Freeform’s Asian-American Drama Pilot ‘AZNBBGRL’ Sets Main Cast

Cathy Bui, Lynn Kim Do, Jazelle Villanueva
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The core cast has been locked in for Freeform‘s upcoming drama pilot AZNBBGIRL, a coming-of-age story set in Southern California’s Little Saigon community.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the pilot will star Cathy Bui (All I Ever Wanted), Lynn Kim Do (FBI: Most Wanted), and Jazelle Villanueva (Valets) as three Asian-American teenagers hoping to break free from generational expectations and make their own mark in the world. The three girls find that escape and form a deep bond when they become caught up with a street gang that offers them a way out.

The project comes from Natalie Chaidez (The Flight Attendant), Dinh Thai (Wu-Tang: An American Saga), and Kai Yu Wu (American Born Chinese) and is also set to star Quentin Nguyen-Duy (Law & Order: SVU), Alejandro Akara (Mayans M.C.), Audrey Huynh (The Boss Baby: Back in Business), and Cat Ly (21 and Wake Up).

Bui will play Anh, who is focused on getting into a top college but has her dream derailed when she and her best friend Jenny are forced into a scheme that leads them to a street gang. Do will portray Jenny, who comes from a wealthy family but feels trapped by her parents’ expectations. After a traumatic event, Jenny enlists Anh in a dangerous scheme.

Villanueva, meanwhile, will pay Dang-Dang, a feisty young woman who can’t seem to escape her troubled past. Initially at odds with Jenny, she forms a surprisingly deep connection and friendship with her and Anh.

Nguyen-Duy will play nerd-turned-gang-member Richie; Akara portrays Anh’s ex-boyfriend Gabriel; Huynh plays Jenny’s younger sister Bella; and Ly stars as Ah-Yee, Anh’s aunt, a Chinese Vietnamese American restaurant owner who is blindsided by an extortionist.

The pilot is executive produced by Chaidez, Thai (who also directs), Melvin Mar, Jake Kasdan, and Kai Yu Wu, who will also serve as showrunner. The studio is 20th Television.