Geek streak goes on with Wu, ABC


Geeks continue to be a hot commodity at the broadcast networks. On the eve of the hyped premieres of NBC's "Chuck" and CBS' "The Big Bang Theory" -- both with nerds at the center -- ABC has picked up "Foobar," a one-hour ensemble from filmmaker Alice Wu set at a fictional software company.

The project, which has received a script commitment, hails from Sony Pictures TV and Original Films.

"It's a show about a lot of very smart, highly verbal people who are relationship retards running one of the most admired companies in the world," Wu said.

She knows those people well because she is one of them. Before venturing into filmmaking, Wu worked as a software developer at Microsoft.

After a couple of internships at the software company, Wu started there in 1992 after graduating from Stanford with a master's in computer science.

"There is something very special about coming out of school and starting your adult life in that environment where you live, breathe and do everything together," said Wu, who hopes to translate that coming-of-age feel to her first TV project.

Wu had always aspired to become a writer, but her Chinese immigrant parents were looking for a more secure future for her.

"If you prove a theorem in math, no one can say you're wrong. If you write a book, they can choose not to read it," her mom used to tell her.

Wu followed her parents' advice and pursued a career in computer science. But she never gave up on her dream and, while at Microsoft, signed up for a screenwriting class where she penned a feature script, "Saving Face." Encouraged by her screenwriting teacher -- and to the disapproval of her family, colleagues and friends -- she left Microsoft in the late '90s to try to get "Face" made. She gave herself a five-year window to do that.

Wu barely made it: The five-year deadline hit as she was starting production on "Face."

Wu is repped by CAA and attorney Todd Rubenstein.