8:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Fresh Off the Boat' Trio Team With ESPN's Jalen Rose for ABC Comedy Pilot
ABC is getting into the sports game with Jalen Rose.
The Disney-owned network is teaming with the former NBA star turned ESPN sports analyst for a semi-autobiographical comedy.
Written and executive produced by Fresh Off the Boat showrunner Nahnatchka Khan, marking her second pilot order of the season, Jalen vs. Everybody follows the former NBA player and current ESPN personality as he juggles his career responsibilities with the challenges of being a single dad.
Khan will exec produce via her 20th Century Fox Television-based Fierce Baby Productions banner. Fresh Off the Boat exec producers Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar (whose credits also include ABC's Speechless) also will exec produce alongside former 20th TV vp current programming turned Fierce Baby topper Mandy Summers.
The comedy is a co-production between 20th Century Fox TV, where Kasdan and Khan are based, and ABC Studios. It is ABC's first co-production of the season. Jalen vs. Everybody marks a natural extension for ABC, which is the home of the NBA Finals. (The pilot order comes as Fox — home of MLB's World Series — used a similar idea this season with baseball drama Pitch. That show remains firmly on the bubble after wrapping its run last year.)
Rose joined ESPN as a regular contributor for its NBA coverage. He was named a studio analyst for NBA Countdown — ABC and ESPN's pregame show — in 2012. He co-hosts national weekday program Jalen & Jacoby with David Jacoby on SiriusXM. He guest-starred in a Fresh Off the Boat episode last year and also founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy, a charter school in inner-city Detroit. He's repped by CAA's Nick Khan — who also happens to be Nahnatchka Khan's brother.
Jalen vs. Everybody arrives as sports-themed projects have been a hot genre this development season. The comedy also aligns two of Disney's biggest assets and, in success, will bring Rose's ESPN audience over to ABC. Other sports-themed projects in the works this season include NBC baseball comedy All Stars; NFL defensive end Calais Campbell's semi-autobiographical CBS family comedy; Simon Cowell, Ian Brennan and Diablo Cody's synchronized-swimming comedy at Fox; Michael Strahan's ABC drama about a Heisman Trophy winner turned cop; and LeBron James' sports-assistants comedy at CBS. Meanwhile, Michael B. Jordan's first project under his new Skydance production deal is the hoops drama Apollo Park.
This marks Khan's second pilot order of the young season, joining NBC's Kourtney Kang semi-autobiographical comedy. The Don't Trust the B— in Apartment 23 alum is also teaming with Son of Zorn's Sally Bradford McKenna for a workplace comedy at Fox.
The Rose brings ABC's comedy-pilot orders to 11 so far this season (off one from last year). Khan, Kasdan and Mar are with WME.