Fresh Off the Boat will not be back for a seventh season. The game-changing family comedy series end its run with an hour-long series finale on Friday, February 21 at 9 PM.
The decision was expected. Ratings for the series have not been particularly strong this fall on Friday. What’s more, most TV cast contracts are up after six seasons, and judging by star Constance Wu’s reaction to the Season 6 renewal in May, few expected that she would be eager to continue when her deal is up in May as her feature career had taken off with Crazy Rich Asians and Hustlers.
Other key auspices also have moved on or preparing their new chapter. FOTB creator Nahnatchka Khan earlier this year left her longtime studio home, 20th Century Fox TV, which produces FOTB, for a deal at Universal TV. And star Randall Park recently launched a production company, signing a first-look deal with 20th TV coming off the breakout success of Netflix’s romantic comedy Always Be My Maybe, which he co-wrote, produced and starred in. Park paid fond farewell to FOTB on Instagram, calling it “groundbreaking”, “hilarious and full of heart” and “humanizing”.
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In anticipation of the end, ABC and 20th TV are developing a potential spinoff series centered on an Indian family. Tentatively titled Magic Motor Inn, it features Bollywood star Preity G Zinta and Indian actor-comedian Vir Das (Whiskey Cavalier) and is written by FOTB writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom
“We couldn’t be prouder of this game-changing show and the impact it has had on our cultural landscape. The success of Fresh Off the Boat has helped pave the way for inclusion throughout the industry. Nahnatchka Khan and her brilliant creative team have created an unforgettable series with an Asian-American family front and center, something that hadn’t been done in two decades. The cast, led by Randall Park and Constance Wu, is one of the finest and funniest on television. We’ll miss the Huang family and are eternally grateful for the incredibly heartfelt stories they have told these past six seasons,” Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment said.
Created by Khan and based on the memoir by chef Eddie Huang, Fresh Off the Boat follows the Huang family — Mom, Dad, three young brothers and their Mandarin-speaking grandma — who move from Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown, to Orlando in the mid-1990s.
“I’m so proud of the show and what we’ve accomplished over the past six seasons,” said series creator Khan. “Thank you to everyone at ABC and 20th Century Fox Television for going on this ride with us. It was truly a special experience and hopefully will forever be a reminder of all the stories out there that deserve to be told. Like B.I.G. said, ‘And if you don’t know, now you know.’”
In a cultural context, the February 2015 debuting show is the first network sitcom fronted by an Asian-American family and actors since Margaret Cho’s All American Girl back in 1994, paving the way for crossover hits like Crazy Rich Asians and Always Be My Maybe.
In FOTB, Wu and Park portray the parents of rap-loving high schooler Eddie (Hudson Yang) and his younger sibs Emery (Forrest Wheeler) and Evan (Ian Chen). Lucille Soong plays the wheelchair-bound grandma who always knows more than she lets on.
Fresh Off the Boat was created for television by Khan, who also serves as consulting producer. Keith Heisler and Matt Kuhn are showrunners and executive producers. Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar also executive produce. 20th Century Fox Television, together with ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios, is a part of Disney Television Studios.
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When I first started in this business, all I wanted to do was work as an actor. Ideally in projects that paid money. It would be an added bonus if I got to work on something that was actually good and preferably not racist. A steady gig of any kind would’ve been beyond my wildest dreams. I would’ve been completely happy to be a funny neighbor or snarky co-worker. At the time, those were the kinds of roles that were available for folks like me, so I would’ve been fine with that. Then, Fresh Off The Boat came along, and it gave me all that and so much more. Aside from being a really great show made by incredibly talented people, it was also not racist! In fact, Fresh Off The Boat was the opposite. It was humanizing. It was hilarious and full of heart. It was groundbreaking. It was an Asian American family on television. For six seasons, I got to play a man of many dimensions: a loving father and husband, a friend, a boss… I got to laugh, to cry, to sing, to dance, to be a real human being. And to think I got paid in actual money! For something I would have happily done for free.* – – Thank you to Nahnatchka Khan, @chineseguy88, Jake Kasdan, @mreddiehuang, @20thcenfoxtv, @abcnetwork, Justin and Missy, Matt and Keith, our incredible writers, and the entire cast and crew for being the best humans. And most of all, THANK YOU TO THE FANS! . . (*To clarify, I would have done that first season for free. I would’ve needed to get paid for the remaining seasons. I have a family to feed.)
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