By Jeff Baron, Staff Writer,
Iranian-American memoir had
been one step away from becoming a TV series
Funny in Farsi
Washington - Funny in Farsi
isn't making the leap to television after all, at least for now.
The American Broadcasting Company (ABC), the
network that had bought the
rights to a TV series based on the memoir by Firoozeh Dumas, had made a
sample episode - a "pilot" - of the show. But it decided not to order production
of the series for the broadcast season that begins in the fall.
Another network could decide to create a series
based on the book, but it would have to start from the beginning: ABC owns the
script for the pilot.
"I am so sorry and so disappointed. The
pilot was hilarious and had many, many fans at ABC, but the decision came down
to just one person, the president of ABC, and he passed on it," Dumas said on
The pilot starred two Iranian-American actors,
comedian Maz Jobrani and Marjan Neshat, as the husband and wife who face the
challenges of adjusting to a new culture after moving their family to Southern
California from Iran. The director was Barry Sonnenfeld, who also directed the
movies Get Shorty and Men in Black.
"What I am most sorry about is that this show had
writers, actors and supporters of all backgrounds and it was truly
laugh-out-loud funny. It would have been a groundbreaking series, believe me,"
American television never has had a successful
series built around characters from the Middle East. Dumas had hoped that a TV
version would give Americans a better understanding of people from Iran, as she
said her books have done. She said the show's writers, Iranian American Nastaran
Dibai and her American-born husband, Jeffrey B. Hodes, captured the spirit of
Funny in Farsi and its sequel, Laughing
Without an Accent, have sold well in the United States and have been widely
read in Iran. And the
Facebook site for the series had 12,000 fans from around the world, even
though the pilot never has been broadcast. Dumas said she doesn't know whether
the pilot will become available so some of those devoted fans can see it. If it
does become available, she said she would like to post it on YouTube - if she
can do so legally.
U.S. State Department's Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)
engages international audiences on issues of foreign policy, society and values
to help create an environment receptive to U.S. national interests.
... Payvand News - 05/20/10 ... --