When AMC’s powerhouse drama Breaking Bad began to air its final episodes, fans patiently waited to hear what the show’s award-winning cast and creative team would do next. Before the drama even concluded, it was announced that creator Vince Gilligan was – in addition to developing the Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul – also working on a brand new detective drama for CBS called Battle Creek.

Gilligan is set to write the series as well as produce along with fellow Breaking Bad producer Mark Johnson and House creator David Shore. And while the casting side of things hasn’t really taken off yet, it looks like that’s about to change.

According to Deadline, the first actor to be cast in Battle Creek is Kal Penn of Harold & Kumar fame.

The plot of Battle Creek will revolve around a detective and an FBI agent with two extremely different approaches to criminal justice who are paired together to clean up the streets of Battle Creek, Michigan.  No word yet on who will play the two main characters, but Penn will reportedly portray another local detective who is hesitant to allow the FBI agent into their fold.

Battle Creek is a part of Gilligan’s multi-year deal with Sony TV and 13 episodes have already been ordered for the 2014-2015 season. Hopefully, the show will allow Gillian to stretch his dramatic legs for this series while Better Call Saul takes up more of his comedic talents. Penn’s casting is no doubt a result of his great working relationship with House creator and mastermind David Shore. After two years on the show, Penn left House in 2009 to take a swank position as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Public Engagement.

Though Penn made a name for himself starring in the stoner comedy Harold & Kumar series of films, funny projects didn’t click so well for him when he finally left the White House. Upon resuming his acting career, Penn attempted to return to his humorous roots with a bland recurring role on How I Met Your Mother and a lead spot on the short-lived (and widely panned) We Are Men – both airing on CBS.

But there’s a reason that Battle Creek made it on to our list of 2014’s most anticipated new shows. If anyone can bring Kal Penn back from the dregs of the dying sitcom, it’s Gilligan and Shore. Deadline says that Penn explored multiple pilot offers before settling on the series. Perhaps it’s best, then, that he opted for a more dramatic role.

What do you think of the casting? Is Penn right to explore his dramatic chops a bit more?

Stay tuned to Screen Rant for more Better Call Saul and Battle Creek news as it becomes available.

Follow Casey on Twitter @CaseyCip

Source: Deadline