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Mindy Project Danny Return Season 4

Mindy Project: Chris Messina Returning for Season 5 But Not as a Series Regular

Chris Messina‘s markedly lighter Mindy Project workload will soon be reflected in his billing.

TVLine has learned exclusively that when the Hulu comedy returns for its fifth season, Messina will no longer be a series regular. The actor will, however, continue to pop in and out of Mindy‘s orbit, albeit as a recurring guest star.

Messina’s Danny started the season as Mindy’s fiancé, though the engagement was called off in the midseason premiere. Since that episode, Danny has appeared sporadically in the series, showing up most recently to freak out when he realized that Jody had feelings for Dr. L. Though he is often mentioned, he’s rarely seen: In “Under the Texan Sun,” for instance, Mindy drops Leo at his dad’s place and has a conversation with Danny’s new girlfriend, but Dr. C is in the shower off-screen for the entire exchange.

The Mindy Project has weathered a number of cast changes over its four-season run, the biggest shakeup occurring in Season 1 when Amanda Setton, Stephen Tobolowsky and Anna Camp all departed the series (Xosha Roquemore and Adam Pally were brought in at the start of Season 2 to fill the void).

Hulu officially renewed The Mindy Project for Season 5 in early May. The season 4 finale airs on July 5.

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66 Comments
  1. Ray says:

    Totally unwatchable now. Sorry Mindy, I tried, I really did but I couldn’t get through a single episode without fast forwarding once you made the switch to Hulu. To be completely honest though, the quality decline actually began last season.

    • ChellemaBelle says:

      Funny that you say that. I loved TMP before, but find that it’s even more unpredictable on Hulu. (And for me… that’s a VERY good thing.) I don’t want to watch something that has already played out in my head (or been in every other show).

    • Mary says:

      Funny I have found this season one of the best yet. I didn’t like last nights episode at all or the one that was Danny only but other then that I have loved loved loved this season! Oh and I hate Jody and Collette and still love this season.

      I also don’t think this could mean the end of Danny & Mindy, I think it means the end of Danny with the staff. Chris Messina could just be shown as Mindy’s husband/ or not and just an ex. I really don’t care but I’ve loved this season and can’t wait for next.

  2. southernsoapopera says:

    While this isn’t unexpected, it is unfortunate. I know Kailing is trying to school us in reality, but it’s lost the fantasy, rom-com feel of season 2. I’ll miss him as I was a fan hoping for the happily ever after.

    • Mindy sold us on this big sweeping love story and then pulled the rug out from under us. The best season was them falling in love. Now it seems so empty. Danny was such a great foil for her and then they made him unsympathetic and a jerk, which had NEVER been his character before. I thought she was supposed to be progressing and not as goofy/unreliable and now she’s just awful. And Jody? Just no. Sorry, I was such a fan and paid for Hulu mainly for this show.

      • Mary says:

        nothing about Danny changed except he panicked about being a father but all his behavior and actions were who he has always been. He has ALWAYS been this character.

        Also I don’t get why people think this means they are done, they might be they might not be. You’d have to watch the show to see.

        You are right about Jody there is no chemistry and the southern siblings don’t work on the show, which I feel bad saying because the actors are great but they don’t mesh well.

  3. MK says:

    I haven’t watched the latter half of this season because I was afraid of this. Danny and Mindy were my favorite part of the show. I just don’t feel any connection to Jody. Ugh, Mindy I don’t know if I can continue. I feel like Danny became unnecessarily unlikeable.

  4. Jaime says:

    I’m sorry, but there is no show without Danny. Actually, I watched for all the characters except for Mindy. *sigh* Wherever you go Chris Messina … I will find you ;-)

  5. Christine says:

    He was a series regular THIS season? Little Leo is totally the Cousin Oliver/Jumping the Shark moment for this show.

  6. chaosrainz says:

    The show has been pretty funny this season but I’ve missed the dynamic between Mindy and Danny and I hate that they turned him into such a tool. I will finish this season but whether or not I come back, I haven’t decided.

  7. Matt C. says:

    This is so disappointing. While I still find the show funny and I will always love Mindy (the character and the star), the show just isn’t the same without Danny around. I get that they broke up, but they still could have figured out a way to keep him on the show regularly. Lord knows they’ve done it with other characters who are FAR less relevant than, hmmm, the male lead….

