The comedy follows a young teenage boy, played by Pedrad, in the throes of adolescence who is tasked with being the man of the house, which leaves him with all the responsibilities of being an adult without any of the perks.
“I’m thrilled to be able to portray a Middle Eastern family not working for or against Jack Bauer on network TV,” remarked Pedrad, who also co-wrote the script. “Also, a big thank you to Fox for understanding that my true essence is that of an awkward and misguided 14-year-old boy.”
The pilot marks a huge step in diversity for Fox — and broadcast television.
In pitching the project, Pedrad, who is drawing upon her upbringing and heritage for the pilot, stressed her desire to portray a realistic Iranian American family living in the U.S., representing not only the Iranian American community, but also offering an authentic portrayal of the larger immigrant experience. Sources close to the show say the series aims to be relatable to all teenagers who experience struggles with fitting in.
ABC has made strides in diversifying their slate with two comedies revolving around non-white families: “Black-ish” and “Fresh Off the Boat,” which like “Chad,” also deals with a young boy feeling like a misfit amidst American culture.
Insiders say religion is not a big element in the potential series’ storyline, but Pedrad’s pilot greenlight comes after President Barack Obama’s recent comments during a mosque visit earlier this month when he called for more television shows with Muslim characters that are unrelated to national security, saying, “It’s not that hard to do … There was a time when there were no black people on television. You can tell good stories while still representing a reality of our communities.”
“Chad: An American Boy” hails from 20th Century Fox and co-scribes Pedrad and Rob Rosell. Michael Rotenberg and Dave Becky will exec produce the single-cam, half hour comedy, along with Jason Winer who will also direct the pilot.
The project has been a hot property since the beginning of pilot season when the script hit the desks of Fox execs, who sources say immediately jumped at it. The pilot comes following Pedrad’s deal made with Fox in early 2015 to create and star in a show.
Pedrad starred in Fox’s “Scream Queens” and recurs on “New Girl.” She starred in the network’s short-lived comedy “Mulaney,” after exiting “Saturday Night Live” where she gained much popularity for her satirical portrayal of Kim Kardashian, among other impressions. She is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and Warren Dern.