ABC has ordered a currently untitled series based on a similar themes as the movie Crazy Rich Asians. They announced on Monday that they have ordered the pilot of the show that is that has a working title of Lazy Rich Asians. Jessica Gao, who wrote for such famous comedies as Rick and Morty and Silicon Valley, will be writing the script. She will also act as executive producer of the single-camera comedy along with Brian Grazer from Imagine TV and Francie Calfo, as well as Samie Falvey, the president of Imagine TV. For those unaware of what a single-camera comedy entails, it is similar to a film production in that only one camera is used rather than a typical two-camera or multi-camera style that most television shows would use in order to save time while often compromising quality. This means viewers can expect a high quality production for the show.
Since becoming an indie production company/studio, this will be Imagine’s first pilot order, with a co-production between two major companies: ABC Studios and CBS TV Studios. It will also mark ABC’s seventh comedy and 16th pilot series for the season, which is less than last year’s. However, the track record of Crazy Rich Asians proves this move to likely be a hit. The box office grossed more than expected, with over $238.5 million worldwide. This success paved the way for Asian-American film and television, as well as for a rebirth of the romantic comedy genre.
Similar to the film, the story will feature a female Chinese-American making her way in a society that prizes independence while combating with her heritage, which places family and society before the individual. There are a few differences, however. The lead, Janet Zhao, has trouble setting boundaries for her crazy rich family, and when her grandmother passes away, she is left with the family fortune. This forces her into a role she not only is unwilling to take, but also that she has buried in her past while trying to make her own way without the help of her family’s wealth.
The series will continue a marked uptick in several areas with its female Asian-American lead originating in an indie production and created by an Asian-American female. Other such shows like Andi Mack and Fresh Off the Boat have increased since 2010. Watch Jessica Gao and other panelists discuss their writing careers with WGA West below.