Jason Lee to Star in ABC Comedy Pilot From 'Fresh Off the Boat' Creator

Jason Lee - Publicity - H 2020
Paul Jasmin

ABC is adding to its pilot slate.

The Disney-owned broadcaster has handed out a late-season pilot order to Valley Trash and tapped My Name Is Earl grad Jason Lee to star in the comedy from Speechless alum Niki Schwartz-Wright and Fresh Off the Boat creator Nahnatchka Khan.

Put into development back in November, when it received a put-pilot commitment, the single-camera comedy revolves around the Harmans, a scrappy blue-collar family living in the deep San Fernando Valley who suddenly experience a culture clash when their 14-year-old daughter, Abby, is accepted into a prestigious Los Angeles private high school filled with students and parents who want nothing to do with her, her family or their 818 area code.

Lee will star as Cal, a Southern, charming, rough-around-the-edges father of two whose passion in life is being a great dad and a loving husband. He’s a scrappy lawyer who has his face plastered on billboards and bus ads around the Valley and an office that sits above a Yoshinoya. Born and raised in a trailer park in South Texas, Cal is hyper-intelligent and has managed to scrape his way all the way to his tiny but love-filled little house in Van Nuys. He’s a good man who loves to go to bat for the underdog. 

Schwartz-Wright will pen the script and serve as showrunner. She will executive produce alongside Khan and her Fierce Baby production topper Jennifer Carreras. Lee will also be credited as a producer. Valley Trash hails from Universal Television, where Khan is under a new, rich overall deal. The potential series is a co-production between Universal TV — a division of NBCUniversal Content Studios — and 20th Century Fox Television, Khan's former home of nearly a decade. The pilot order brings Khan back to ABC less than week after the network bid her former comedy Fresh Off the Boat farewell.

Lee's credits include earning two Golden Globe nominations for his role on NBC's My Name Is Earl, TNT's Memphis Beat and, more recently, Jay & Silent Bob Reboot. He is repped by ICM, Imagine Artist Management and Hansen Jacobson.

For ABC, this is the network's 13th overall pilot order of the season and seventh comedy. The late order brings this year's total pilot volume to 58, down eight year-over-year and still a 10-year low.