Comedy Central has given series orders to two half-hour scripted comedies – the self-titled Awkwafina starring the multi-hyphenate Crazy Rich Asians star, and co-starring BD Wong, and Robbie, from Rory Scovel and Gary Sanchez Productions, with Beau Bridges. Sasheer Zamata and Mary Holland. Both had been previously ordered to pilot as part of Comedy Central’s 2018-2019 development slate announcement in April. Since then, Awkwafina’s popularity exploded with the success of Crazy Rich Asians, landing her a hosting gig on Saturday Night Live. She has two films going to Sundance, The Farewell and Paradise Hills.
Comedy Central has ordered ten episodes of Awkwafina and eight episodes of Robbie. The pickups come amid ratings growth for Comedy Central which finished the fiscal year up 6% among adults 18-49. It was the network’s highest-rated year among Women 18-49 (+13%) since 2014. Comedy Central also saw strong multiplatform growth with nearly 4.7 billion videos streamed across digital and social platforms for year-over-year increases of +63% and +57%, respectively.
Written by Awkwafina, Karey Dornetto (SMILF) and Teresa Hsiao (Family Guy) and directed by Lucia Aniello (Broad City), Awkwafina stars the writer, actor and rapper as a twenty-something living in Queens, striving for a larger than life existence while living with her father and grandmother. BD Wong and Lori Tan Chinn also star.
“This is a special project. Inspired by Awkwafina’s formative years in Queens, the show is both a personal look into one of comedy’s brightest stars and also a relatable, funny profile of a young hustler’s struggle,” said Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, EVP and Co-Heads of Talent and Development for Comedy Central. “We’re happy to be used as a pawn in Awkwafina’s elaborate, EGOT endgame.”
Awkwafina executive produces with Dornetto, Aniello, Karey Dornetto, Peter Principato and Itay Reiss of Artists First. Hsiao is co-executive producer.
“I’ve been watching Comedy Central since I was old enough to hold a remote, and so many of their shows have defined who I am today,” said Awkwafina. “I am so honored to be given their platform to tell the story of an Asian American girl against the backdrop of the city I was raised.”
Written by Scovel and Anthony King, Robbie stars Scovel as a small town church league basketball coach living in his father’s shadow, until he realizes he has a son of his own who can lead him to greatness. Newly cast are Beau Bridges as Robbie’s father, Sasheer Zamata and Mary Holland.
Scovel, King, and Scott Moran are executive producers. Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Betsy Koch and Owen Burke executive produce for Gary Sanchez Productions. Payman Benz directed the pilot. Scovel previously appeared on the series premiere of Comedy Central’s stand-up show The Half Hour.