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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Illustration for article titled Kal Penn to star in Vince Gilligans new CBS drama

Battle Creek, CBS' upcoming detective drama from Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan, has cast Kal Penn as one of its leads. Penn has done dramatic work on House and 24, recently had a recurring role on How I Met Your Mother, and even worked in the Obama White House for a stretch, but he will be first and foremost known as "Kumar," even if he lives to be 200 and cures cancer while on board a space station he built with his own two hands to house his fellow Supreme Court Justices. To America, he's still going to be Dr. Astronaut Chief Justice Kumar.

Until that day, he's going to be Detective Kumar, one half of a pair of mismatched crime solvers, with Penn's local police officer clashing with an as-yet-uncast FBI agent who arrives to clean up the mean streets of Battle Creek, Michigan. The two have different methods and worldviews, but have to learn to work together. Two law enforcement officials with differing methods might be a little out-there for a television drama, as audiences are accustomed to nonthreatening pairings like Good Cop/Good Cop, or a veteran cop who does things by the book, and his rookie partner who is also fond of doing things by the book. But if anyone can make this unlikely pairing work, it's Gilligan.

Penn will also be reunited with House writer David Shore, who will be Battle Creek's showrunner.


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