Sesame Street has a new resident — and it’s not a new muppet. Joining the neighborhood is Suki Lopez, better known on the street as Nina.
Cuban-American Lopez will play the role of the character described as “a young bilingual Hispanic woman who uses her wit, compassion, and charisma to help the furry residents of Sesame Street solve their daily dilemmas.”
And she’s super excited. “As they are bringing out the puppets, I see the faces behind the characters I have known forever!” says Lopez.
She also hopes to be on the show just as long as another Latina resident, Sonia Manzano, who played Maria on the show for 44 years. “This show has a tremendous history and I hope to be part of it for a long time,” Lopez said.
Lopez will be debuting her character while Sesame Street debuts in its new home, HBO. But all the episodes will also air on PBS.
This season you’ll also see Gina Rodriguez, Gwen Stefani, Pharrell and Nick Jones guest star.
Read more about Nina, the new resident in Sesame Street here.
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HBO has decided to expand its Latin American catalog by adding four new shows aimed at Spanish-speaking audiences. The new programs all seem to vary in subject matter with some focusing on LGBTQ issues and others on criminal underbellies or counter-terrorism. The slate will launch in conjunction with six new English-speaking series on the network.
“ will be a year in which we will concentrate even more on subscribers’ experiences with the brand, especially in the digital environment,” Gustavo Grossman, vice president of HBO Latin America, told the Digital Weekly.
According to Variety, the company decided to continue to broaden the scope of their Latin American content due to a hit Colombian documentary it produced called Guerras Ajenas, along with a recent International Emmy winner for the scripted series Sr. Avila.
So here’s what you can look forward to in the new year.
Entre Hombres is a 4-episode mini-series based on the novel by Argentinian author Germán Maggiori. The story takes place in 1996 in Buenos Aires and will center around a senator who covers up a murder during a time of great social division. The show will star Gabriel ‘El Puma’ Goity, Nicolás Furtado, Diego Velázquez, Diego Cremonesi and Claudio Rissi.
“At HBO we continue betting on good stories. In this sense, Argentina has always been a source of talent and inspiration for our productions. Entre Hombres is a visceral piece and we are very proud with this new project that will enable us to take this magnificent cult novel to a big audience on the screen of HBO,” said Roberto Ríos, VP Corporate Original Production at HBO Latin America.
The production will be made in collaboration with Pol-ka and the series will be directed by Pablo Fendrik who previously directed El Jardin de Bronce. Author Maggiori will adapt the book for television.
HBO will launch its first show in Colombia Mil Colmillos in partnership with Rhayuela Films. The series will focus on a military mission to thwart a rogue squad roaming the Colombian jungles. The popular director of suspense thrillers, like El Paramo and Siete Cabezas will co-direct with Pablo Gonzale.
They will film eight one-hour episodes in various locations in Colombia including Bogota and the Amazon jungle, according to Variety. The series will have a high production value, indicating HBO is willing to invest in Latin American content to broaden its audience.
The new HBO series set in Brazil will follow Rafa, an 18-year-old non-binary person who is pansexual. Rafa decides to leave their family and move to Sao Paulo. Claro Gallo will portray Rafa and star alongside Kelner Macedo, Juliana Gerais, and Golda Nomacce.
The series adapted from Spanish author Fernando Aramburu’s novel Patria is technically an HBO Europe production, but is still aimed at Spanish-speaking audience nonetheless. The series will be eight parts and written by Aitor Gabilondo and directed by Venice-winning Pablo Trapero and Goya-winning Félix Viscarret.
Set in Spanish Basque County the story will span over thirty years, following two families divided by the separatist terrorism of ETA. It will center around Bittori whose husband is murdered by ETA and her friendship with Miren, whose son is a member of the ETA.
“I’ve dedicated almost a year to adapt Patria for TV. Now, it’s time to bring these characters to life and recreate the painful past reflected in this work of fiction. That the wounds of this recent history are still open in the Basque Country fuels my commitment and forces me to sharpen my sensibility,” said writer Gabilondo.
Antony Root, EVP of Original Programming and Production, HBO Europe told Deadline that he believed that while the story may take place during a specific political backdrop it is largely a universal one.
“A personal, human story that unfolds against the backdrop of political violence in the Basque country, and which explores themes of grief, community and forgiveness, Patria is at once acutely local and affectingly universal,” Root said. “That we have such an outstanding creative team to bring it to life is testament to our ambition for the series, and its appeal to both Spanish and international audiences. It is the perfect project to kick-off HBO Europe’s drama slate in Spain.”
The series began shooting in Northern Span this year and like the other series will premiere in 2020, though no premiere dates have been set yet.
“Luckily, HBO has enabled me to be surrounded by an exceptional technical and artistic crew who share the same commitment. To me, Patria is not only the challenge of adapting a powerful and moving novel that has reached readers all over the world. It’s also a personal journey which, through these characters, takes me back to the toughest years of ETA that made such an impact on my youth,” Gabilondo.
Everybody’s favorite big birds, Big Bird and Abelardo, came together in a really sweet way this past weekend, melting the hearts of fans on both sides of the US-Mexico border.
Abelardo, the beloved giant parrot from Plaza Sésamo, visited his primo BIg Bird in Los Angeles and the two shared their time together all over social media and people, present company included, are freaking out. Seriously, it was so cute and we are so happy they got to spend time together. Family is everything.
I mean it all makes sense now. Looking back I don’t know how I didn’t connect the dots…
This cuteness overload all started when Abelardo announced that he’d be traveling to LA to visit his cousin Big Bird.
Abelardo took to his new Twitter account to announce his trip and seek some advice on what he should bring his cousin back in LA. Too freakin cute!
Albergado documented his trip as part of a publicity campaign in partnership with Mexican airline Aeromexico.
The cuteness factor leveled up times 10 once the primos were reunited in LA.
For real though. These cousins know how to have a good time together and we’re so happy for them. Once Abelardo and Big Bird hit the road, the real fun began.
Big Bird showed Abelardo all the top LA spots: they took photos in front of the Hollywood Sign, visited Big Bird’s star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame, went on a search for the best birdseed milkshakes in all of LA, and even braved traffic to hit the beach.
Like it literally started with a happy dance!
I mean who knows how long it had been since the primos were together so we can totally understand just how happy the two must of been to see each other.
It was beautiful to see this positive message about family and unity in the times we’re living in.
These primos were full of excitement and love for another and we can’t think of a better message to share with kids, especially Latino ones, at a time when hatred towards Latinos is a threat to our lives.
Sure they’re just fictional characters but don’t underestimate the power of representation on TV. I mean just remember back to when you watched these programs as a kid and try and tell me they didn’t have an impact on you.
For many of us who grew up watching both Sesame Street and Plaza Sésamo, it was awesome to see the two come together.
Sesame Street aired on PBS while Univision was home to Plaza Sésamo in the US – which means many of us grew up watching both versions of the show. That, for many, made this reunion so much more special.
Though it turns out that this family road trip wasn’t the first time the two had met.
Back in 1997, Abelardo traveled from Mexico City to visit Big Bird for Cinco de Mayo. The two have to find each other after Oscar the Grouch, of course, picks Abelardo up from the airport without telling anyone. OMG…drama.
For many fans of the shows, the realization that the two were cousins made all the sense in the world.
And also…when can I go on an amazing trip like this with my primos?!
And for Abelardo, it was the best viaje of his life!
Big Bird shared a tender message: “See who came to visit me, my cousin Abelardo! We are going to look for milkshakes with birdseed milk”, “We live in different places, but families will always be together in our hearts, I had a lot of fun this weekend with my cousin. “
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