ABC renews 15 shows, including ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Quantico’

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LA Times:
ABC has picked up season three of Fresh Off The Boat, along with renewals for Once Upon a Time, The Goldbergs and Quantico. Word on the street has it that Fresh Off The Boat is getting renewed for a full twenty-two episode order right out of the gate.

As confirmed by actor Ian Chen on Twitter, the network also renewed for a third season the family comedy “Fresh Off the Boat,” the tale of an Asian American family in the late ’90s as they move from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Fla., to pursue their dream of restaurant ownership.

Loosely based on the life and memoir of chef Eddie Huang, “Fresh Off the Boat” received a second season order for 13 episodes in May, with ABC ordering an additional nine episodes in October and an additional two in November.

Freshman series “Quantico” landed a second season pickup, as implied by showrunner Joshua Safran on Twitter, thanks in part to the show’s strong ratings. The series is Sunday’s top-scripted among adults 18-49 and also serves as a feather in the network’s diversity cap. Priyanka Chopra, best known in Bollywood and as a former Miss World, stars as an FBI recruit suspected of carrying out a terrorist attack, trying to work out the true tale via flashback.


 

ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat” and Panda Express, America’s favorite Chinese restaurant, are joining together to celebrate Chinese New Year

Broadway World:

ABC‘s “Fresh Off the Boat” and Panda Express, America’s favorite Chinese restaurant, are joining together to celebrate Chinese New Year and encourage viewers and guests alike to join in on the celebration. Panda Express restaurants across the country will display special branded “Fresh Off the Boat” Chinese New Year Posters and table tents featuring the Huangs.

To see how the Huang family celebrates Chinese New Year, viewers can watch “Fresh Off the Boat” when it returns with an all-new episode on Tuesday, February 2 (8:00-8:30 p.m. EST).

Episode:
“Year of the Rat” – The Huangs are getting everything in order to celebrate Chinese New Year with their family in Washington, D.C. But a mix-up with their plane tickets forces them to spend the holiday in Orlando. Scrambling to find other Asians to celebrate with, they stumble upon the Asian-American Association of Orlando, which is hosting a less than authentic interpretation of a Chinese New Year celebration.

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To encourage learning about the history and traditions surrounding Chinese New Year and share ideas to help consumers join the celebration, Panda Express created a special website, CelebrateCNY.com.

The site features an animated video about the 15-day festival, activities for kids and special classroom curriculum for teachers. Other site features include an app that helps visitors send New Year’s greetings through virtual red envelopes, a guide to find your Chinese zodiac sign and information on special in-store offers for February 8, the first day of Chinese New Year.

More than six million students have learned about Chinese New Year through Panda’s education materials since 2007.

Hudson Yang of ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and Aziz Ansari’s ‘Master of None’ nominated for NAACP Image Awards

NBC:

ABC‘s “Fresh Off the Boat” is loosely inspired by celebrity chef Eddie Huang‘s memoir of the same name and stars Hudson Yang as a young Huang, as well as Randall Park as his father, Louis, and Constance Wu as his mother, Jessica. Wu has been nominated for her role in “Fresh Off the Boat” in both the 2015 Critic’s Choice Television Awards and the Television Critics Association Awards.

On Dec. 1, “Fresh Off the Boat” released an in-character cast video and social media campaign under the hashtag #makeitrightFOTB lobbying for a Golden Globe nomination.

Among the nominees for the 47th annual NAACP Image Awards is “Master of None,” Aziz Ansari‘s Netflix series released earlier this fall. Co-creators Ansari and Alan Yang received a nomination for their writing of “Parents,” the second episode of the series, and Ansari was nominated for Outstanding Director for the same episode.

Kelvin Yu (left) talks with Aziz Ansari (right) in a scene in Netflix’s “Master of None.” 

“Parents” deals with second-generation main characters Dev, portrayed by Ansari, and Brian, portrayed by Kelvin Yu, thanking their first-generation parents for sacrifices made during their parents’ journeys to the United States. The pair take their parents out to dinner where they learn about their parents’ youth and upbringing.

The 47th annual NAACP Image Awards is scheduled to take place on Feb. 5, 2016.

