9:00am PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Crazy Rich Asians'-Themed Comedy Moving Forward at ABC
ABC's Crazy Rich Asians-esque comedy is moving forward.
The network Monday handed out a formal pilot order to the untitled comedy known around town with the working title of Lazy Rich Asians.
Jessica Gao — who won an Emmy for writing the "Pickle Rick" episode of Adult Swim's animated favorite Rick and Morty — will pen the script. She'll exec produce the single-camera comedy alongside Imagine TV's Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo and the company's TV president Samie Falvey. The latter returns to the Disney-owned network after previously serving as head of comedy at the broadcaster (with a pit stop at AwesomenessTV/Verizon). This is Imagine's first pilot order since becoming an indie production company/studio.
The single-camera comedy's logline takes a page right out of the blockbuster film: Janet Zhao, a first-generation Chinese-American woman who struggles to set healthy boundaries with her crazy, exhausting family. When her wealthy grandmother dies and names Janet the sole inheritor, she suddenly finds herself the unwilling new matriarch of the family she’s spent her life trying to keep at arm’s length.
The potential series is a co-production between ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios and marks the latter's first off-network sale (beyond corporate siblings CBS and The CW).
Lazy Rich Asians becomes ABC's 16th total pilot this season and seventh comedy (down from 23 and 10, respectively, from last year). It's also ABC's fourth single-camera order (off from seven last year).
The order for the comedy arrives as Crazy Rich Asians has defied box office expectations, grossing more than $238.5 million worldwide (with $174.5 million of that domestically) on a budget of $30 million. The feature film's success has opened the door for other Asian-American fronted TV and movie projects, while also helping to revive the rom-com genre.
Keep up with the latest broadcast pilot season pickups, castings and series orders with The Hollywood Reporter's annual guide.