The Brooklyn Nets are set to be the center of a new Hulu comedy series being adapted by Melvin Mar and Jake Kasdan. The story is said to be inspired by, but not about, Nets owner Joe Tsai. The series is another in a growing catalog that the producing duo has gotten greenlit and continues the expanding reach of AAPI representation on TV.
Mar and Kasdan have previously produced hit shows together like ‘Fresh Off The Boat,’ they are currently at work on Season 2 of Disney+’s ‘Doogie Kamealoha’ a reimagined take at ‘Doogie Howser, M.D.’ from exec producer Kourtney Kang and starring Peyton Elizabeth Lee. And the producers have reunited with “Fresh Off the Boat” showrunner Nahnatchka Khan for the film “Advantage Play,” starring Ali Wong for Netflix.
Together they have changed television when it comes to representation. When the show started in 2015, there was only a small amount of shows with Asian American cast airing on primetime, and with its success over six seasons and 116 episodes, it has led the way for other shows like it. Together the producers have inspired a long-overdue boom in series and films featuring Asian American leads. Now Mar and Kasdan are teaming up to do the same in an unnamed comedy around the Brooklyn Nets.
The Nets Comedy
On May 4, Variety broke news that Mar and Kasdan will be bringing a new comedy series to Hulu. There aren’t many details about the upcoming project yet aside from it drawing inspiration from Nets owner Joe Tsai, and one of the leads has been announced as well. Per Variety, Ronny Chieng has been tapped to play the GM of the Brooklyn Nets on the show. Chieng is known for his role as a correspondent on ‘The Daily Show.’ He also has been a guest of Nets owner Joe Tsai at a 2019 Nets game.
Chieng, whose credits also include “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” is a regular on “Doogie” and also pops up on “American Born Chinese.” “He’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met,” Mar says of Chieng. “And Joe Tsai, who’s a good friend, that’s just another level of illustrating the AAPIs in America.”
Other cast members have yet to be announced for the project, but we can likely expect them to continue to add to the AAPI representation through this series, like their other projects. The project was announced in May, which is fitting as it is Asian-American and Pacific Islanders Heritage Month.
“It’s all part of the fabric of being American,” Mar says of the programming. “Every sort of American story has a specific that needs to be told. ‘Asian American’ is such a big term, with so many people a part of it. This is an opportunity to narrow down and tell [unique stories].”
Nets Cooperation on the TV show
How much will the Nets be involved in the project? There are of course, some allowances that need to be made, especially from a licensing perspective. NetsDaily reported that Brooklyn is already cooperating in the show’s production. The team is said to be working with Mar on the concept but not actively involved in the scripting or other aspects of the production. The NBA will need to sign off on the show and no further details on the show’s concept or timing, but a report out of Hollywood suggests shooting will begin in New York on July 20.