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When Mindy met Hulu: Why The Mindy Project's next life could be its best

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John P. Fleenor/Fox

The Mindy Project may be canceled at Fox, but don’t let the news send you to your emergency snack stash just yet. There’s serious hope for a multi-season deal at Hulu, which already owns streaming rights to the entire series—and if her latest Instagram post is any indication, even Mindy Kaling doesn’t seem too worried for her show.

In fact, The Mindy Project and Hulu sound like a match made in Mindy Lahiri’s rom-com dreams. Here’s why the deal could actually be a step up for the ratings-challenged comedy:

1. The series is no stranger to reinventing itself. In its first three seasons, The Mindy Project wrote off or minimized the roles of five regular characters, freely dropped plotlines that didn’t work, became an office comedy, and then considered leaving that office for San Francisco. The show has never been afraid to experiment with its formula, and the move to a new platform would only encourage Kaling and company to keep shaking things up.

2. Think of the promotional love. Let’s look at the latest high-profile series to be plucked from cancellation and saved for a second life online: Community got more promotion in one season with Yahoo TV than it did in five seasons on NBC. The Mindy Project was an afterthought at Fox, but it could be Hulu’s crown jewel.

3. There’s potential for more guest stars. Unbound by a network shooting schedule, the series could add even more celebrities to a roster of guest stars that has already included Lee Pace, Allison Tohlman, Stephen Colbert, B.J. Novak, and Laverne Cox. 

4. A multi-series deal gives Kaling more freedom to plot out her story. After ending the third season on a cliffhanger, Kaling told EW, “I’m not the kind of person who can be creative under the assumption of failure, so I just wrote it with the hope that we would come back.” She doesn’t let the threat of cancellation stop her from telling the story that she wants to tell—but that doesn’t mean she and her writing staff wouldn’t benefit from knowing exactly how many episodes they have to work with. Just imagine The Mindy Project without constant ratings pressure. And speaking of ratings…

5. The Mindy Project, rated R? Already one of the raunchiest comedies on television, the show could be even raunchier without network standards and practices to worry about. Anything that lets Diamond Dan get more creative with his stripteases is okay by us.

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