  8. redjane12 says:

    Well, not unexpected after how little he has been on the show these past episodes… I have loved Messina’s portrayal of Danny Castellano and the entire frenemity turned romance and parenthood with Mindy but I am also enjoying Mindy post-Danny… so I am excited for whatever comes next…

    Also, Messina was already brilliant in his relatively small role in Damages so now I am excited to see what he does next… I think he could be the lead character in a good show in the near future so there’s that to look forward to…

  9. JO Anne says:

    This makes me sad

  10. Betty says:

    Disappointed, but not surprised, since he is hardly seen now. I used to watch the show live on Fox, and for the first few Hulu episodes, I watched right away, but now I watch it whenever I get to it. It is just not as good anymore. I feel like I have l already watched Mindy date her way through New York, but it is happening again. Also, I thought when the Hulu pick-up was announced, it was said that the other characters would be getting more air time, but, I feel like we never see Tamara or Beverly. Anyway, I hope the show goes on for whoever is enjoying it, but I just miss Danny and was disappointed at the way they destroyed his character.

  11. LB says:

    **SPOILER TOWARD THE END IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED TODAY’S EP**
    Super-duper sad to hear this; I love Danny! Even with his absence, not to mention his mom and Dot’s lol, I still love this show so much. I respect Mindy and the writers taking different routes. I have loved almost every character who has swept in and out of her life. Plus…SPOILER…anyone see her chemistry with Jay R. Ferguson in today’s ep?!? Aye-yi-yiiiii!!!

  12. hannah says:

    this is so so sad. I had so much hope for season 5 and hoping Danny will be back in a full time capacity but unfortunately he’s not.

  13. Priyam says:

    So Danny and Mindy are done?? While I get this from a storyline point of view, I still had some hope for them to work out issues and get back together. Good on the creators part to move forward with this storyline

    • J. Norman says:

      I’m glad they split. Danny is not a bad guy at all, but he and MIndy are just not compatible as a couple. Too many inherent differences in personality and outlooks.

      Hey, it happens, good people with – on the surface – chemistry do not work well together as a couple under the same roof.

  14. Bananas says:

    Not a surprise. I stopped watching at the end of 4a, and his absence was noted. This is the final nail for me, not now following even recaps. For me, this series ensued after 2, though I appreciate people watch for different reasons.

  15. Vissy says:

    This is the end for me, this season has been really hard to watch since Danny went away. Mindy lost her sparkle, the show is a gross attempt at comedy now.
    I am really sorry because usually I used to wait with extreme anticipation the next episode. it’ a shame.

  16. Erin B says:

    I’m still enjoying the show. i think Mindy & Danny will get back together in the end.

  17. Para says:

    Deverstated

  18. Sandra says:

    Well, I’m done now. I’ve watched since the beginning, and the development of the Mindy/Danny relationship and then breaking ground by having them become a couple were what made this show so special. I totally understand an actor wanting less time, but they did not need to have his character do a 180 and be such a bully to Mindy. Why they chose this story is beyond me. They could have kept them as a couple even with Danny’s reduced screen time. Can’t begin to imagine why they thought this was a good idea and certainly can’t begin to imagine that they think the Jody/Mindy thing has any potential. It’s all a retread now.

  19. Margo Elle says:

    Wow. I wonder what he did to piss her off. At the beginning of the series she had a life outside her work, girlfriends, and a social life with people other than her male co workers. Now, Chris is gone? Ridiculous.

    • Allee says:

      Um, he is pursuing his film career. Check IMDB.

      • Souviens says:

        Um, Ike Barinholtz is also pursuing his film career, and he’s not leaving the show.

        Something happened behind-the-scenes between Messina and Kaling.

        • Lizzie says:

          And you have the first hand experience? Ike Barinholtz shot movies in between hiatus and he is a writer so he can have as much of air time as he wants.

          • Souviens says:

            Ike shot during the shoot schedule as well as hiatus. He’s a series regular and a writer. That does not mean he can have as much time off as he wants. No one has that arrangement. Not even Mindy Kaling.

            Yes, I have firsthand knowledge. But not “First-hand experience “, whatever that supposed to be.

