Q&A: Outsourced -- about India, filmed in LA

Co-executive producer Alexandra Beattie speaks about the new NBC show

NBC's new TV show Outsourced, about one of the most politically sensitive business practices today, is taking a humorous look at cultural differences. It premiers on Sept. 23. The show's co-executive producer, Alexandra Beattie, answered some questions about the show via e-mail.

Is the show being filmed in India? The series is being filmed mostly on sets in Los Angeles, with some establishing and background shots filmed in India. If the show is successful, we'd like to do more work on location.

Is this show bringing together people who have worked in Bollywood with Hollywood? Our cast is a mix of American, Canadian, British and Australian actors. We were very lucky to have found a great mix of talent. Ben Rappaport ("Todd") is a recent graduate of Julliard, who appeared in off-Broadway's The Gingerbread House.

Todd's sales team includes Gupta (Parvesh Cheena, Help Me Help You), a socially awkward employee; Manmeet (Sacha Dhawan, BBC's Five Days II), a young romantic who is enamored with America; Asha (Rebecca Hazlewood, BBC's Doctors), a smart, striking woman who finds herself intrigued by Todd; Rajiv (Rizwan Manji, Privileged), the assistant manager who wants Todd's job; and Madhuri (Anisha Nagarajan, Broadway's Bombay Dreams), a wallflower who suffers from extreme shyness.

Other transplants working in Todd's office building include Charlie Davies (Diedrich Bader, The Drew Carey Show), an American expatriate who runs the All American Hunter call center, and Tonya (Pippa Black, Neighbours), a beautiful Australian who runs a call center for Koala Air.

As the show progresses, will it look at some of the issues in outsourcing, the politics of it? Outsourcing and call centers are merely the springboard for us to meet a wonderful group of characters. No matter where you go on the planet, an office is an office. Certain things are constant. The overbearing boss. The conniving coworker. The employee who talks too much. Simply put, the petty problems and funny foibles of office life are universal.

Is the intent of the show to help people see Indian workers as real people striving to improve their lives and not as caricatures? Most Americans have had some experience talking to an Indian in a call center. Our show will put a face to that voice, and introduce America to the human being at the other end of the line.

Who created this show, and where did the inspiration for it come from? Outsourced is an adaptation of the 2006 theatrical feature film of the same name written by John Jeffcoat and George Wing, which was directed by John Jeffcoat. The series was developed by Ken Kwapis' company, In Cahoots. Ken Kwapis (The Office, He's Just Not That Into You and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants) directed the pilot. Robert Borden (The Drew Carey Show and George Lopez) is executive producer and show-runner.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at  @DCgov or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

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