FILIPINA American actress Tess Paras is set to direct and executive produce ViacomCBS’ 2021 virtual “Showcase,” making her both the first Asian American and Filipina director to do so.
“Showcase” is a hybrid comedy show with Broadway-worthy live performances and original, creative writing attended by senior-level executives, showrunners and casting directors from ViacomCBS properties, as well as other networks and talent agents/managers from across the entertainment industry.
Paras expressed her excitement over the production in a tweet posted on Wednesday, January 13: “Excited to share: I’m the first female #Director & EP of CBS Showcase (also the 1st Asian-American Dir. & the 1st #Filipina Dir.!)”
“Been directing socially-distant sketches here in LA & over Zoom & Facetime in CHI, NYC, PA, Boston & D.C. w/ a cast of 16 comedians!” added Paras.
Along with Paras, comedian Tien Tran will serve as executive producer and head writer, while actor Frank Garcia-Hejl will be producer and associate director. Filmmaker and musician Tyler Davis will be producer and associate head writer.
“This year has certainly brought its challenges and we’re so proud of what Tess, Tien, Frank and Tyler have been able to accomplish with the show going virtual,” said Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president, entertainment diversity and inclusion, global inclusion.
Claudia Lyon, CBS Entertainment’s executive vice president for talent and casting, praised this year’s “Showcase” production team for its “ingenuity.”
“Not only are Tess, Tien, Frank and Tyler gifted multi-hyphenates in their own right, but they’ve excelled in motivating and inspiring our talented cast to realize their limitless potential,” she added.
Paras, the youngest daughter of Filipino immigrant doctors, is an actress, writer, and director popularly known for her recurring role on the critically acclaimed musical comedy “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.” She also starred in “The Good Wife,” “Grimm,” “Girl Meets World,” and “Reno 911.”
Currently, she stars as Erin Chua on Amazon’s new spinoff “Just Add Magic: Mystery City” after heavily recurring on the Daytime Emmy-nominated season of “Just Add Magic.”
Paras also participated in the 2014 “Showcase” as a performer and writer while she served as the associate director for the 2019 and 2020 “Showcase.” Alumni of the “Showcase” include Fil-Am actor Nico Santos (“Superstore” and “Crazy Rich Asians”), Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), Nicole Byer (“Nailed It!”) and Ego Nwodim (“Saturday Night Live”).