There's a new teenage doctor in the house, and she's coming to Disney+ before the end of the year. Doogie Kamealoha, M.D., a reboot of the classic Neil Patrick Harris series Doogie Howser, M.D., introduces Lahela "Doogie" Kamealoha, a 16-year-old wunderkind doctor in Hawaii played by Peyton Elizabeth Lee. Disney+ shared the first photos from the show with Entertainment Weekly on Monday, ahead of its premiere later this year.
In an interview with the magazine, Lee said she was not familiar with the original series until she got the audition. She then started watching the original series, which ran on ABC from 1989 to 1993. The series, created by Steven Bochco and David E. Kelley, starred Harris as a teenage doctor in Los Angeles. Before Kamealoha debuts, fans can check out the original Doogie Howser on Hulu.
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"One of the really cool parts about this reimagining is that we take this iconic story and bring it into the world we're living in now," Lee, who shot to fame on the Disney Channel's Andi Mack, told EW. "So it's a female lead instead of a male, and she is biracial, and it's in Hawaii so we have this beautiful backdrop. It has nods to the original but also feels very modern."
Although Lee isn't interested in the medical field, she still felt a connection with Lahela. As an actor, she spends most of her time around people much older, just as Lahela does at the hospital she works at. "I'm not a doctor, obviously, but I do spend a lot of my time in a professional setting with adults, and having adult expectations placed on you and living that double life of being a professional and then also being a teenager," she said. "As the series progresses we see Lahela navigating that and balancing those two worlds."
Kamealoha also stars Kathleen Rose Perkins, Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman, Jason Scott Lee, Mapana Makia, Matthew Sato, Emma Meisel, and Ronny Chieng. The new show was created by Kourtney Kang, who previously worked on How I Met Your Mother. Each episode will focus on a single medical case, as well as Lahela's personal life. There was also a doctor on set to ensure authenticity in the show's medical scenes.
Although Harris is not involved in the reboot (yet), he has endorsed the project. "I'm so happy," Harris told Variety in February. "The creator of it was a big producer on How I Met Your Mother. I think setting it with a female protagonist is a great call… I think it's in really good hands. I feel like it's a passion project for many and I can't wait to watch it."