ABC has cancelled the comedy Fresh Off the Boat after six seasons. Starring Constance Wu and Always Be My Maybe star Randall Park, Fresh Off the Boat premiered on ABC in 2015. Created by Nahnatchka Khan, the series received critical acclaim for the network for being the first to predominantly feature an Asian-American family. Despite a devoted fan base, Fresh Off the Boat experienced a steady decline in ratings in recent years. ABC opted to move the series from its Tuesday night slot to Friday, although performance did not improve.
Based on a memoir of the same name by Eddie Huang, Fresh off the Boat follows a family of Taiwanese immigrants who move to Orlando, Florida in the 1990s. Navigating through their new life while opening a restaurant and raising sons Eddie, Emery, and Evan, Louis (Park) and Jessica (Wu) attempt to embrace the American dream while dealing with struggle, and the rift between diverging cultures. Before its sophomore season, Fresh Off the Boat made significant changes to the creative structure of the beloved comedy, including the exit of Huang as the narrator.
Earlier this year, Fresh Off the Boat stemmed controversy when Wu expressed disappointment at the news of the show being renewed for season 6. Wu has since remedied her original remarks, however, the Huang family is now officially exiting. According to Variety, Fresh Off the Boat will not return for season 7. Although disappointing news for series fans, the show's cancellation is not a shock since the ratings have been less than stellar. Fresh Off the Boat viewers will be treated to an hour-long series finale which will air on February 21. President of ABC Entertainment, Karey Burke, bid farewell to the series:
We couldn’t be prouder of this game-changing show and the impact it has had on our cultural landscape. The success of ‘Fresh Off the Boat’ has helped pave the way for inclusion throughout the industry. Nahnatchka Khan and her brilliant creative team have created an unforgettable series with an Asian-American family front and center, something that hadn’t been done in two decades. The cast, led by Randall Park and Constance Wu, is one of the finest and funniest on television. We’ll miss the Huang family and are eternally grateful for the incredibly heartfelt stories they have told these past six seasons.
Hailed as the first show to celebrate Chinese New Year and the first network series to travel to Asia, Fresh Off the Boat has certainly made an impact. Thankfully, Fresh Off the Boat is currently getting the spinoff treatment, as a show featuring an Indian family whose daughter attends school with Eddie is in development.
Making a permanent mark on the sitcom world, Fresh Off the Boat's strong creative team now has ample notice to craft a satisfying finale. ABC is also bidding farewell to other network staples, such as Modern Family, Agents of SHIELD, and How To Get Away With Murder in the 2019-20 season. Fresh Off the Boat made substantial waves in mainstream media and the Huang family leaves behind big shoes to fill. No doubt the series finale coming early next year will be an important time for those who want to tune in and deliver a proper send-off for Fresh Off the Boat.