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B.J. Novak on his 'Mindy Project' arc, being BFF with Mindy Kaling, and returning to 'The Office'

Everyone knows that Kelly Kapoor and Ryan Howard belong together — even if their story seemingly ended when Kelly left Scranton to be with handsome doctor Ravi at the beginning of The Office‘s ninth season.

So it’s a good thing that the actors behind Ryan and Kelly will get one more shot at happiness on The Mindy Project. B.J. Novak — an executive producer of the Fox comedy’s pilot, as well as a consulting producer throughout its first season — is guest-starring tonight and next Tuesday as Jaime, a Latin professor Novak calls “the man version of what [Mindy Kaling's character] dated on The Office.” There’s just one problem with the charismatic classicist: his unusually close friendship with Lucy (Eva Amurri Martino), which makes Mindy feel like “the side character in their romantic comedy.”

To any Mindy Kaling fans, this scenario should sound familiar — Novak and Kaling have enjoyed a close friendship (and an on-again off-again romance) since both were hired to work at The Office in 2004. Here’s what the multihyphenate had to say about exploring his relationship with Mindy for her new comedy — as well as his plans to return to Scranton for The Office‘s imminent series finale.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Was your arc on the show inspired by your friendship with Mindy?
B.J. NOVAK: I don’t know that it’s a direct analogy, but it’s definitely inspired by our relationship. We are pretty inseparable best friends with a lot of chemistry ourselves, and we’re not dating. Whenever we date anyone else, I think there’s a period where the person is very skeptical of our friendship — “Everyone seems to think you two might be a couple, and I don’t mean to get in the way. Are you sure you’re not dating? Are you sure you’re not going to end up dating?” It’s such a common thing to have that platonic best friend that becomes a little weird when you start dating someone.

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B.J. Novak will guest-star on 'The Mindy Project'

Kelly Kapoor and Ryan Howard are back together for one more round.

B.J. Novak will guest-star on two episodes of The Mindy Project later this year as Jamie, a “charming Latin professor who bonds with Mindy over their love of a dead language,” EW has confirmed. The news was first reported by Vulture.

Mindy Kaling and Novak starred on and wrote episodes of The Office together for eight years. Novak is also already a consulting producer on Fox’s The Mindy Project, which is executive produced by Kaling.

This news means that a full three-quarters of the “Male Prima Donna” crew will appear on Mindy Project. Perhaps after The Office ends this spring, Ellie Kemper can join in on the fun.

Read more:
‘Mindy Project’ casting: Shauna’s out, Gwen reduced
The Grinch ratings beat ‘Mindy Project’
Mindy Kaling on ‘The Mindy Project’, leaving ‘The Office,’ and the show title that could have been

Mindy Kaling on 'The Mindy Project', leaving 'The Office,' and the show title that could have been

If you’ve been waiting for the perfect ob-gyn office-set romantic comedy, Mindy Kaling hopes to deliver something special on your television Tuesday night: In Fox’s The Mindy Project (Fox, Tuesday, 9:30 p.m.), the former star/executive producer of The Office plays Mindy Lahiri, a highly skilled gynecologist whose romantic life is in need of urgent care. (The multi-talented Kaling is also serving as executive producer in addition to writing the first three episodes.) Check out EW’s Fall TV Preview for the scoop on The Mindy Project, read on for some bonus quotes from Kaling (as well as co-star Chris Messina, producer B.J. Novak, and showrunner Matt Warburton), and ask your gynecologist if this show might be right for you. READ FULL STORY

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