NY Post: Ken Jeong “totally vindicated” by the success of his show Dr. Ken

 

NY Post (by Robert Rorke and Andrea Morabito):

After first exposing himself to audiences as “The Hangover’s” naked gangster Leslie Chow, Ken Jeong is taking on a much more grounded character in “Dr. Ken,” loosely based on his own past as a physician. With the comedy now picked up for a full season, Jeong fielded questions from The Post about turning his life into TV.

“Dr. Ken” got panned by critics — do you feel vindicated, now that ratings have been good?
In a word, yes. I feel totally vindicated because all the reviews were based on a pilot script that was in gestation for a long time, and I knew that the subsequent series episodes are much better in quality and will sustain the show. After the pilot, I knew we had room for improvement, and during the 10 weeks of pre-production, I was in the writers’ room every day, ensuring we would improve every aspect of the show from the writing to the characters to the quality of storylines, and we succeeded.

Dr. Ken air on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. on ABC

‘Dr. Ken’ is this fall’s first new comedy to score a full-season order from the networks

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Hollywood Reporter:

Dr. Ken, a surprise hit on ABC‘s Friday block, is now the fourth broadcast freshman of the 2015-16 (and the second at ABC) to score a full season. The network has ordered a back nine episodes be produced, bringing the multicam sitcom’s order to a full 22.

Starring Community vet Ken Jeong, and loosely based on his own life, Dr. Ken is among the strongest first-year comedies of the fall. Often building on its lead-in from fellow broad comedy Last Man Standing, the series is averaging an impressive 6.6 million viewers and a 1.5 rating among adults 18-49. This past Friday, averaging a night-of 1.3 rating in the key demo and 5.8 million viewers, it also proved to be immune from comedy competition from NBC — which is airing its own comedy block in Friday’s 8 p.m. hour this fall to far less success.

Dr. Ken joins NBC’s Blindspot, Fox’s Rosewood and ABC’s Quantico as one of the few series to get a full season — and that comes as we enter the fifth week of fall TV.

NBA star Jeremy Lin to guest Star on ‘Fresh Off the Boat’

Charlotte Hornets point guard Jeremy Lin is following in Shaq’s footsteps, at least in his acting career. The NBA star has booked a guest-starring role on ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat.

Lin, who plays basketball with the Charlotte Hornets, will play Chau, a worker with Louis (Randall Park) in a factory, who frustrates Louis with his opinions on the movie “Pretty in Pink.”

In the first look photo (above), it appears Chau will appear in a flashback from Louis’ less successful early days.

The series, set in 1995, revolves around 11-year-old, hip-hop-loving Eddie Huang (Hudson Yang) whose family has just moved from Washington, D.C.’s Chinatown to suburban Orlando, Fla., so that the family patriarch Louis (Park) can follow his American dream of opening a Western-themed restaurant.

ABC renewed the sitcom for a second season ahead of its Upfront presentation in May, along with fellow freshman comedies “black-ish” and “Galavant” (starring Karen David).

“Fresh Off the Boat” will return for Season 2 on Tuesday, Sept. 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

Ken Jeong moves to center stage on ABC comedy ‘Dr. Ken’

Ken Jeong: I Was an 'Intense' Doctor Before I Became an Actor

LA Times (by Greg Braxton):

Comedian Ken Jeong used to be a doctor in real life. Now he’s playing one on TV. The outrageous Jeong, who has been a reliable comedic sprinkle in movies (“The Hangover” franchise) and TV shows (“Community“), is moving to center stage with his own sitcom, ABC’s “Dr. Ken.”

Although Jeong is the main focus, he stressed that the series is an ensemble show with its settings in the medical office and his home.

It’s ensemble driven, with my life as a doctor serving as a building block,” said Jeong at a Television Critics Assn. press tour presentation.

When one reporter at the session pointed out that ABC was the same network that programmed the ill-fated “American Girl” with Margaret Cho 20 years ago, Jeong said that he was very involved in his show, both as a writer and a producer, and that Cho likely was not allowed that level of creative participation.

The series features Jeong as a brilliant physician whose bedside manner can be best described as “edgy.” Although he is trying to get better, his staff is always after him to be nicer. He’s also a devoted husband and father who is overprotective of his two children.

He jokingly referred to himself as a “second-generation Asian American Fred MacMurray,” referring to the classic father figure in the 1960s sitcom “My Three Sons.”

Jeong was a physician in an HMO several years ago, doing stand-up comedy on the side. He said he was very intense and serious as a doctor and that his patients were relieved when they learned that he had a sideline as a comedian.

