HBO is developing a comedy series titled “House of Chow” based on writer Ken Cheng’s life growing up in a Chinese restaurant. According to Deadline, the show will be about the friendship that forms between two estranged thirty-something siblings, Vicky and Charlie Chow, as they try to revitalize their family’s old Chinese restaurant. Cheng wrote the pilot with Viola Davis’s production company JuVee Production developing it along with HBO.
The story takes place in a Los Angeles “hole-in-the-wall restaurant with a B-grade on the window,” according to Deadline. It will try to unwrap the everyday life of blue-collar “immigrant Americans.”
The pilot will be directed by Jude Weng who directed many episodes of “Fresh Off the Boat” and the untitled Jessica Gao project. Weng, who also grew up in a Chinese restaurant, became part of the project after sharing many stories with Cheng about the Chinese restaurant life.
“As an immigrant who grew up in a Chinese American diner, the opportunity to direct stories about cuisine and identity is creatively meaningful,” Weng said. “With Ken Cheng’s inimitable voice, JuVee’s guidance, and HBO’s reputation for nurturing iconic characters, it is a formidable partnership I’m proud to be a part of!”
“I’m so excited to work with HBO, JuVee, and Jude on such a personal passion project,” Cheng added. “We hope our series can highlight the importance of the Chinese restaurant as the uniquely American cultural institution it is, right next to baseball, systemic racism and Coachella. We can’t wait to get started, which we plan to do by eating our way through every Chinese restaurant in Los Angeles in the name of research.”
Deadline said that HBO landed the project in a “competitive situation.” There is no set premiere date for “House of Chow.”