        • Mary says:

          yep sure its Mindy’s fault, she is being vindictive and petty. She wants to deal with all the insane freak Messina fans that are sending her hate, risk the show she built because of Chris didn’t do what she wanted. (note the sarcasm)

          These people are business people, Chris Messina wanted time to do movies, maybe they needed to save budget and having Messina go recurring saves budget and gives him time. But sure go with the woman is vindictive and horrible because that is logical.

          • Margo Elle says:

            Yep, based on the fact that she has fired all of those people who no longer appear due to “creative differences” says a LOT.

  20. Mehvash says:

    Not surprised by this at all. Messina seems to have a lot of film projects going one of them being a Ben Affleck directed film which is why I think he’s been so sporadic this season. I truly enjoyed the dynamic of Danny and Mindy in the beginning and I think that the character could have been written a bit better without making him so unlikeable towards the end of the relationship. perhaps it just showed that even though they were passionate about each other fundamentally they were not the right fit. What I’d really like to see is Mindy mature some now. She seems to be stuck a bit so here is hoping to see that character gain some maturity.

  21. Allee says:

    I liked Danny but I’m surprisingly okay with the show without him. I’m just happy the show is going to be back for a fifth season. There was a time when we felt it wouldn’t have a third or a fourth. I notice it is always among Hulu’s top ranked shows, with or without Chris Messina. I wonder if, since they won’t have to work around his schedule anymore, they might be able to eke out a sixth season.

  22. T says:

    I haven’t watch the second half of this season yet but I am not sure if I care much other than I will miss his Mom and Dot. This show has always been about the other people on the show more than either Mindy or Danny for me. They are both hands down my least favorite people on the show though I get it is her show I try to tolerate her to watch the other people. I was more sad about Adam Pally being just a reoccurring role when that happened than I am about Danny.

  23. ldg says:

    At the moment, the only reason I’m watching is to see if Chris Messina shows up. It’s not only the dynamic between Mindy and Danny that was so entertaining but the writers made Danny as much of a main character as Mindy. Season 1 and Season 2, Mindy had the A plot and Danny had the B plot in the majority of the episodes. Or Mindy/Danny had the A plot and someone in the office had the B plot. The point is that Danny was just always there. Viewers got used to him. Season 3 it was mainly stories about Danny and Mindy. At first, I didn’t mind the Messina absence when Danny went to take care of his dad but now it’s like what’s the point of mentioning him so much. Either take him out completely or have a real storyline with him. It’s like watching Miss Congeniality 2. Unless if the guy is going to appear at the end, why are you constantly talking about him?

    • Maggie says:

      Totally my thoughts as well. It’s not just the romance but missing Messina’s lead character on the whole. Totally different show without him.. and due to the interviews with Kaling, Barinholtz, and Warburton the Danny fans have been holding on to the romance and that he will continue to be a big part of the show(he’s not though so.. wth) so it’s been hard to move on. This announcement was super disappointing though I’m sure it’s due to Messina’s wishes, it sucks for the show. I have really not enjoyed 4b.

  24. Kia says:

    Not at all surprised about it. I don’t even mind a Danny-less TMP however I’m upset about the way it was done. In the previous three seasons, while he obviously had flaws and things to work on, this season he was turned into a truly horrible person and I hated him. And now I couldn’t even root for Mindy and Danny to get back together. So that makes me sad. I can’t say the writing itself has been bad this season, it hasn’t, BUT it hasn’t been enjoyable for me.

  25. Heidi says:

    Really too bad. This is the nail in the coffin for me. The only reason I was still watching this season was in hopes that they would be bringing Danny/Chris Messina back and reuniting them as a couple. He is by far the strongest character and without him the show is tired and just doesn’t offer much. If at least they could have written him off in a better way. Making him so unlike able and stringing viewers along in hopes of a reunion feels cheap. Definitely will not be tuning into the next season now that I know.

  26. marylu30 says:

    I already kwen that. The writers make him unlikable for a reason and te is barely on the show anymore. So. Kind os obvious. Anyway I’m not watching even anymore. No Messina and now Jody is pratically the male lead. i just can’twatch He is the worst.

    • Ally Oop says:

      I have to agree. Jody is the worst. I just can’t connect to the character and want him gone from the show. However, I’m not upset about Mindy and Danny breaking up. I think their breakup was really well-written and realistic.

