Fall TV Preview

United States of Al's Dramatic Season 2 Trailer Reflects Crisis in Afghanistan

United States of Al‘s Season 2 trailer is not for the faint of heart.

CBS on Thursday dropped a preview for the dramatic season opener airing Thursday, Oct. 7 (at 8:30/7:30c) — 20 years to the day after the initial invasion of Afghanistan. Per CBS, the premiere 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” — a story that was 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.

At one point, Al is seen on the phone with his sister Hassina (recurring guest star Sitara Attaie), who is presumably at Kabul International Airport in an attempt to flee her homeland.

“I don’t think I can do this,” she cries.

“I am right there with you,” Al assures her.


United States of Al, which bowed in April, focuses on the friendship between Riley (played by Enlisted‘s Parker Young), a Marine combat veteran struggling to readjust to civilian life in Ohio, and Awalmir aka “Al” (Rules of Engagement‘s Adhir Kalyan), the interpreter who served with his unit in Afghanistan and has just arrived to start a new life in America.

Speaking at the Television Critics Association summer press tour on earlier this month, CBS Entertainment chief Kelly Kahl said that the sitcom’s writers were “working hard to find the appropriate tone as the show moves forward.” As a result, the Powers That Be scrapped the sitcom’s initially planned premiere and penned an entirely new first episode to address current events.

“We’ve read the script and seen the table read, and I believe it will be a very powerful, moving episode of television,” Kahl said, “of which I expect everyone involved will be very proud.”

Additional Afghan recurring players appearing in the Season 2 premiere include Wali Habib as Al’s cousin Zubair, and Zarmina Hamidi as Al’s mom.

Press PLAY on promo above, then hit the comments with your reactions.