Annual Meetings with ABC and CBS Filled with Good News for AAPIs

FreshOfftheBoatABC and CBS rolled out their fall programming last week in meetings with JACL Executive Director Priscilla Ouchida and Daniel Mayeda, Co-Chairs of the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition (APAMC). The Coalition was founded in 1999 as part of a national multi-ethnic coalition to increase diversity both in front of and behind the camera.

Paul Lee, President of ABC Entertainment Group, announced that the network’s new programming will include “Fresh Off the Boat,” a sit-com based on Eddie Huang’s memoir and featuring an Asian American family. The show is the first Asian American prime-time series in 20 years since Margaret Cho’s “All American Girl.” A preview of the show was shown at the San Jose National JACL Convention, and was well-received. Other programs include “Selfie” starring John Cho in a comedy roughly based on “My Fair Lady.” Setting a historic precedent, ABC is rolling out a diverse schedule that includes “Black-ish,”an African-American sitcom, and “Christela,” a Latina comedy.

Nina Tassler, Chairman of CBS Entertainment, unveiled “Stalker,” an intense crime drama starring Maggie Q. Stalker will be the second CBS series to start an Asian American female (“Elementary” stars Lucy Liu). A clip from “Stalker” was also shared at the 2014 National JACL Convention. CBS’ 2014-15 season will showcase 15 Asian American Pacific Islander regulars, the most of the four major networks. Writers for “Hawaii Five-O,” which was renewed for the season, will be recognized at this year’s JACL Salute to Champions Gala for the Honouliuli episode which aired in December 2013.

“Now that networks are making a commitment to Asian American programming, it is important the community support the shows through viewership,” said Ouchida. “This is a breakthrough season for Asian Americans which are the fastest growing population in the United States.”

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