They said, ‘It’s so good you have a hobby,’ ” Jeong said. When Judd Apatow cast him as a doctor in “Knocked Up,” Jeong won raves for his comic timing and persona.

“‘Knocked Up’ changed my life,” he said. His wife encouraged him to pursue show business full time.

Jeong is one of the executive producers and a writer for “Dr. Ken.”

Priyanka Chopra stars in ABC series ‘Quantico’

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Audrey Magazine: 

It has been announced that ABC has made an order for the new series Quantico, which will star Bollywood’s biggest actress Priyanka Chopra, and is set to air this coming fall.

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The thriller television series follows a group of young FBI recruits as they go through their training at the Quantico base in Virginia. Amongst the recruits, Chopra will be playing the protagonist, Alex Weaver, a young woman who wants to learn more about her past and believes that the FBI is the place to find answers.

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Learning to be an actor and understanding the craft was a huge challenge for me,” says Chopra in her interview with Audrey Magazine.

I didn’t go to acting school. My [previously] desired career path was to be an engineer. So I listened, observed and absorbed everything that was happening around me. It gave me the foundation that I needed to build on and really paid off.”

Oh boy, did it pay off. On top of being a big time Bollywood actress, a Miss World title holder and a chart-topping singer, she now can add “the first Bollywood actress to star in an ABC series” to the list.

Be sure to tune in to Quantico this coming fall to catch Priyanka Chopra in action!

Modern day women transform into historical beauty figures

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Audrey Magazine:

Societal ideals of beauty are constantly shifting. For instance, a recent ambition for many women in the United States is no longer looking like a thin runway model. Instead, many want to look healthy and strong while embracing curves (think Beyonce). We like big butts and we cannot lie! Of course, ideals of beauty vary from culture to culture.

Buzzfeed took three women from different ethnicities and transformed them into historical figures that represented the cultural beauty of that specific time. The results? Beautiful transformations and makeup looks! Check out the video below:

Despite how entertaining the video was, I’m left wondering what exactly are the components of these traditional beauty looks? What’s the cultural and historical significance?

Let’s take a peek back into history.

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Traditional Indian Beauty


The first woman in the video expresses that she is Hindu and “everything that Indians do has a meaning or culture to it.” This concept is also reflected in their ideals of beauty. Women, and sometimes men, wear “kajal” which is essentially eyeliner. It’s believed that wearing kajal would strengthen their sight and protect the wearer from bad luck.

What about the dots? Although the makeup artist took a creative route with this look, the dots represents the traditional “bindi.” The bindi is a dot between the eyebrows and is worn for spiritual and religious purposes. It comes in many shapes, sizes and colors, but it is traditionally red, which represents love and honor.

 

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Chinese Beauty from the Tang Dynasty


The third woman in the video shares that she is an “ABC” or “American-born Chinese.” During the Tang Dynasty, there was prosperity. As a result, women who were more plump were considered beautiful because they were able to live a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle.

I love that bold lip color, don’t you? Lips were considered to be the sexiest part of a woman, so what better way to draw attention to them than wearing a bold color? Women in the Tang Dynasty would even dye their lips to achieve that cherry hue. But one thing hasn’t changed. For women in China smooth, light skin sans imperfections has been considered beautiful for thousands of years.

 

The New Yorker: “Home Cooking- Funny families on ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ and ‘Black-ish.’ ”

If “Fresh Off the Boat” emphasizes family warmth, it’s complicated by sharp details.

If “Fresh Off the Boat” emphasizes family warmth, it’s complicated by sharp details. (Illustration by David Saracino)

The New Yorker (by Emily Nussbaum): 

Like many pioneering TV series, ABC’s “Fresh Off the Boat,” a sitcom about a Taiwanese-American family running a Western-themed chophouse in Orlando, Florida, débuted to impossibly high expectations, hand-wringing, and prickly waves of preëmptive backlash. In an unusual twist, this hazing came from the man whose life the show was based on.

In an essay in New York, Eddie Huang, the celebrity chef, Vice TV host, and author of the memoirFresh Off the Boat,” merrily trash-talked his own collaborators, including a Chinese-American producer, whom he called an “Uncle Chan,” and the showrunner, Nahnatchka Khan, an Iranian-American. “What did you buy my book for?” Huang yelled, frustrated that the show had bowdlerized his story, which included whippings by his father, an immigrant restaurant owner. “Just make A Chinks Life . . . With Free Wonton Soup or Soda.” Thousands of words in, Huang tossed out a few lines of praise, but the impression he left wasn’t great—if he saw his sitcom as a sellout, who were viewers to disagree?

