The untitled series is about Janet Zhao, a first generation Chinese-American woman who struggles to set healthy boundaries with her crazy, exhausting family. When her wealthy grandmother dies and names Janet the sole inheritor, she suddenly finds herself the unwilling new matriarch of the family she’s spent her life trying to keep at arm’s length.
The pilot is a co-production of ABC Studios, Imagine Television Studios, and CBS Television Studios. Gao is the writer and executive producer on the project. Brian Grazer, Francie Calfo, and Samie Kim Falvey of Imagine will also executive produce. This marks Imagine Television’s first network pilot pickup as an independent production company.
Gao was part of the “Rick and Morty” team that took home this year’s Emmy for outstanding animated program. Adult Swim submitted the third season episode “Pickle Rick” for consideration, on which Gao was the writer. The episode has been hailed as one of the show’s best. Gao’s other writing credits include shows like “Silicon Valley,” “Lab Rats,” “Robot Chicken,” and “Bajillion Dollar Propertie$.” She also co-hosts the podcast “Whiting Wongs” with “Rick and Morty” co-creator Dan Harmon.
She is repped by ICM, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Morris Yorn.