October 2, 2015 (2015-10-02) – March 31, 2017 (2017-03-31)
Dr. Ken is an American multi-camera sitcom that aired on
ABC from October 2, 2015, to March 31, 2017. The series was created, written, and co-executive produced by its lead actor,
Ken Jeong, who based the concept on his experience as a physician prior to becoming a stand-up comedian. This television show was an
Sony Pictures Television co-production.
On October 20, 2015, ABC ordered a full season of 22 episodes for the first season. On May 12, 2016, the series was renewed for a second season, which premiered on September 23, 2016. On May 11, 2017, ABC cancelled the series after two seasons.
Dr. Ken is about a Korean-American doctor (Ken Jeong), with a questionable bedside manner; his wife, a talented therapist (Suzy Nakamura); and his two children: son Dave (Albert Tsai) and daughter Molly (Krista Marie Yu).
Ken Jeong as Dr. Kendrick "Ken" Park. Ken is a constantly-joking, narcissistic, sometimes-thoughtless general practitioner employed at Welltopia Medical Group. He loves his family and coworkers but is often oblivious to their feelings. He has a younger sister, Dr. Wendi (
Margaret Cho), of whom he is jealous.
Suzy Nakamura as Dr. Allison Park (née Kuramata). Allison is Ken's intelligent Japanese-American wife and mother to Molly and Dave. She is a trained therapist/psychiatrist and often gives Ken advice about his life. Her children have a tendency to treat her with more respect than Ken. Allison usually tolerates Ken's antics, using them as an opportunity to push him to become a better man, although she occasionally becomes fed up with him.
Tisha Campbell-Martin as Damona Watkins. Damona is the sassy and loud-mouthed office manager at Welltopia where Dr. Ken works. While she is technically under the jurisdiction of Dr. Park, she is seen as his equal in the office. She develops a sexual relationship with Pat, although she hates herself for it. It is revealed that she controls the schedules and vacation days for the office.
Jonathan Slavin as Clark Leslie Beavers. Clark is a registered nurse who works with Ken and is usually his most devoted fan in the office. He is openly gay and prone to speaking in a loud volume when nervous or scared. He is a bit of a drama queen and can overreact to many situations. He is good friends with Damona and Dr. Julie Dobbs.
Albert Tsai as Dave Park. Dave is Ken's son, age ten at the start of the series, who is considered "odd" among his peers and family. Though intelligent, he has a number of strange quirks, such as biting people when he feels cornered and conserving water to a drastic measure for the drought. When he is sad, he will eat food without utensils in bed. It is implied numerous times that he is not popular in school. Ken, Allison, and Molly often attempt to bribe him with pizza.
Krista Marie Yu as Molly Park. Molly is Ken's daughter, age sixteen at the start of the series, and is a typical American teenager, obsessed with hanging out with friends, texting, and boys, though she is also very studious. She has several love interests throughout the series and has a habit of disobeying her parents. While she often tries to deceive her parents and brother, she does show some affection toward her family.
Kate Simses as Dr. Julie Dobbs (season 1). Julie is Ken's protege and a trained doctor, although she is unsure of herself. She speaks in a nervous, high-pitched voice and is referred to as "fragile" by both herself and coworkers. She has a tendency to keep on talking when she's nervous, divulging Ken's secrets. She is an extremely thorough worker, to the point of spending three hours with a patient. On the season 2 premiere, it was revealed that she left the hospital to do a medical internship elsewhere.
Dave Foley as Pat Hein. Ken's boss and the manager at Welltopia, Pat is an insensitive and slightly racist man who often is the butt of the joke. Although he considers himself a benevolent dictator among his coworkers, he's shown to be duped on several occasions since Ken, Damona and Clark are well aware that Pat frequently has ulterior motives. After separating from his wife, he lives on a boat parked outside her house. He fancies himself as a ladies' man, although he only succeeds in sleeping with Damona.
Dana Lee as D.K. Park, Ken's stern, traditional father (season 2, recurring season 1). In the season 2 premiere, he starts to live in the Park household, saying his wife In-Sook (Ken's mother) left to visit family in
Korea for a year. D.K. later confesses he and In-Sook are divorced. As he started living with his son's family, he gets more flexible in adapting to American cultures, such as being in a relationship with an American woman his age, much to Ken's dismay.
Marques Ray as Juan-Julio, the parking garage attendant at Welltopia
Alexis Rhee as In-Sook Park, Ken's mother and D.K.'s ex-wife
Jeong previously starred alongside guests stars Joel McHale, Danny Pudi, Alison Brie, Gillian Jacobs, Yvette Nicole Brown, Jim Rash and Jonathan Banks on the television comedy series Community. In the episode "Ken's Big Audition", Ken auditions for a fictional version of the show, in which Brie, series creator
Dan Harmon, and other Community cast members
Erik Charles Nielsen, Danielle Kaplowitz,
Richard Erdman and
Luke Youngblood also appear.
Dr. Ken received highly negative reviews from television critics. The
review aggregator website
Rotten Tomatoes reported a 7% approval rating, based on 42 reviews, with an average rating of 2.5/10. The website's consensus reads, "Somebody please get Dr. Ken a doctor; seeking any signs of life. Or humor." On
Metacritic, the series has a score of 26 out of 100, based on 20 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews."
Indiewire TV Critic Ben Travers and TV Editor Liz Shannon Miller, both negatively ranked the trailer released for Dr. Ken. Marc Berman of TV Media Insights gave the new series very low odds of survival. During the 2015 Television Critics Association press tour, Ken Jeong defended against a comparison drawn between his series and the ill-fated All American Girl starring
Margaret Cho, claiming that he would have more creative control as both a writer and producer of Dr. Ken.