Nasim Pedrad’s ‘Chad’ Lands At Roku With Season 2 Pickup

EXCLUSIVE: Chad has found a new home.

The second season of Nasim Pedrad’s coming-of-age comedy series will run on The Roku Channel after it was scrapped as part of the cost-cutting measures at Warner Bros. Discovery cable network TBS.

As Deadline revealed, Chad was one of a number of shows and movies — completed or in various stages of pre-production or production — that were dropped after CEO David Zaslav took charge of the combined company. While the others were permanently shelved to use as corporate tax write-downs, following a plea by Pedrad to the new TBS leadership, she and her team were allowed to shop the series.

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Roku, which previously acquired the Quibi library, will now exclusively carry the second season of Chad, which is completed and was initially set to premiere on TBS in April and then in July. The streamer also has picked up the non-exclusive rights to Chad‘s first season whose original run on TBS ranked as 2021’s #1 new scripted cable comedy series.

Chad, which has been hailed for breaking racial stereotypes with an authentic representation of immigrant life and Middle Eastern Americans, stars Pedrad as Persian-American teen boy Chad Amani. It has been a passion project for the SNL alumna that she’s spent around a decade working on, first at Fox, where it originally was developed and went to pilot, and then at TBS. Now the comedy beat the odds to become a rare series to survive a cancellation and find a new home.

The feat normally would be a cause for celebration, which for Pedrad has been muted in light of the tragic events in her birth country Iran where more than 200 people have died as a result of government’s crackdown of protests sparked by the death in police custody of Mahsa Amini, who had been arrested for not wearing her hijab to official standards.

Protests against the Iranian regime have spread around the globe, with prominent figures, like Pedrad, speaking out. Over the weekend, Iranian-Americans caravanned from San Diego for a demonstration in Los Angeles. Pedrad was among those marching, posting on social media that she is “forever with the people of Iran”.

Pedrad expressed her mixed emotions in a statement about Chad‘s move to Roku.

“So much of my heart is infused in this show,” she said. “While I feel conflicted celebrating anything right now as the people of my homeland are in the midst of a revolution against an oppressive regime, I’m grateful to have a platform where I can talk about it. I’m grateful to be part of a diaspora of Iranians, all from various sectors, utilizing their reach and resources to help amplify the voices of the Iranian people. And I’m especially grateful to be promoting a show that portrays an Iranian American family from a place of humor, humanity, and empathy— something I had longed for growing up.”

This is the second time Roku, a relatively new player in the original series space, has stepped in to give fans a new chapter of a canceled linear series, following the Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist holiday movie.

“The Roku Channel is committed to championing creativity and fostering great storytelling,” said Colin Davis, Roku’s Head of Scripted Originals. “Chad is a story years-in-the-making that deserved to be told.  We’re thrilled to be partnering closely with Nasim and her team to bring the next chapter of this exceptional series both to existing fans, as well as sharing it for the first time with new audiences, on The Roku Channel.”

For Davis, there is a personal element in the pickup of Chad as he previously worked at Fox and TBS and championed the comedy at both networks.

“The unwavering support and enthusiasm of the Roku Originals team has been incredible,” Pedrad said. “I really look forward to working with them and I can’t wait to finally share this season with our loyal fans.”

The second season picks up with Chad as the newly elected class president. Chad deals with a scandal that quickly ends his presidency, has a surprising new love interest, and gets a visit from his tough-as-nails Iranian grandmother — all while continuing to worry about his popularity, and discovering new ways to relate to his Persian cultural roots.

Chad’s epic path to teenage self-realization is not always a straight line, but the support from his family and best friend Peter (Jake Ryan) keep Chad on track, giving him the confidence to help him become who he has always wanted to be: the most American boy in the history of the world.

The series also stars Paul Chahidi as Uncle Hamid; Saba Homayoon as Naz, Chad’s mother; Ella Mika as Chad’s sister, Niki; Alexa Loo as Denise; and Thomas Barbusca as Reid as well as new addition Sara Malal Rowe.

Pedrad and Max Searle served as co-showrunners and executive produce alongside Rob Rossell, who co-developed Chad, and 3 Arts’ Oly Obst.

Roku Originals are available on The Roku Channel in the U.S., UK, and Canada.

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