Paula Abdul will play herself in Kourtney Kang’s comedy pilot at NBC, Variety has learned.
The iconic triple threat has signed on as a series regular, should the pilot be greenlit to series.
The untitled comedy pilot is based on Kang’s life, and will explore what it’s like to grow up as the only girl in the only mixed race family in the suburbs of Philadelphia, dealing with real-world issues like race and gender while never losing focus of her life goal — to become a Laker Girl like her idol, Paula Abdul.
Young actress Isabella Russo will play the youthful lead, based on Kang’s childhood self.
Kang wrote the pilot and will serve as an executive producer with “Fresh Off the Boat” creator Nahnatchka Khan and Fred Savage, who will direct the pilot. All three are under deals at 20th Century Fox TV, which is behind the project, along with Khan’s Fierce Baby banner.
Abdul recently announced she would not be returning as a judge to Fox’s “So You Think You Can Dance,” stating the reason as going on tour. Should this NBC comedy pilot go to series, Abdul’s slate will be full.
Should the pilot go to series it would be Abdul’s first major acting role on television. She began her career as a Laker Girl, and was discovered by the Jacksons, who hired her as a choreographer for their video “Torture.” In 1988 she released her first pop album, “Forever Your Girl.” In recent years, Abdul has been known as a judge on realty competition series from “So You Think You Can Dance” and “American Idol” — which, funny enough, is in talks to be returning on NBC, of all places.