It hasn't even got a title yet‘«Űthey're still calling it "The Rob Schneider" Comedy‘«Űbut it's been on the pilot-show radar for months. Now, after months of dithering at two pilots, CBS has ordered the three-camera sitcom as a mid-season replacement.
The network has made plenty of changes along the way, but the basic premise has remained the same: Schneider plays a close version of himself, a "confirmed bachelor" who falls in love and marries a beautiful Latina, and suddenly finds himself part of a tight-knit Mexican-American family. Like so many shows before it, it's based loosely‘«Ű on the star's own life and his marriage to his current wife and her family. (Pic is of Schneider with his wife Patricia Azarcoya Arce).
The show has been through some serious retooling. The first pilot starred Tony Plana as the patriarch; the second time around Cheech Marin was sitting in the father's chair. Other actors were replaced as well, including Nadine Velazquez, who was set to star as Schneider's wife, and Ada Maris, who was set to play the mother-in-law. Now Spanish (as in Spain) actress Claudia Bassols has the wifely role, and Diana Maria Riva, most recently see as the captain on FOX's "The Good Guys," will be stepping into the M-I-L position. In fact, only Eugenio Derbez as Bassols' uncle and Lupe Ontiveros as the abuelita made it from the first pilot to the second‘«Űand hopefully, onto the air. Ricky Rico has also joined the cast.
The casting of Riva ‘«Ű a terrific actress in comedy and drama ‘«Ű is a little puzzling. Riva is only 42 (and gorgeous); she'll be playing the wife of Cheech Marin, 65 ("Nash Bridges" was fifteen years ago, folks, and Cheech and Chong‘«™well, way before that.) Schneider himself is pushing 50 (48, actually), which makes him demonstrably older than his 'mother-in-law, and‘«Űpretty obviously‘«Űmore than fifteen years older than his TV wife Bassols, 32 (voted the Sexiest Woman in Spain last year by "Esquire" Magazine. Rob is no fool.)