  27. marylu30 says:

    Tbh I would prefer they would kill the character better than the way they written him off. A slap in the face on people who really love his character

  28. marylu30 says:

    Btw I could even watch the show if it wasn’t for Jody. I hate him and his romance with Mindy. Ugh. No chemistry and he is pratically a FORCED Danny 2.0

  29. The people who tried to say there was no rift between Mindy and Chris in real life were proven wrong here.

    Jody and Mindy won’t be as good as Danny and Mindy, but it can still be something very entertaining for the show moving forward.

    If you think about it, in a weird way this is a good thing for the show. Too many programs have the will they or won’t they dynamic early on, the couple ends up getting together and they live happy ever after. That’s not how the real world works. Couple break up, and one of the best comedies out there, a show that handles dramatic moments well, can benefit from shining a light on that.

    • Rose Koeller says:

      Don’t you people get it yet???….. Nobody wanted the Mindy Project to be “like the real world”!!!!!!!! We watched it for ROMANCE AND COMEDY!!!!!!

  30. I can’t watch it either as is, which makes me very sad. If Danny ever returns to his lovable self and they get back together, I’ll pick it back up.

  31. A fan of TV says:

    I don’t think that the possibility of happy ever after is off the table until he says he’s not coming back at all, regardless of comments here to the contrary. If this is Mindy Project’s last season (and perhaps it should be, considering all other complaints I’m seeing about the quality of the show at this point are mostly valid) and he’ll sporadically appear, perhaps that’s all part of the show’s potential end-game. All they need to do is lobotomize Danny’s character again, and make him see the error in his 1950s ways…

  32. Annie says:

    Pop in here and there? Ugh. Mindy and Danny were THE ONES. Mindy Kaling told us that. I don’t just want to see Danny as Leo’s dad.

    This season has been hard to watch.

    And what happened to her friends? I’m so tired of all the men on this show. It’s Mindy and Danny or Jody or Morgan or Peter. I loved Mindy’s best friends from season 1.

    I’m not sure how relatable Mindy Lahiri is anymore.

  33. Souviens says:

    After Anna Camp was demoted from regular to recovering, she was never seen on the show again.

    Don’t count on Chris Messina it being on any more episodes.

  34. Lauren says:

    Glad I stopped watching. I’ll remember s1-3 fondly.

  35. Mary says:

    This has been been my favorite season since season 2, I love that Mindy is shown as a strong smart career driven good mom. I love that they addressed Danny’s issues that are always there and they just ignored with a grand gesture in the past, and I love love love they addressed the issue that so many couples face about working parents. I will admit I didn’t enjoy the Danny only episode or last night’s but 2 out of 26 isn’t bad.

    I also don’t think this is the end of Danny and Mindy, I don’t think it is some personal thing, I think there was a lot of business things. Chris Noth was recurring guest star on Good Wife and SATC. Heather Locklear was a special guest star on Melrose Place (never a regular); I think this is done to not lock actors in and save shows budget. My guess is that next season we will see Mindy at work. And they when we see Danny he will be with Mindy and we will see them as a couple and family. I could be wrong and it could be all drop off only but I doubt it- I also don’t care I love the show and what it is doing all I hope is we see more of Mindy as a mom.

    • AT says:

      I agree with everything that you said. While I love happy endings, I also enjoy realistic storytelling. I like that Mindy is written as a strong, independent woman holding down her career and parenting her son with a good support system. It important that we have these images shown on television. The Danny character has some work to do. I will continue to watch and hope that eventually we get the happy ending. In the meantime I support TMP.

  36. dsrbroadway says:

    I’m glad he’ll be at least in The Mindy Project​ orbit. It’s been great to see Mindy post-Danny keeping things interesting. And who says he won’t eventually end up with her when the series ends.

  37. Wooster182 says:

    I love Chris Messina and he helped pull me into this show but I find myself rewatching the episodes between Mindy and Jody multiple times. The show has a new air about it now. It needed this new direction.

  38. Castellano Rocks! says:

    I will not be watching the show if Danny is not a regular. Very very sad!

    • Sganarelle says:

      This is like a Trump tweet. Well done!

      • Allee says:

        Ha! Love that! Yes, all these “different” people saying essentially the same thing. Yet the show is Hulu’s top ranked original and easily renewed. Hmmm.

