The potential Fresh Off the Boat spinoff is taking shape. Bollywood star Preity G Zinta and Indian actor-comedian Vir Das (Whiskey Cavalier) have been tapped to guest star in an upcoming episode of Fresh Off the Boat, which could lead to a spinoff series, tentatively titled Magic Motor Inn.
Written by Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom, the episode centers around an Indian family whose daughter attends school with Eddie. The girl’s parents, DC and Meena, are played by Das and Zinta, respectively.
The episode from FOTB’s current sixth season, which starts filming on Nov. 18, is not a backdoor pilot like is the common practice, including the black-ish episode last season that served as a backdoor pilot for spinoff series mixed-ish. But it would serve as template for the proposed spinoff, Magic Motor Inn, which would star Zinta and Das. If the network opts to move forward, a regular pilot will be ordered during the traditional pilot season from FOTB producer, 20th Century Fox TV.
Indian American writer Fruchbom, who is under an overall deal at 20th TV, would be executive producing. Magic Motor Inn with FOTB executive producers Jake Kasdan and Melvin Mar.
Word first got out in August that 20th TV was in early stages of developing internally a potential FOTB spinoff with the series’ writer-producer Fruchbom to feature a new immigrant family from another country. At the time, the project had not been pitched to ABC yet but the network brass were interested.
Of its current crop of family comedies, ABC first tried spinning off flagship Modern Family. While that project did not go to series, the network entertainment president Karey Burke is not giving up hope for another offshoot of the Emmy-winning show.
ABC has three family comedy spinoff series on the air, the black-ish prequel mixed-ish (black-ish also spawned spinoff series grown-ish on Freeform), The Goldbergs sequel Schooled and Roseanne spinoff The Conners. All feature characters from the original series.
Fruchbom served as a writer for the first two seasons of Fresh Off The Boat and was upped to producer in Season 3. She previously worked on NBC’s Parks and Recreation. Fruchbom is repped by Gang Tyre.
Zinta is one of the most popular, highest-paid Hindi film actresses of the 2000s, one of the most influential actresses in Indian cinema and a champion of women’s rights in India. She has won a slew of Best Actress trophies at prestigious Indian film award franchises such as Bollywood Movie Awards, Filmfare and International Indian Film Academy Awards. She also won several Best Actress awards at international film festivals for her starring role in the Canadian film Heaven On Earth. She’s repped by Gersh and attorney Stuart Rosenthal.
In 2017, Das became the first Indian to have his own Netflix special, Abroad Understanding. Promoting the special, Das made his late-night American TV debut on Conan. His set (you can watch it below) did very well — it has garnered more that 2.6 million views on YouTube to date — and he has been invited back on the TBS show multiple times since. Earlier this year, Das made his American primetime series debut with a co-starring role on the ABC light drama series Whiskey Cavalier.