When it comes to the development of new TV series, this used to be the "wait and see" season, while the networks watched their newest launches sink or swim for the first few weeks of their lives. But a set of otherwise unconnected stories from the last couple of weeks seem to indicate that there's no waiting around anymore‘«™and that the networks themselves may ‘«Ű just may ‘«Ű be showing a renewed interest in Latino programming.
First there was the CBS announcement that they were getting serious about their on-again/off-again relationship with Rob Schneider and his sitcom pilot. Schneider is the 'name' at the center of the show but it is otherwise extremely Latino: it's about the Schneider character marrying into an active Latino family, headed by Cheech Marin and his TV wife Diana Maria Riva, along with grandmother Lupe Ontiveros (pictured) and a healthy number of other Latino actors. If it actually makes it to air, it will be the first weekly focus on a Latino family of any kind since "Ugly Betty" left ABC a few years ago.
More recently, JoAnna Garcia's newest sitcom created so much buzz there was an actual bidding war between the network just to get at the pilot. ABC ultimately prevailed. Now, it's true that JoAnna is not known as a Latina who plays Latinas‘«Űnot with the blonde hair and perky Midwest personality‘«Űbut it does show that merely having the last name of "Garcia" doesn't preclude you from being this (or next) season's Jennifer Aniston (it's also worth nothing that somebody at Warner's must really like this woman: this is the fourth series in that many years that has her in a featured role, and not one of them has 'clicked' yet.)