Fresh Off the Boat found a place for itself in ABC's Friday roster, which is no small feat considering Friday primetime is hardly the most enviable place in a TV lineup. The show itself is apparently doing well enough that not only is ABC working on a spinoff, but the project just got some very good news. An upcoming episode of Fresh Off the Boat will introduce the stars of the spinoff.
Yes, an episode of Fresh Off the Boat set to introduce the characters who would star in the spinoff, according to Variety, with filming on the special episode kicking off in mid-November. Notably, the episode is not being described as a "backdoor pilot," a.k.a. an episode of an ongoing series dedicated to launching to a potential spinoff. Is this a sign that the characters could be kept around on Fresh Off the Boat if ABC decides not to move ahead with a separate series?
The spinoff project is currently going by the name Magic Motor Inn, and set to follow an Indian Family comprised of a father, mother, and daughter. The daughter goes to school with Fresh Off the Boat's Eddie. Vir Das of Whiskey Cavalier (which aired on ABC until it came to a premature end) will play DC, the father, and Indian film actress Preity G. Zinta was cast as Meena, the mother. Writer Rachna Fruchbom of Fresh Off the Boat is attached to the spinoff to write.
Now, Fresh Off the Boat is hardly the first show to plan on launching a spinoff via an episode of an ongoing series, but many shows launch spinoffs via a backdoor pilot, and most will be based on popular characters from the parent show who are likely to pull an audience. Fresh Off the Boat is seemingly banking on this family being popular enough that they can anchor a show of their own, despite never appearing on Fresh Off the Boat until (presumably) the second half of Season 6.
Fresh Off the Boat can probably use all the positive news it can get, after the Season 6 renewal news was overshadowed by leading lady Constance Wu's comments about it. When the renewal was announced back in May, Wu took to social media with comments like "So upset right now that I'm literally crying" and "Fucking hell." ABC President Karey Burke later said that everybody took Wu at her word that "she was apologetic for what she had said."
Will the Fresh Off the Boat spinoff happen? Only time will tell. Fresh Off the Boat itself hasn't always had the kind of ratings to guarantee a renewal itself, which was made clear enough by Constance Wu's reaction to the news. TV Series Finale reports that Fresh Off the Boat is currently averaging only 2.3 million viewers and a 0.46 rating in Live+Same day numbers, but Friday night sitcoms don't face nearly as stiff of competition as other shows in other slots. Could the spinoff launch if Fresh Off the Boat itself gets the axe?
For now, you can catch new episodes of Fresh Off the Boat on Fridays at 8:30 p.m. ET on ABC.