ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, the longest-running sitcom about an Asian-American family in broadcast television history, will end this season, a source close to the show told Vulture. According to this source, ABC notified production and the cast on Thursday that it will not order more episodes and the show will bow out next year, with its 14th and 15th episodes serving as a one-hour series finale.
In a press release sent out Friday, ABC confirmed the news and announced that the finale will air on February 21.
As the show’s ratings declined in recent years, ABC moved Fresh Off the Boat from its Tuesday night family block to a revived TGIF block on Fridays, but that hasn’t improved its performance. The show’s sixth-season renewal this spring was marred by controversy, after star Constance Wu tweeted she was “literally crying” when the new season was announced. Wu later clarified that she wasn’t upset because Fresh Off the Boat was renewed, but because the renewal meant giving up another project that she really wanted to do.
“I’m so proud of the show and what we’ve accomplished over the past six seasons,” creator Nahnatchka Khan said in the press release. “Thank you to everyone at ABC and 20th Century Fox Television for going on this ride with us. It was truly a special experience and hopefully will forever be a reminder of all the stories out there that deserve to be told. Like B.I.G. said, ‘And if you don’t know, now you know.’”
When Fresh Off the Boat premiered in 2015, it was the first broadcast sitcom about an Asian-American family since Margaret Cho’s All-American Girl in 1994. Led by Khan, who serves as showrunner, and executive producer Melvin Mar, it will finish its run with six seasons and 116 produced episodes. The single-camera comedy was the first show to celebrate Chinese New Year and the first network show to travel to Asia, paving the way for Asian-American content to become its own artistic genre.
Loosely based on Eddie Huang’s memoir of the same title, Fresh Off the Boat stars Randall Park and Wu as Taiwanese immigrants who move to Orlando in the ’90s to open a restaurant and raise their three sons. Huang narrated the first season but left the show in the second cycle, just as it began finding its stride and viewers tuned in every week to see Wu deliver Jessica’s memorable one-liners. Viewers also watched the show’s three child actors, Hudson Yang, Forrest Wheeler, and Ian Chen, who play Eddie, Emery, and Evan Huang, respectively, grow into adolescence and evolve as actors.
In a touching Instagram post on Friday, Park wrote about what it meant to him to play a multi-dimensional character on a “not racist” show. “In fact, Fresh Off The Boat was the opposite,” he added. “It was humanizing. It was hilarious and full of heart. It was groundbreaking. It was an Asian-American family on television.”
A Fresh Off the Boat spinoff featuring an Indian family whose daughter goes to school with Eddie is in development. Written by Fresh Off the Boat writer-producer Rachna Fruchbom, the episode that will introduce the family in FOTB has not been filmed yet.