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CBS Is Producing A Show With A Latino Lead With Issues That Will Hit Home

Diane Guerrero is returning to TV and my have the tables turned.

Credit: im-jaebum / Tumblr / OITNB / Netflix

Let’s forget jailbird Maritza Ramos on Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black” for a second. (Just for a second, I said, don’t freak out).

Guerrero, as reported by Deadline, will now portray a “successful corporate attorney who starts taking pro bono cases for undocumented immigrants after her past as the child of deported parents is revealed by a family emergency.”

Get it girl!

credit: tumblr / @meg-pryor

The New Jersey-based actress of Colombian descent, who’s also known for her role as Lina on “Jane the Virgin,” has teamed up with “Jane the Virgin’s” producers Jennie Synder Urman, Paul Sciarrota and Ben Silverman to bring her deep-felt, personal story to the small screen.

The upcoming project is titled “In the Country We Love,” after Guerrero’s published memoir.

If you’ve been living under a rock, the book tells the story of a 14-year-old Guerrero whose parents were deported to Colombia.

credit: tumblr / @swannepoel

“In the Country We Love” is a drama project set to air on CBS.


Read more about the series “In the Country We Love,” here. 

READ: Diane Guerrero Is On A Mission To Stop Trump

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Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Entertainment

Part 2 Of “Selena: The Series” Has Already Finished Filming And Here’s Everything We Know About The Next Season

Say the word “Selena,” and your mind is probably filled with the opening beats of “Como La Flor,” the Tejano singer’s famous ballad. Selena Quintanilla’s legacy has been explored in acclaimed movies, podcasts, documentaries, and now, a Netflix show. The first part of Selena: The Series premiered on December 4 and is guaranteed a second season.

But what do we know about part two of the series?

Selena: The Series is reigniting interest in our beloved Selena like never before but what’s next for the series?

Selena: The Series covers the life of the late Selena Quintanilla, so how does Netflix’s narrative compare to the true story? Crucially, the first nine episodes only cover the first 20 years of the subject’s life, which means that Selena part 2 will focus on Selena’s evolution into a Tejano superstar before her tragic 1995 death.

Part 1 of the Netflix series addresses the most relevant events, and tweaks certain facts for dramatic purposes. It’s also being met with mixed responses from both critics and viewers alike. But one thing is certain, the series is helping introduce an entirely new generation to the life of one of Latin music’s biggest stars.

The second season has already wrapped filming and it will focus on a very different part of Selena’s life.

Ever since the project was announced, it was confirmed that it would be a two-part limited series. As viewers already know, part one consisted on nine episodes, but it’s unclear how many will make up the second part.

The initial season has largely focused on the 1990 release of Selena’s album, Ven Conmigo, and her family’s discovery of her secret relationship with Pérez.

The next season will likely feature the release of Selena’s first English-language album and her 1992 elopement to Chris before her death and her ill-fated meeting with Yolanda Saldívar (Natasha Perez), the woman responsible for her 1995 murder.

Netflix has yet to confirm when viewers can expect the conclusion of Selena. However, Serratos confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that production had already wrapped—no COVID-19 delays here! Considering that timeline, season 2 could premiere in the first half of 2021. Worth noting: April 16, 2021 would’ve been Selena Quintanilla’s 50th birthday, an event that may be tied to the season’s release.

Season 2 Selena will be “more of the icon.” 

For all of its flaws, the first season of Selena: The Series has helped introduce a new generation to the iconic Latina. And it’s given viewers an introduction to part of the singer not everyone was familiar with. Fans have explored Selena’s childhood and her introduction to music.

But season 2 will focus more on the singer’s megastardom, according to Serratos. “The first part was nerve-racking because there was less footage for me to base my performance on. But at the same time it was more relaxed, because I got more liberty. People don’t know that version of Selena very much,” she told OprahMag.com. “Our second part we’re going to see a lot more of the icon. I had a lot more to base the performance on—but it was nerve-racking because people know that Selena so well. There was added pressure.”

It doesn’t look like there will be any major changes to the cast for part two.

It looks like much of the same cast from part one will also be featured in part two of the series. The ensemble includes Serratos as Selena, Chavira as Abraham, Posey as Chris, Seidy Lopez as Selena’s mother Marcella, Noemi Gonzalez as Selena’s sister and drummer Suzette, and Gabriel Chavarria as Selena’s brother and producer A.B. Natasha Perez’s Yolanda will also play a larger role in season 2 as she gets closer to Selena’s life and business. 

Moisés Zamora (American Crime) returns as the series creator, writer, and executive producer alongside producers Jaime Dávila, Rico Martinez, and Simran A. Singh. Members of the real-life Quintanilla family are also involved with both seasons as executive producers, including Abraham and Suzette.

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CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Entertainment

CBS Pledges to Make the Casts of ‘Survivor’ and ‘Big Brother’ 50% People of Color

Photo by George Rose/Getty Images

CBS just announced that it is committing to making at least 50% of the casts of their unscripted shows Black, Indigenous, or people of color (BIPOC). CBS also announced that they are devoting 25% of their unscripted budget to BIPOC creators. The changes are expected to take effect in the 2021-2022 season.

“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling,” said CBS CEO George Cheeks. “As we strive to improve all of these creative aspects, the commitments announced today are important first steps in sourcing new voices to create content and further expanding the diversity in our unscripted programming, as well as on our Network.”

CBS’s unscripted TV shows include fan-favorite staples like “Survivor”, “The Amazing Race”, “Big Brother”, and “Love Island”. The network has regularly come under fire for failing to cast diverse talent in both their scripted and unscripted programs. Unlike other broadcast networks like ABC (Grey’s Anatomy, literally any other Shondaland show) or NBC (This Is Us, Superstore), CBS has a reputation for white-washing its programming.

Last year, a former CBS Diversity & Inclusion executive wrote an op-ed in Variety accusing the company of having a “white problem”.

“While CBS proudly touts its diversity programs, a close look beneath the surface reveals that the company is unconcerned about creating space for minorities,” wrote Whitney Davis, who is a Black woman. “CBS continues to promote its diversity initiatives in public, while internally minorities are practically invisible.” 

In June of this year, a group of Black “Survivor” alumni created a petition demanding that the stalwart show make 30% of its cast BIPOC. They also asked that BIPOC are given “equitable screen time and opportunities to participate in marketing and promotional events.” The show’s Black alumni alleged that they were ostracized, gaslighted, and short-shrifted while they were contestants on the show. The petition received almost 8,000 signatures to-date.

As is expected, fan reactions have been mixed. Some people are happy that CBS is making the effort to fix the structural problems of their company. But others feel that the commitment is forced and will result in BIPOC cast members being treated as tokens.

This person is confident that CBS’s unscripted shows will simply improve by including more people of color on their cast lists.

If anything, this decision will add some much-needed change to their tired formulas.

This person was ready to submit their application.

Now that people know the playing field is more even, we’re sure that CBS will receive a more diverse pool of applications.

This person has doubts as to how CBS will approach choosing and casting POC.

It’s one thing to talk about diversity, but it’s another thing to actually choose people who represent a range of diverse cultures.

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