Reworked ‘United States of Al’ Reflects Current Events in Afghanistan

United States of Al on CBS
Adhir Kalyan and Parker Young in ‘United States of Al.’ (Image credit: CBS)

Season two of comedy United States of Al is on CBS Oct. 7. The show is about the friendship between Riley, a Marine combat veteran struggling to readjust to life in Ohio, and Al, an interpreter who worked with Riley’s unit in Afghanistan. 

Producers had to rework the season premiere following the U.S. departure from Afghanistan in late August. 

Chuck Lorre and his gifted team of writers and actors, some of whom are veterans, some natives of Afghanistan, some with deep ties to the country, have been working hard to find the appropriate tone as the show moves forward,” said Kelly Kahl, CBS Entertainment president, during the network’s TCA Press Tour session in September. “I can share that the team penned an entirely new first episode that will address current events. It’s shooting right now.  We’ve read the script and seen the table read, and I believe it will be a very powerful, moving episode of television, of which I expect everyone involved will be very proud.”

The new episode sees Al, Riley, Art, Lizzie and Vanessa work together against a ticking clock to get Al’s sister out of Afghanistan and to safety after Kabul falls. CBS said the story is inspired by “the actual experiences of the Afghan and military veteran writers on the series who worked together to evacuate family members during the takeover of Afghanistan.”

Adhir Kalyan plays Al and Parker Young portrays Riley. Dean Norris, Elizabeth Alderfer and Kelli Goss are also in the cast. 

Chuck Lorre Productions produces the show in association with Warner Bros. Television. Lorre executive produces with David Goetsch & Maria Ferrari, Reza Aslan and Mahyad Tousi. 

Michael Malone

Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.