Golden Globe winner Sandra Oh, of Killing Eve, has teamed up with Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss for a Netflix comedy-drama about a university department chair.
Written by executive producer and showrunner Amanda Peet, The Chair follows Ji-Yoon, played by Oh, the first female Chair of the English department at Pembroke, a major US University.
Alongside Oh, The Chair’s cast members include Transparent star Jay Duplass, Primetime Emmy winner Holland Taylor, as well as Bonding’s Nana Mensah.
This is the first show to emerge from the massive Netflix deal Benioff and Weiss made in 2019 – and certainly looks set to show off their range. Here’s what we know about The Chair so far.
When is The Chair on Netflix?
Confirmed: In May 2021, Netflix announced that the six-part series will premiere on 27 August 2021.
Alongside the release date, the streaming service also shared a mocked-up student newspaper clipping announcing the appointment of Oh’s character Prof Ji-Yoon.
Who is in the cast of The Chair?
The first big name announced was Sandra Oh, who is both starring as the lead and executive producing. She is joined by Jay Duplass (in character as Professor Dobson), best known for his long-running role in Amazon’s Transparent and The Mindy Project.
In a recent interview with The LA Times’ Asian Enough podcast, Oh said she will not be returning to Grey’s Anatomy as Cristina Yang.
“Please come with me to Killing Eve and onto The Chair and onto the other projects, because this is also how we have moved on as well, with all the joy,” she urged fans. “Come see, then, the characters that I’m playing that are much more deeply integrated in our Asian American experience.”
Other series regulars will include Nana Mensah (Bonding and New Amsterdam), who plays Yasmin ‘Yaz’ McKay, a popular, progressive English professor and close colleague of Oh’s Ji-Yoon. Holland Taylor (Hollywood and Mr. Mercedes) plays Joan Hambling, a witty, straight talking member of the English department who is Ji-Yoon’s friend and confidant.
Bob Balaban (The Politician, The French Dispatch) portrays Professor Elliot Rentz, a distinguished English professor who is set in his ways. David Morse (Escape at Dannemora) plays Pembroke University Dean, Paul Larson.
Everly Carganilla (Netflix’s Yes Day) stars as Ji-Yoon’s precocious young daughter, Ju-Hee ‘Ju Ju’ Kim.
Members of the supporting cast announced by Deadline include Ji Yong Lee as Habi, Ji-Yoon’s father and sometimes caregiver of her daughter; Mallory Low as Lilah, the teaching fellow for Professor Dobson’s English course; Marcia DeBonis as Laurie, Assistant to the Chair of the English department; Ron Crawford, as Professor John McHale, an old-school English professor on the brink of retirement; Ella Rubin (The Rose Tattoo) as Dafna, an undergrad student interested in Professor Dobson’s English course; and Bob Stephenson (Lady Bird, Top Gun: Maverick) as Horatio, a tech repair guy who helps Professor Hambling (Taylor).
What is The Chair about?
The Chair has been described as a “dramedy” that will focus on the chair of an English Department at a major university played by Oh. The show will be made up of six half-hour episodes and looks to mine the inner workings of universities for a fresh approach to workplace comedy.
The show is the first TV series written and produced by Amanda Peet, who is better known for her acting work in Brockmire and 2012. Her husband David Benioff will also be executive producing, along with his working partner D.B. Weiss, GoT producer Bernie Caulfield and Daniel Gray Longino. Annie Julia Wyman co-wrote the pilot which Longino directs.
Produced by Benioff and Weiss’s company Bighead Littlehead, The Chair is the first series made as part of their exclusive multi-year Netflix deal. They are also busy working on Netflix’s upcoming Metal Lords and Three-Body Problem.