CBS' new multi-camera comedy Superior Donuts (Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8:30/7:30c) may seem mild because it is set in a donut shop, but the series is aiming to take on many important and relevant issues with the intention of thwarting viewers' expectations.
Based on the play by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning writer Tracy Letts, the series stars Judd Hirsch as Arthur, the owner of a small donut shop in a neighborhood that is quickly gentrifying. Gruff and unyielding, Arthur initially refuses to change with the times, but when the fast-talking Franco (Jermaine Fowler) convinces Arthur to give him a job, Arthur soon realizes that if he wants to thrive in the 21st century he's going to have to adapt.
The show's Chicago setting becomes the perfect location for the show as it attempts to take on many issues relevant to the current political landscape, including racial profiling, gentrification, gun control and even Muslim hate crimes. According to Fowler, who is also an executive producer, it's imperative the show doesn't overlook these things.
"You can't not talk about these issues," Fowler told reporters at the Television Critics Association winter press tour Monday when discussing how the show will entertain viewers while also servicing a deeper message.
"Our goal is primarily to entertain, but these things are very relevant and real and current," added executive producer Neil Goldman. "It makes the most sense to us that these characters would be plugged into [these discussions] and talking about it and arguing about it."
The donut shop's clientele, which includes a police officer played by Katey Sagal and an aspiring real estate capitalist played by Maz Jobrani, will also offer up different perspectives on each particular issue.
"We're going to try to make the show seem authentic to the extent that people are talking about issues, and we'll have our characters try to reflect it in that way," said executive producer Garrett Donovan.
Superior Donuts premieres Thursday, Feb. 2 at 8:30/7:30c on CBS before moving to Mondays at 9/8c beginning Feb. 6.