‘Fresh Off the Boat,’ ‘Bachelor’ Spinoffs in the Works, ABC President Says

TCA 2019: Conversations have also begun with Marvel TV about another potential ABC series, Karey Burke tells TheWrap

Fresh Off the Boat
ABC/Kelsey McNeal

Following “mixed-ish” and “Schooled,” ABC is looking to turn another one of its comedies into a franchise.

The network is currently eyeing a spinoff of “Fresh Off the Boat,” in addition to another entry in the “Bachelor” franchise, ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke said in an interview with TheWrap on Monday.

“I have heard there’s a potential ‘Fresh off the Boat’ spinoff that’s possibly in the works, but I don’t know much more than that,” Burke said. “And there’s an extension to the ‘Bachelor’ franchise coming. We have to be careful not to dilute a brand, because you can get carried away, but not looking at that would be silly.”

“We have so many [franchises] that feel nascent, with ‘Station 19,’ and ‘mixed-ish,’ and ‘Schooled,’” Burke said. “So I think it’s a sound strategy, and I’d like to continue it, but for the right reasons and with the right people.”

“Fresh off the Boat” has already surpassed 100 episodes, and is set to enter its sixth season this fall. When ABC’s decision came in to renew the show for Season 6 back in May, it elicited a strongly negative reaction from star Constance Wu, who later explained that she was upset about having to give up another role due to her commitment to “Fresh off the Boat.”

The “Bachelor” franchise already spans a number of shows, including the flagship series, “The Bachelorette,” “Bachelor in Paradise” and “Bachelor Winter Games,” as well as a number of other short-lived spinoffs.

Disney’s biggest franchise, however, is about to become entirely absent from ABC’s schedule with the imminent conclusion of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” but Burke assured that this would not be the end of Marvel Television on the network.

“They’re doing a tremendous amount for Disney+, but we just started conversations with Jeph [Loeb, executive vice president, Marvel Television] and Dan [Buckley, president, Marvel Entertainment] about what we might do in the future,” Burke said. “They have floated an idea that we’re considering.”

Burke said she aims to focus her efforts as ABC Entertainment president on “the things that broadcast does well,” including ongoing franchises and live events like the “Live in Front of a Studio Audience” series with Jimmy Kimmel and Norman Lear, and the newly announced “Little Mermaid” concert special.

“I would love to experiment with the form more,” Burke said of doing more live programming in the future. “It was so rewarding to go out on a limb and not know what was going to happen, and have it be a success … We’re absolutely looking for different kinds of iterations.”