Capping off a banner year that included a role in the all-female heist sequel Ocean’s 8 and a scene-stealing turn in Crazy Rich Asians, rapper-comedian-actress Awkwafina is now slated to star in a Comedy Central show based on her life.
The network announced it has ordered 10 episodes of the 29-year old multi-hyphenate’s eponymous scripted series. The half-hour comedy will focus on her early 20s when she lived in Queens with her father and grandmother while dreaming of making it big. BD Wong (Mr. Robot) will play her father, Lori Tan Chinn (Orange Is the New Black) her grandmother and Bowen Yang (The Outs) Awkwafina’s more successful cousin.
It marks the first scripted series fronted by an Asian America on the linear network. (The Daily Show correspondent Ronny Chieng had a digital series on the Comedy Central app that premiered this summer.)
Awkwafina, Karey Dornetto (Portlandia) and Teresa Hsiao (Family Guy, American Dad) wrote the pilot, which is directed by Lucia Aniello (Broad City).
“I’ve been watching Comedy Central since I was old enough to hold a remote, and so many of their shows have defined who I am today,” Awkwafina, who will also serve as an executive producer, said in a statement. “I am so honoured to be given their platform to tell the story of an Asian American girl against the backdrop of the city I was raised.”
The series order continues a high-flying year — beyond the mark she left on the big screen, she also appeared in the Netflix movie Dude, and hosted Saturday Night Live. It was also announced this week that she has two films, The Farewell and Paradise Hills, premiering at Sundance next year.
The series will bring another strong female perspective to a network that has skewed male despite breakout hits like Broad City and Inside Amy Schumer.
Sarah Babineau and Jonas Larsen, executive vice presidents and co-heads of talent and development for Comedy Central, touted the show as “both a personal look into one of comedy’s brightest stars and also a relatable, funny profile of a young hustler’s struggle.”
And, they added, “We’re happy to be used as a pawn in Awkwafina’s elaborate, EGOT endgame.”