        • Kendrah Veruca Upshaw says:

          Yep. That’s gotta be it. All the negative comments are from the same person. All the positive comments are from distinct individuals, and not, say, a psychotic housewife/failed writer in Florida with nothing but time on her hands who has now been proven completely, unequivocally, totally wrong. :-)

          But back to reality. Hurrah for Chris Messina for finally freeing himself of the dumpster fire called “The Mindy Project.” Congrats, Chris! Onward and upward!

  39. Rafael says:

    Good! Please reduced Chris Messina as a guest for season 5, we should do the same for Ed Weeks also! I think Zoe Jarman, who plays Betsy Putch, should be ready to return to this show’s fifth season as a reduced guest to bring back all former teen fans of this show. Finally, Rhea Perlman and Jenny O’Hara should continue appearing in this show as cranky old Annette and Dot along with Beth Grant as Beverly.

  40. Silvia Colon says:

    All I have to say is bring back Danny.Mindy and Danny have great chemistry.So much story to tell about them still.

  41. Laura says:

    This used to be my go-to show but I can’t watch it any longer! Too many changes, was rooting for Mindy & Danny, the show feels different and almost depressive. Was so funny and a breath of fresh air when it started!

    • Rosella Koeller says:

      Yes Laura, I feel the same way. It was a great romantic comedy…..the type that I came on board to see! Romance and Comedy…..to escape the stress of the day.
      I looked forward to each episode. Then I lost interest at the beginning of Season 4….and only watched if I though of it and was curious if I would see Danny or not.
      Instead, poor Mindy added MORE stress with her idea of become more of a “reality.”
      Crying, breaking up, Danny being turned into a selfish jerk, Mindy doing the “single mom” independent thing….dating her way thru New York…none of that was romantic or funny.
      It spiraled down to just an immoral show that my teenage daughter is no longer allowed to watch. Bad role model for her.
      I too left the show. It became too sad and boring without Danny, and too “real.”

  42. Relly Rell says:

    I love how hard these shows work to try and convince you that happily ever after does not exist. I’d rather you just end the show than kill it with this depressingly cynical BS. It’s poison.

  43. Stephen-MJ says:

    Me and my husband are fans of the show, we are so disappointed that Danny is not there anymore. His character was crazy-fun and we kept waiting for he and Mindy to get back together….Not happy about the change on show, its not the same. We still like some of the characters but Mindy was better with Danny!

    • Rafael says:

      Danny is not gone yet. He’s been reduced as a guest. But we hoped to see him and the other past cast members of this show return to this show’s series finale, by then.

  44. Dee says:

    I read all the comments I can resonate with a lot of things people are saying . I will be honest Danny and Mindy has always been end game for me and always will . I love Ben and and Lindsey and don’t want to see them hurt but Part of me will always pine for Danny and Mindy. I do feel like the changed Danny into a character that made me want to hate him which broke my heart.I get what people are saying about how he has always been that way . He definitely has issues from his childhood that he needs to deal with and having a baby brought them back full force . But having said that I do feel like Danny experienced some growth on the show and then it was like come season for they took it all away. What I want even more than for them to end up together ( which I want really really bad) it’s for Danny to apologize to Mindy and take responsibility for his part in the break up.
    I’m not saying it’s all on Danny it’s not but I feel like Danny believes it’s fully on Mindy and that is not the case. I want him to realize what he wanted her to sacrifice and yes they’re allowed to have different opinions on how to raise a family, but I want him to realize what he was asking of her was extremely unfair. I read it in an interview that said we will get a better stance in the next season on where Mindy and Danny stand but we might not get our traditional happy ending. I hope if the show doesn’t end with them back together that it at least ends with the possibility of that happening but they said they wanted the characters to feel like Mindy had a growth.that’s great I want Mandy to grow as a character but I don’t necessarily feel like going back to Danny isn’t growth at least if they allow Danny to grow as well! All I know is I will always love the show; it had great characters and makes me laugh but it’s not my story to tell so I have no control over the ending! I will admit though my favourite seasons have been 1-3 and this had been one of those shows for me that when I started watching it I literally couldn’t stop binge watching until I caught up which doesn’t happen for me a lot. Part of the reason I got so addicted so fast was because of the Mindy Danny dynamic.I remember seeing the end of the first episode with them bickering on the couches in the doctors lounge thinking I can’t wait to see where this goes and I just hope the season brings me a little bit of that magic back .