12:00pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
Paula Abdul to Star in NBC Comedy From 'Fresh Off the Boat' Team
NBC has found the perfect person to play Paula Abdul: Paula Abdul.
The singer-dancer-actress and former So You Think You Can Dance judge has been tapped to star in the network's comedy pilot from Fresh Off the Boat's Kourtney Kang and Nahnatchka Khan, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.
The single-camera comedy is based on Kang's life and explores what it's like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed-race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, dealing with real-world issues like race and gender while never losing focus of her life goal: to become a Laker Girl like her idol, Paula Abdul. Isabella Russo stars as the young girl.
Abdul will play herself and be a series regular should the pilot move forward. This will be Abdul's first series regular TV acting gig. Her previous small-screen gigs include American Idol and So You Think You Can Dance, which was renewed for next summer. Abdul, who will be out on tour, announced that she will not return to the series. The Grammy winner (for the video for "Opposites Attract") and Emmy-winning choreographer started her career as a cheerleader for the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers. She used that platform to segue to music video choreography before becoming a pop star with singles including "Straight Up," "Cold Hearted" and "Forever Your Girl," among others. She's repped by ICM Partners and Darris Hatch Management.
Fresh Off the Boat's Kang will pen the script for the untitled comedy and exec produce alongside Khan, Mandy Summers and Fred Savage, the latter of whom is on board to direct the pilot. Kenneth Choi, Rebecca Creskoff, Ben Taylor and Cade Izuno co-star.
Check out video of Abdul as a Laker Girl (starting at the 4:04 mark), below.