pilot called for Indian actors and nonactors, and attracted all sorts -- programmers, doctors, even suburban housewives. ''They were these nice Indian moms who had driven in from Artesia [Calif.],'' says Sahgal. ''I can't imagine my mother [trying out].''

Originally posted Mar 12, 2004 Published in issue #755 Mar 12, 2004 Order article reprints