Chad: An American Boy
Logline: Centers on a 14-year-old boy in the throes of adolescence who is tasked with being the man of the house, which leaves him with all the responsibilities of being an adult without any of the perks.
Cast: Nasim Pedrad, Christine Tawfik, Paul Chahidi
Creators: Nasim Pedrad (Writer / EP), Rob Rosell (Writer / EP), David Winer (D/EP), Michael Rotenberg (EP), Dave Becky (EP)
Studios: 20th Century Fox TV, 3 Arts Entertainment
Wow, right out of the gate and we’re already all-aboard the high concept train. SNL’s Nasim Pedrad will switch genders and age way down to play a teenage boy. Deadline’s comment section exploded when this project was announced, but to me, the stunt casting is less important than the writing. This project apparently got pushed off-cycle for the pilot shoot, which may not be a good sign.
Chad starts with Keifer Sutherland as an adult Chad narrating what his teenage life was like. Chad is Iranian, and lives with his mom, sister and mom’s male wacky cousin. Chad’s father is divorced and living in Iran. The big topic of family discussion is Chad’s mom has a new boyfriend. Chad gets picked on a bit, but successfully gets a friend to do a talent show with him. End of Act One.
Things progress in a low-key family comedy sort of way. Occasional attention gets spotlighted on the family being Iranian. But it’s more standard family comedy than anything.
What this pilot shows is the power of having a unique angle. Focus on an Iranian family? That’s unique. Have a 34 year old woman play a teenage boy? That’s unique. Everything is else is very straight-down-the-middle with the pilot (divorced parents, tough time at school, comedy relief distant relative). If you take out those two factors — interesting casting, minority group you don’t usually see on TV — you don’t really have a compelling reason for pick-up. With the off-cycle shooting of the pilot, I’m not sure the odds are looking good here.