“Extremely compelling famous person translates ’90s immigrant experience into ABC show” is apparently TV’s hottest new subgenre.
Minaj’s series will air on ABC Family rather than ABC itself, but the similarities between the pop star’s new project and Eddie Huang’s sitcom Fresh Off the Boat are undeniable. According to a press release from the network, the single-cam comedy will focus on “Minaj and her family’s immigration from Trinidad in the early 1990s.” It’s proven a winning formula for Fresh Off the Boat, so why not replicate its success?
Minaj will serve as a producer on the as-yet untitled series, and Deadline reports she’ll also appear onscreen, though one imagines her demanding schedule will prevent her from being a full-blown cast member. (Fingers crossed she’ll settle for Huang-style voiceovers throughout.) Kate Angelo, writer of Sex Tape and former Will & Grace producer, will write; the pilot will be shot in Queens, where Minaj grew up, this winter. There’s no casting news as of yet, though speculation’s sure to heat up in the coming weeks.
While Minaj’s involvement will (justifiably) grab headlines, it’s also worth noting that the news introduces another series focused on people of color to a television landscape that’s increasingly diverse, though still overwhelmingly white. Given the success of Fresh Off the Boat, Empire, black-ish, and its sister network’s Shondland bloc, the Minaj series is likely a solid bet on the part of ABC Family—which is already home to The Fosters, one of the most progressive shows on TV—but comes as welcome news nonetheless.