At the heart of this rant was the question of what makes TV bold: Huang wanted something pungent, like an FX anti-hero dramedy, or like the nineties sitcom “Married with Children,” the type of show that would underline (and maybe glamorize) his violent youth, his charismatic dick of a dad, and the roots of Huang’s own flamboyant persona. That desire wasn’t sheerly egotistical: Huang was eager to push back at the cliché of Asian men as passive, genitally cheated nerds (“the eunuch who can count,” as he puts it in the book)—a Long Duk Dong stereotype still visible on shows like CBS’s “2 Broke Girls.” Huang wanted “Fresh Off the Boat” to “go hard,” like his nineties hip-hop heroes. In the process, he was claiming TV’s own bad-boy role, the provocateur who shoves authenticity down the throat of The Man. Think Roseanne; think Louis C.K. and Dave Chappelle.

In reality, of course, the bad-boy provocateur very rarely gets final cut on a network family sitcom—it’s a genre more prone to compromise than a Senate bill. Even the edgiest shows have limits: Al Bundy never hit Peggy, after all. So it’s no surprise that, aesthetically, “Fresh Off the Boat” fits right into ABC’s sweet-tempered slate of comedies, which includes the subtly retrograde “Modern Family,” the wonderful “The Middle,” “The Goldbergs,” “Black-ish”—a smart new show that I’ll get to in a moment—and the unfortunately bland “Cristela.” Like all these shows, “Fresh Off the Boat” is brightly lit, with an A plot and a B plot. The jokes aren’t dirty and nobody gets his butt whipped. The parents—patriotic restaurant-manager dad, Louis (Randall Park), and proudly alienated mom, Jessica (the terrific Constance Wu)—love one another. There’s even a “Wonder Years”-esque voice-over, performed by Huang, and an ensemble of adorable children. It’s a comedy the whole family can watch together—which may be either an insult or a compliment, but is definitely a business plan.

Yet, even in its half-dozen early episodes, those burnt first pancakes of sitcoms, the show has a radical quality, simply because it arrives in a television landscape with few Asian characters, almost none of them protagonists. Khan, the showrunner (who wrote for Seth MacFarlane, and who produced the wicked ABC sitcom “Don’t Trust the B—— in Apartment 23”), is her own sort of provocateur, an expert at slipping rude ideas into polite formats. She uses the Asian-American family to reset TV’s defaults. The characters aren’t the hero’s best friends; they’re not macho cartoons or eye candy, either, as on some cable dramas I could name. This can be an unpleasantly clinical way to talk: it places the critic in the camp of the bean counters, not the gonzo rapscallions. But simply watching people of color having a private conversation, one that’s not primarily about white people, is a huge deal. It changes who the joke is on. “Fresh Off the Boat” is part of a larger movement within television, on shows that include the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” and Fox’s “Empire”—a trend that’s most influential when it creates a hit, not a niche phenomenon.

Reading the book, then watching the show, you get why Huang was frustrated: without a cruel bully for a father, Eddie’s taste for hip-hop feels more superficial—in the book, it’s an abused kid’s catharsis and an identification with black history. But, if the show emphasizes family warmth, that theme is complicated by sharp sociological details: the only black kid in the school calls Eddie a “Chink” and smirks at his hip-hop T-shirt; Jessica grabs every free sample at the supermarket, then gives the employee a hilariously dismissive wave; Louis hires a white host to attract customers (“A nice happy white face, like Bill Pullman,” he explains firmly). There’s no violence, but there are specific immigrant perspectives, shown through multiple lenses.

In one of Khan’s most effective gambits, we see Eddie through his mother’s eyes as often as we see her through his. In the book, Jessica is a brazen, mysterious goad to her son; on the show, she’s a full character, Eddie’s equal in cultural alienation, even if her escape is Stephen King, not the Notorious B.I.G. In one of the most interesting early episodes, mother and son are both drawn to Honey, a trophy wife who lives next door. Eddie sees a hot MILF he can show off to the boys; Jessica sees a kindred spirit who will eat her “stinky tofu” and bond over “Dolores Claiborne”—then pulls away when she realizes that Honey is the town home-wrecker. The show hits every awkward angle of this triangle, including a surreal fantasy sequence in which Eddie, inspired by his hero Ol’ Dirty Bastard, sprays Capri Sun on gyrating video vixens. (His mom intrudes, complaining that he’s wasting juice, while his father offers the women free samples from the restaurant: “Come on, Fly Girls. Try a rib! Tell a friend.”)

