Comedian Ken Jeong used to be a doctor in real life. Now he's playing one on TV.
The outrageous Jeong, who has been a reliable comedic sprinkle in movies ("The Hangover" franchise) and TV shows ("Community"), is moving to center stage with his own sitcom, ABC's "Dr. Ken."
Although Jeong is the main focus, he stressed that the series is an ensemble show with its settings in the medical office and his home.
Full coverage: Television Crtitics Association press tour 2015
"It's ensemble driven, with my life as a doctor serving as a building block," said Jeong at a Television Critics Assn. press tour presentation.
When one reporter at the session pointed out that ABC was the same network that programmed the ill-fated "American Girl" with Margaret Cho 20 years ago, Jeong said that he was very involved in his show, both as a writer and a producer, and that Cho likely was not allowed that level of creative participation.
The series features Jeong as a brilliant physician whose bedside manner can be best described as "edgy." Although he is trying to get better, his staff is always after him to be nicer. He's also a devoted husband and father who is overprotective of his two children.
He jokingly referred to himself as a "second-generation Asian American Fred MacMurray," referring to the classic father figure in the 1960s sitcom "My Three Sons."
Jeong was a physician in an HMO several years ago, doing stand-up comedy on the side. He said he was very intense and serious as a doctor and that his patients were relieved when they learned that he had a sideline as a comedian.
"They said, 'It's so good you have a hobby,' " Jeong said. When Judd Apatow cast him as a doctor in "Knocked Up," Jeong won raves for his comic timing and persona.
"'Knocked Up' changed my life," he said. His wife encouraged him to pursue show business full time.
Jeong is one of the executive producers and a writer for "Dr. Ken."
Photos: The scene at Summer TCA 2015