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ABC is looking to turn yet another one of its long-running series into a franchise.
The network, as was reported Monday, is in early development on a Fresh Off the Boat spinoff. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the comedy, produced by now Disney-owned 20th Television, would feature an entirely new cast and central family rather than revolving around one character from the current ABC comedy.
Rachna Fruchbom — who has been with Fresh Off the Boat since season two — is attached to pen the script and exec produce alongside series EP Melvin Mar.
Additional details, including a formal logline, were not immediately available.
“I’m looking for some more disruptive ideas in terms of franchises, trying to harken back to what I think were some of the great brand-defining shows of ABC, which led narratively and were braver in their construct, shows like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Scandal. And also frankly, Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat,” ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke told The Hollywood Reporter on Monday.
A Fresh Off the Boat offshoot would be the latest series to be turned into a larger franchise at Disney-owned ABC. The network in the fall will launch Mixed-ish, the second spinoff to come from Peabody-winning comedy Black-ish (joining Freeform offshoot Grown-ish). Grey’s Anatomy has spawned two spinoffs — Private Practice and Station 19, with the latter returning next season. ABC’s 1980-something comedy The Goldbergs also has a 1990s-set spinoff Schooled.
Franchises are becoming increasingly valuable as broadcast, cable and streamers alike look for familiarity and an ability to cut through a cluttered landscape that is rapidly approaching 500 scripted originals. AMC has found success with Breaking Bad prequel Better Call Saul and has a third scripted series from mega-hit The Walking Dead coming next year; and HBO is looking to continue Game of Thrones with multiple prequel series in various stages of development. Amazon, meanwhile, has Lord of the Rings in the works, with sources noting that a $250 million global rights deal includes a potential spinoff. And those are just a handful of larger franchises with multiple series in the works.
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