We’ve known for a while now (decades, actually) that Hollywood has a problem with including Latinxs in productions, in real roles, and behind the scenes. And, the few shows we do get the green light on seem to get canceled in the blink of an eye. It’s unfair, and not representative of a minority that is now the majority in Hollywood’s home, California. We are long overdue for a change.
To highlight this problem, and give props to the shows that came on the scene, left a mark, and repped the culture only to be gone in the blink of an eye, we are taking a look at 13 Latinx shows that were canceled too soon.
The Baker and the Beauty
The Baker and the Beauty is the latest Latinx show to get canceled. The ABC romantic-comedy-drama, based on the Israeli show Beauty and the Baker, took us to Little Havana, Miami, where fate joins Noa, a supermodel/entrepreneur, and Daniel, a baker at his family’s bakery. The show featured a great cast each holding their own, showcasing a modern Latinx family in a time where we are practically absent on TV. The Baker and the Beauty was canceled this June, after only one season.
Comedy-drama Devious Maids was co-executive produced by Eva Longoria and put together Latinx talent including Naya Rivera, Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Roselyn Sanchez, Matt Cedeño, and Cristian de la Fuente. Although the main characters are maids in Beverly Hills, they wield power, uncover buried secrets, and fight for justice after a fellow maid is murdered. The popular show was canceled after four seasons.
In 2019, Eva Longoria, who executive produced Devious Maids (which featured five Latina actresses in lead roles) was back with another TV project, Grand Hotel. The ABC drama told the tale of the wealthy Mendoza family, who owns a hotel in Miami. Scandal ensues. It starred Latino actors Demian Bichir, Rosalyn Sanchez, Denyse Tontz, Shalim Ortiz, Justina Adorno, and Feliz Ramirez, and was based on the Spanish show of the same name (Gran Hotel). Grand Hotel only lasted one season.
In 1984, Latino comedy legend Paul Rodriguez had his own show, called a.k.a. Pablo. It aired on ABC for only six episodes and centered on the life of stand-up comic Paul “Pablo” Rivera and his Mexican-American family. This included his traditional parents, who didn’t approve of the jokes Pablo told about his own heritage. The cast of a.k.a. Pablo also included Katy Jurado and Mario Lopez.
Hilarious Chicana Cristela Alonzo is an innovator who created a space for herself and her work on network television. When the comedian created the sitcom, Cristela, she was the “first Latina to create, produce, write, and star in her own primetime comedy.” Cristela ran on ABC, from 2014 to 2015.
Jane the Virgin
Like Chico and the Man, Jane the Virgin became a hit TV show, that put Latinxs and their lives front and center in the living rooms of families everywhere. Based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana La Virgin, this satirical telenovela told the story of Jane, who accidentally gets artificially inseminated by her gynecologist, forever changing her life. The title role is played by Puerto Rican Gina Rodriguez, who received a Golden Globe for her performance. Jane the Virgin ended after five seasons on television.
Vida was one of the few fabulous shows on television with an entirely Latinx cast and writing room and it showed. Starring Melissa Barrera and Mishel Prada and the Starz drama followed polar opposite Chicana sisters Emma and Lyn Hernandez, who return to their neighborhood of Boyle Heights after the death of their mother. Unfortunately, this popular show has been canceled after it’s third season when it felt like there was still way more of their story to tell.
Lopez Tonight made George Lopez the first Chicano to host a late-night talk show in the U.S. in English. There were celebrity interviews, comedic sketches, musical performances, and more, with Lopez holding down the hosting duties, while Arsenio Hall was brought on as a permanent guest host. After two seasons and 286 episodes, Lopez Tonight was canceled.
An iconic role played by America Ferrera, is Betty Suarez in Ugly Betty. The show was an English, American remake of the immensely successful Colombian telenovela Yo soy, Betty la fea, and Ferrera delivered as an awkward yet smart New York Chicana who works at a high-fashion magazine called Mode. The hit show, which garnered Ferrera a Golden Globe, lasted from 2006 to 2010.
Greetings From Tucson
Greetings from Tucson aired for 22 episodes, from 2002 to 2003. The sitcom, centered around the Tiant family, led by a Chicano father and Irish-American mother, who just moved into a better neighborhood. Greetings from Tucson was based on the life of the show’s creator, Peter Murrieta, and tackles subjects including cultural identity, class, and stereotypes. The cast was mostly Latinx.
The show ¿Qué Pasa, USA? was way ahead of its time when it premiered in 1977. The first bilingual sitcom ever, the PBS’ show centered around the Peña family, Cuban exiles living in Miami during the ’70s. Ana Margarita Martínez Casado played Juana Peña, the wife and mother of the family, and won a regional Emmy for Best Individual Talent of South Florida for the role. Although the show was a hit, it only lasted four seasons.
Cane was a drama series that ran on CBS in 2007. With a stellar cast that includes Rita Moreno, Jimmy Smits, Hector Elizondo, and Nestor Carbonell, the story centered around a Cuban-American family and their sugarcane and rum business in South Florida. Aside from the big talent involved, the show had all the makings of a great must-watch: power, drama, money, family secrets — but was canceled after only one season.