Many stand-up comedians - Jerry Seinfeld, Tim Allen, Ray Romano - have made a successful transition from onstage performances to television. Unfortunately Margaret Cho's attempt at a half-hour sitcom failed miserably.

"All-American Girl" appeared for a few seasons on ABC, premiering on Wednesdays at 9:30pm in September 1994. The show was quickly moved back an hour, and ran in that time slot until its demise in March 1995. Only 19 episodes were produced.

Cho starred as Margaret Kim, an assimilated Korean-American teenager who was constantly at odds with her traditional mother Katherine (played by Jodi Long). The culture clash was the theme of the entire show, taking notes from Flower Drum Song and similar stories, as Margaret fought with her mother over boys while her older brother Stuart (B.D. Wong) played the deferential good son.

Although Quentin Tarantino directed an episode, "All-American Girl" didn't last beyond its first season. It was the first sitcom focused on Asian-American issues, but failed to garner high ratings and was quickly cancelled.

The first broadcast TV show in the United States to feature a predominantly Asian cast, with comedienne Margaret Cho as the star, this sitcom debuted in 1994 on ABC. It did not survive past its first season, due to low ratings.

The sitcom was a take-off on Cho's own childhood, being set at a San Francisco bookstore owned by a Korean-American couple (Clyde Kusatsu and Jodi Long). The family lives above the bookstore. They experience normal American family-type things in a sitcom atmosphere, and the show was reasonably well done if unremarkable in presentation. That, in effect, was the problem. Asian-American viewers, presumably the key demographic, apparently fell into two categories: those fresh off the boat who wanted to watch shows in their native language, and those who had already assimilated into American culture and did not want to watch shows patronizing to their race. Perhaps if they had offered Korean audio on SAP, they might have enjoyed better ratings. Also, of 16 writers on the show, only one (Elizabeth Wong) has an even remotely Asian-sounding name. In the episodes that I saw (nearly all of them) there were very few references to Asian culture that were not simple stereotypes. Even Family Matters tackled racism in its many years on the air.

It should be noted that Cho had very high hopes for All-American Girl, and the failure of the show started a downward spiral into drugs, sex, and other sinful pursuits. Fortunately, she managed to channel all of that nastiness into a successful one-woman show and more stand-up comedy.

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