ABC continues its quest to tell the stories of the diverse families that make up America. The latest effort is a single-camera comedy from former Friends executive producer/co-showrunner Andrew Reich and author, scholar and TV host/producer Reza Aslan. The project, from ABC Studios, is part of a new overall deal Reich has signed with the studio.
Written by Reich and Aslan, the untitled single-camera comedy centers on an Iranian-American family from San Jose, CA, who each take a very different approach to questions of tradition and identity. Reich and Aslan, an Iranian-American who grew up in the San Francisco Bay area, executive produce. BoomGen Studios, the storytelling company founded by Aslan and Mahyad Tousi, also is getting an executive producing credit.
Last season, Reich wrote and executive produced the ABC/ABC Studios comedy Pearl, which went to pilot with Candice Bergen starring. The project is now being redeveloped as part of the current cycle. Reich, whose series credits also include Rules of Engagement and Worst Week, is repped by WME.
Aslan, as internationally recognized writer and scholar of religions, is a consulting producer on the HBO spirituality-themed drama series The Leftovers and executive producer and host of CNN’s upcoming documentary series, Believer. His best-selling books include Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth, which has been optioned by Lionsgate and producer David Heyman with a script penned by James Schamus. Aslan is repped by UTA and Bloom Hergott.
ABC has been on a roll with the success of the Emmy-nominated African-American family comedy Black-ish and Fresh Off the Boat, about an Asian-American Family. Additionally, the network has solidly rated new Friday sitcom Dr. Ken, which also has an Asian-American family at the center. ABC also has tried to launch a Latino family comedy with Cristela, which ran for one season, and again last year with the Gabriel Iglesias pilot.
Long before ABC built up a roster of multi-cultural family comedies, the network in 2009 gave a pilot order to Funny In Farsi, a comedy about an Iranian-American family. It was one of two major recent attempts at a comedy series about an Iranian-American family along with Nasim Pedrad’s Chad, which went to a pilot stage at Fox last season.