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TV CRITIC'S CORNER

Freeform looks to boost youth vote with PSAs, Kal Penn

Kal Penn will star in “Kal Penn Approves This Message,” a six-part series on Freeform.
Kal Penn will star in “Kal Penn Approves This Message,” a six-part series on Freeform.Miranda Barnes/New York Times/file

Freeform, formerly ABC Family, is trying to get its youthful audience to vote in the presidential election on Nov. 3. The channel has started a nonpartisan initiative called “Kick 2020 in the Ballots” and “#FFingVote,” featuring social media and on-air PSAs about voting. The initiative will also include an unscripted comedy series meant to motivate political involvement.

The series, which premieres on Sept. 22, also known as National Voter Registration Day, features Kal Penn (from the “Harold and Kumar” movies) looking into some of the issues that speak to millennial and Generation Z voters, among them the economy and climate change. Called “Kal Penn Approves This Message,” the six-parter will include segments out in the field and interviews with a variety of guests. Sounds like the kids are getting a kind of “Daily Show” of their very own.

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By the way, Penn interrupted his acting career to work in the Obama White House for a few years, serving as an associate director in the Office of Public Engagement. His next project is “Clarice,” the upcoming CBS series that’s a sequel to “The Silence of the Lambs.” Rebecca Breeds will play Clarice Starling.


Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.