HitFix selects 15 new-ish stars to click for 2012
Mindy Kaling, 'The Mindy Project'
Where You've Seen Them Before: In addition to her work as Kelly Kapoor on "The Office," Kaling was also a writer and producer on the NBC comedy.
Breakout Role: She's Mindy, the gynecologist and romantic-comedy fan at the center of FOX's "The Mindy Project," a show she also created.
Why: Once you include Kaling's bestselling book "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" she was one of the more controversial choices as a "breakout." Hasn't Kaling already broken out? Well, kinda. There's a big difference in exposure between between the seventh lead on an ensemble comedy and being front-and-center on billboards for a show that has your name in the title, a show that you created. Mindy Kaling was hugely important to "The Office," but never for a single second, even in episodes she wrote or earned a B-story in, was "The Office" going to be a success or failure on her name. If "The Mindy Project" only draws pre-existing Mindy Kaling fans, it'll be gone by midseason and if "The Mindy Project" is a hit, Mindy Kaling's quest for world domination will take a huge step forward.
- Daniel Fienberg