STATUS: previously in development (2010-2011 season)
DEVELOPMENT STAGE: ordered to pilot
DESCRIPTION: (from ABC's press release, March 2010) Funny is the universal language. Based on Firoozeh Dumas' best-selling novel, Funny in Farsi is a love letter to America that follows an Iranian family's hilarious attempts to assimilate into the tanned, blond world of early '70s Newport Beach, California. As if being 13 isn't hard enough, Firoozeh (Fur-ooze-ah) or Julie, as they call her in America has to deal with growing pains and culture shock all at the same time. Fresh from Iran (a place none of their neighbors can find on a map), her family learns everything they need to know about America from TV. Julie's Dad "Kaz" loves his adopted home, especially Denny's, where the bathrooms are always magically clean. Her mother has a harder time adjusting, although it helps when she switches her Americanized name from "Nazi" to "Nancy." Julie's older brother, "Chip" idolizes American sports stars. As for Julie... well, let's just say she's embracing capitalism for all it's worth. The Jazayeri family tries to keep up with the Jones' next door, but can they have their shish kabobs and their Kentucky Fried Chicken too? It's a challenge to maintain your cultural identity while adapting to a whole new world of an unfamiliar language, liberated women and LOTS of television. The nostalgia of The Wonder Years blends with the family fun of My Big Fat Greek Wedding in this exuberant coming-of-age-misfit-comedy. Barry Sonnenfeld directs the pilot co-written and executive produced by Nastaran Dibai (Rita Rocks) and Jeffrey Hodes (According to Jim). Funny in Farsi shows that it's okay to be different as long as you can laugh at what gets lost in translation.