Mindy Kaling's 'The Mindy Project' pays homage to Nora Ephron

the-mindy-project-triangle-fox.jpgIn the opening scenes of Mindy Kaling's new FOX show, "The Mindy Project," her character obsesses over a series of Nora Ephron films. The character's driving force in life is her search for love, but she's looking for a meet-cute, rom-com type of love. To offer some context, she's been banned from visiting the Empire State Building because she goes there so much in search of the perfect romantic moment.

Given Ephron's sad passing last month and Kaling's unhealthy investment in her work, one might assume that Kaling's character would mourn, to a degree. Kaling says that's not the case.

"Nora's passing was so devastating for us, and especially the writing staff, because she was such an amazing writer and such an inspiration to the show," Kaling says. "But because the character isn't a comedy writer... we want to pay homage to her career through the character's love for romantic comedy, but I don't necessarily know that there would be much mention of her in a really overt way."

The lack of acknowledgment of Ephron's death isn't meant as a slight in any way. "We put her on such a pedestal, we don't want to seem like we're cheapening the impact in any way," Kaling continues.

"I think we'd rather have the series be an homage to her work," adds showrunner Matt Warburton.

"The Mindy Project" will debut online beginning Monday, August 27, along with another FOX comedy, "Ben and Kate." Season premiere episodes will be available on Yahoo, FOX.com, Hulu, AOL, and more for two weeks. The series will both make their television debuts on Tuesday, Sept. 25 on FOX.

Kaling will also feature in "The Office" Season 9 premiere on NBC.
Photo/Video credit: FOX