The Fall TV Season: Lots of Latinos, But No Big Breakthroughs

Part of our series, "Looking at Latino Hollywood, 2012"

By Se Fija!
Published on LatinoLA: October 3, 2011

The Fall TV Season: Lots of Latinos, But No Big Breakthroughs

The good news, as we've said before: There are more than thirty original programs featuring Latinos as cast members or regulars on network and cable this fall. The not-quite-as-good news: most of those shows have now premiered, and none of the shows have proven to be 'breakthroughs' straight out of the gate. A couple, in fact, may already know that the light at the end of their tunnel is an oncoming train.

NBC brought in the most new shows and add-ins this season, and unfortunately the cracks are already starting to show. One of their very first new shows to premiere was "Free Agents," where comedian Al Madrigal had a supporting role. Its numbers were low to begin with and, sadly, are getting lower. It's already getting high scores on the cancellometer. The new "Office" appears invulnerable, even with the departure of Steve Carell, so Oscar Nu??ez may have a place to stay for as long as he likes.

The same goes for most of its other returning shows (though "Harry's Law," now with Karen Olivo, is looking dubious), and "Parenthood" with Sarah Ramos, barely renewed to begin with, is still looking a little weak. The worst news is about Eddie Cibrian's "The Playboy Club": It's been a disappointment for everyone involvedÔÇôthe critics, the viewers and the network. Even its first episode started soft; the second attracted a tragic 25% fewer viewers than the premiere, and there's no sign of turnaround. "Chase," the show it replaced, did better in this spot this time last year. Most industry watchers are already calling it a "Dead Show Walking," though the network will probably let the first set of episodes run anyway.

Meanwhile, the news over on CBS isno news at all. The net with the least Latino content continues to putter along with Cote de Pablo in "NCIS," Adam Rodriguez and Eva La Rue in "CSI: Miami" and not much else. "Blue Bloods" will be adding "Lie to Me"'s Monica Raymund for an arc, but that hasn't happened yet, and the show's ratings, though solid enough, aren't rocking anyone's world.

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