EXCLUSIVE: Fox has passed on Chad: An American Boy, the single-camera Middle-Eastern family comedy pilot starring Saturday Night Live alumna Nasim Pedrad as a teenage boy. I hear 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind the project created by Pedrad and Rob Rosell and directed by Jason Winer, is planning to aggressively shop it.
Fox took a creative swing with Chad, about a 14-year-old boy (Pedrad) in the throes of adolescence who is tasked with being the man of the house.
While Pedrad has played little-kid characters in sketches on SNL and FunnyOrDie, the concept is pretty revolutionary for mainstream television. I hear the pilot had fans both at the network and the studio but the network ultimately opted not to go to series.
I hear Chad will be shopped to broadcast, cable and streaming networks. A platform for Hulu, which is making a major push in comedy and picked up another half-hour show with a female creator/star that originated on Fox, The Mindy Project, is considered a possibility, along with Netflix, which has been open to comedies that give an authentic glimpse into different cultures and POVs, like Aziz Ansari’s Masters Of None. (Pedrad is guest starring on the upcoming season of The Mindy Project) 20th TV sibling FX traditionally has not been in the family comedy business but has a propensity for unconventional, absurdist shows like Wilfred or Baskets. FX also has a pilot co-created by and starring Pedrad’s sister Nina.
One of the main things that Chad has going for it is that there is nothing like it on TV, and that cannot be ignored in today’s extremely cluttered television landscape where it’s getting harder and harder for shows to stand out.
Chad, executive produced by Pedrad, Rosell, Winer and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Dave Becky, was a late pilot order, and its production was eventually pushed until after the upfronts because, citing the producers’ “commitment to authenticity,” the studio conducted a worldwide search for actors to play the members of Chad’s Middle-Eastern family, and some of the visas were not ready in time for the traditional pilot window.