Wednesday, March 24, 2010


TeleVISION by Julio Martinez

ORTIZ SURVIVES THE DEMISE OF ‘UGLY’…Despite ABC unceremoniously booting Ugly Betty off the air this Spring, the network is not casting off Ana Ortiz, who is staying on ABC, starring in the network's cop drama pilot, True Blue. The cop show centers on a group of San Francisco homicide detectives reunited to solve the murder of one of their own. Ortiz plays a civilian secretary at the precinct. Poppy Montgomery co-stars. Exec producing are Jon Feldman, Chris Brancato and Bert Salke; Peter Horton is directing the pilot. There are a lot of pilots hatched during the Spring with no guarantee of finding a nesting place in the Fall primetime lineup. Ortiz has proven she has the star quality to make memorable any show she is in. Other pilot casting coups include Oswaldo Castillo being nabbed for NBC's untitled Adam Carolla comedy pilot. The pilot stars the comedian as a divorced contractor rebuilding his life. Castillo, a frequent collaborator of Carolla, will play his roommate and co-worker. Also in the works, Carmen Ejogo has taken a role in CBS drama pilot, Chaos.

... POLITICS OF ‘I DO’…With Quiero Mi Boda, MTV Tr3s takes an inside look at cross-cultural weddings and the hustle and bustle surrounding them. Producer Jorge Talon affirms, “Weddings are a special event in the life of a couple, a day where not only two people join in matrimony but also a day when two families unite. Now imagine these two families being from completely different cultural backgrounds, tastes, traditions, religion and sometimes even different languages.” Having premiered in on January 18 (10pm EST), Quiero Mi Boda shows what happens when you intermingle Mexicans with Cubans, Dominicans con Gringos, or even Puerto Ricans with Chinese! The final two Monday episodes air March 15 and 22 (9pm, EST).

INDEPENDENT LENS FOCUSES ON THE ‘LOST SOULS’…The Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, is premiering Lost Souls (“Animas Perdidas”), Tuesday, March 23rd at 10 PM (check local listings). Monika Navarro, a young Latina filmmaker born and raised in Ventura County, set out to make a documentary about her troubled uncle Augie, who was deported to Mexico after serving time for drug dealing, even though he was raised in the States and had served in the military. Navarro relates, "I found myself telling a different story -- about the kind of exile that has nothing to do with the government." Turning the camera on her parents, uncles and cousins, Monika shines a light on her family's dark history of abuse, addiction and abandonment as well as achievement and strength.

Finally, Carlos Gomez (Shark, Sleeper Cell) and Kiele Sanchez have landed co-starring roles on A&E's drama pilot Sugarloaf. More about that in next week’s TeleVISION.

LATIN HEAT welcomes breaking news, especially if you have
landed a role on the little screen. Send submissions to and interview requests to

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Garcia Plays Pregnant; Latino Reality; Crew List

TeleVISION by Julio Martinez

The television pilots are beginning to hatch all over the primetime dial.
TeleVISION has the radar out to identify the highs and the lows of emerging viewer fare. One perennial Latina may have finally found a promising sitcom home.

GARCIA ON THE MOVE…That blond bombshell of a Latina, Joanna Leanna Garcia, emerged as a potential star from the WB series, Reba (2001-2007). But despite displaying considerable on-camera charisma and laudable comedic timing, Garcia’s talents were ill-served on two lamentable short-lived comedy series, Welcome to The Captain (CBS) and Privileged (CW). Her prospects are looking up. Garcia has been tabbed to co-star in an untitled comedy pilot for ABC from Shana Goldberg-Meehan. The plot focuses on two sisters in different stages of their romantic relationships and is produced by Warner Bros. Television. “I play the less secure sis who gets pregnant and ends up marrying her beau,” says Garcia. The comedy is being ear-marked for the upcoming 2010 Fall season. When she is not on the set, Florida-born Garcia, who speaks Spanish fluently, is a volunteer English-as-a Second-language teacher for children in Los Angeles.

LATINOS ON REALITY…Two of the hottest current reality shows on TV, American Idol (FOX) and Project Runway (Lifetime Cable), have been showcasing some impressive Latino talent this winter. The monstrously popular Idol showcase is down to the Top 24 pop vocalists. Included in the countdown is Ashley Rodriguez (22, Chelsea, MA), Andrew Garcia (24, Moreno Valley, CA) and Joe Munoz (20, Huntington Park, CA). Two ladies and two men will be eliminated this week. Hopefully, these vocally adroit Latinos will make the cut….Over on the Runway, fashionistas Jesus Estrada, Maya Luz and Emilio Estrada have all been impressive. Julio Estrada was eliminated from the competition a few weeks
ago but that has not stopped the San Diego based designer from pursuing his dreams. He will be showing at LA Fashion Week in a few weeks. Luz and Emilio Estrada are both in the competition and both have impressed the judges each week with their designs. Additionally, Emilio was the winner of the first challenge this season. American Idol airs Tuesdays and Wednesdays (FOX, 8pm E/P). Project Runway can be seen Thursdays (Lifetime, 10pm (E/P).

LATINO CREWS…Much attention is paid when a Latino actor rises to the status of series regular of prominent guest star on primetime TV. But for every burgeoning America Ferrera, there are hundreds of talented, behind-the-scenes chicos and chicas laboring to put that primetime show on the small screen. Upcoming on the FX Channel is the crime series, Justified (premieres Tuesday, March 16, 10pm E/P), starring Timothy Olyphant as rural Kentucky U.S. Marshall Raylan Givens. Helping to put words in Givens’ mouth is staff writer Benjamin Daniel Lobato, whose credits include The Unit (CBS). A screenwriter/playwright, Lobato’s stage work, Soldier in the Eclipse, was a winner of the Fifth Annual Hispanic Playwriting Festival. Working as Technical Advisor on the series is Charlie Almanza, retired after 30 years U.S. Marshal Service, including Chief Deputy in Los Angeles. Serving as Key Grip is Mike Reyes. Justified was developed by Executive Producers Graham Yost, Elmore Leonard, Michael Dinner, Sarah Timberman and Carl Beverly. 

LATIN HEAT welcomes breaking news, especially if you have landed a role on the little screen. Send submissions to and interview requests to