We love seeing Latinx-led shows breaking records and making history in media and entertainment. ABC’s newest show Not Dead Yet, which stars Puerto Rican actress Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) released its first two episodes on the cable network and Hulu on February 8. The premiere was watched by 7.6 million people in the week following its debut, breaking ABC’s record for the most-watched comedy series debut in four years. The record was previously held by Bless This Mess in 2019. Thanks to streaming, the series saw increased viewership of 4 million viewers over seven days in addition to 3.6 million live viewership and a 300 percent increase in its TV rating among the 18-49 demographic — the largest in ABC’s history for a comedy debut, Deadline reported.
The show follows Nell Serrano (Rodriguez), a woman who is recently returning to the workforce after living in the U.K. with her ex-fiancé and putting her entire life on hold for the past decade. When she returns to her old job at a newspaper as a newly single, messy woman, she’s given the only job available to her: writing obituaries. Suddenly, in a comedic Sixth Sense-style, she begins to see the ghosts of the people she writes about, moves up at her job, and learns important lessons about love, life, and loss along the way. It’s amazing to see a Latina actress like Rodriguez in a leading role that is both funny and honest, that doesn’t shy away from her ethnic and cultural identity but also allows her to exist outside of it. Thanks to these historic viewership ratings, it’s clear our community (and beyond) is hungry for these kinds of stories and that representation can be rewarding for both networks and viewers.
“I have been on one of the most incredible journeys for the past 6 months bringing NOT DEAD YET to life,” Rodriguez said in her initial Instagram post announcing the series. “The cast is outstanding, the guest stars are out of this world, the writing is funny, sweet, hopeful, heartbreaking and everything that is life and I couldn’t be more excited than to share my other baby @notdeadyetabc with you all!!!!”
Rodriguez also had a personal connection to the series after her grandmother died. “I recently, right before we started the show, lost my grandmother,” she told ABC News. “I learned a lot from her you know but in the Puerto Rican culture death is celebrated because the life was celebrated, and we dance for the people that we’ve lost and we remember them.”
She first became known in the mainstream in 2014 for her leading role as Jane Gloriana Villanueva in the hit CW series Jane the Virgin, winning a Golden Globe after season one and the hit show lasted five seasons. She has also appeared in and executive produced the Disney+ show Diary of a Future President as Elena Cañero-Reed, and the film Someone Great on Netflix. She will next be seen in Amazon’s Last Known Position, a series adaptation of the popular fiction adventure podcast. Alongside Rodriguez, Not Dead Yet also stars Hannah Simone (New Girl), Lauren Ash (Superstore), Josh Banday (Upload), Jessica S t. Clair (Playing House), and Mary Elizabeth Ellis (Licorice Pizza).
The first three episodes of Not Dead Yet are now available to watch on ABC and Hulu, with new episodes releasing each week.