In the final scene, at a block party, everyone’s loneliness collides, as Eddie gropes Honey, and Jessica sees her neighbor’s humiliation. Opening her heart to a fellow-outsider, Jessica seizes the karaoke mike to serenade Honey with an awkward, earnest rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” The sequence doesn’t “go hard”; it goes soft, quite deliberately. But somehow it still manages to find strangeness within its sentimentality. “Fresh Off the Boat” is unlikely to dismantle the master’s house. But it opens a door.

ABC’s other new family sitcom, “Black-ish,” created by Kenya Barris and Larry Wilmore (who left to do “The Nightly Show,” on Comedy Central), has had fifteen episodes, giving it more of a chance to grow than “Fresh Off the Boat”—and in that time the series has transformed from hokey formula into one of the goofiest, most reliably enjoyable comedies around. Early on, the show kept aggressively re-stating its thesis: Andre (Dre), a successful adman, is worried that his four kids aren’t black enough. Growing up rich in a white suburb, they don’t remember a time before Obama; Andre Junior is a nerd, not a thug. Andre’s biracial wife, Rainbow, an anesthesiologist, is less concerned about race. Each week, Dre tries to toughen the kids up, terrified that if they don’t get “blacker” he’ll have failed as a father.

The problem with the show, initially, was that Andre himself felt so off-putting—childlike and abrasive, a man-baby in the Homer Simpson mode—that it was hard to buy his marriage or his success, let alone his lessons. Rainbow, played by the fantastic Tracee Ellis Ross, was trapped in the gruesome role of wife-as-mommy, the sighing goody-goody. It’s hard to even remember that version, though, because, once “Black-ish” settled in, it began, like so many smart sitcoms, a quiet reinvention. Andre got more insightful; Rainbow became a glamorous dork with a temper and her own loose-limbed charisma; the kids clicked, too; and Andre’s workplace became a reliably hilarious setting for him to brainstorm about his troubles. It helped that he began to acknowledge his own outsized personality, too, rather than presenting it as interchangeable with authentic urban blackness. “I’m a lot,” Andre says, about his parenting. “If they can get past me, they can get past anything.”

A funny Valentine’s Day episode featured a date night that went downhill—a sitcom chestnut that paid off, miraculously, owing to sharp dialogue and the couple’s great chemistry. Andre and Rainbow sniped over his mispronouncing the word as “Valentimes.” They revisited a childbirth scenario so awkward that the doctor asked her, “You mean he’s actually part of your life? Because plenty of women successfully raise children alone.” They argued over whether or not Andre saw Gene Hackman at a roller rink. (“You think everyone is Gene Hackman!” Rainbow fumes.) In the best tradition of the mainstream sitcom, the show felt both new and familiar, giving the show’s marriage emotional roots.

As these relationships became more organic, “Black-ish” also got looser with its ethnic humor, with plots about Andre competing to be a black Santa Claus (he loses out to a Mexican woman) and microaggressions on a baseball field. When Rainbow notices a gray pubic hair, Andre tells her, “You look distinguished, going all Frederick Douglass down there.” When their daughter dates a French boy, a co-worker of Andre’s says, “I cheated on my husband with a French-Canadian. His Frenchness was so powerful that I forgot he was Canadian.” Andre’s mother tells Rainbow, “You are too hard on the kids. If I didn’t know you were mixed, I’d swear you were Chinese.”

In the show’s most outrageous episode, a ski trip becomes an outlandish parody of Martin Luther King Day. Rainbow throws sardonic air quotes onto “Doctor,” because King had no medical degree; Andre Junior admits that he’s never fully absorbed King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, because “I always kind of zone out when people start to tell me about their dreams.” The jokes overlapped, turning flippant, wild, verging on misfire—an elbow in the ribs of boomer earnestness. In a safe sitcom structure, it was a different kind of risk: inside jokes in an outside voice.