There are more Latino stars on the small screen this fall than there have ever been in the history of television. And with the fall TV season in full swing, it's the perfect time to announce the winners of our first ever Fall TV Awards. Check out our list of winners and tell us if you agree with our picks!
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Most Latino TV Show of the Fall
“This is so neat that half the cast this season are minorities, and a third—33 percent—are Latino,” Aimee Garcia told Latina about her hot new role on Dexter this fall. The half-Puerto Rican actress is joining the cast in the recurring role of Jamie Batista, nanny to Dexter’s (Michael C. Hall) son, Harrison—but she wont be the only Latina on set. Puerto Rican actors Lauren Velez and David Zayas are returning for season 6 as Lt. Maria Laguerta and Sgt. Angel Batista—and Oscar-nominated Mexican actor Edward James Olmos joins the cast as this season’s big bad—a brilliant and charismatic professor of religious studies who is also a murderer. Of course, having Latinos in the cast is nothing new for the Showtime hit. In years past, Dexter has welcomed several Latin stars to Miami Metro, including half-Puerto Rican actor Jimmy Smits (as Miguel Prado), Mexican-American actor Christian Camargo (as the ice-truck killer, Brian Moser), Puerto Rican actress April Lee Hernandez as officer Cira Manzon and Spanish actress Courtney Ford as journalist Christine Hill. Dexter, we applaud your diversity efforts and we’re proud to call you the Most Latino Show on Television!
Best (Latino) TV Replacement
Danny Pino, Law & Order: SVU
When star Christopher Meloni decided not to return for the 13th season of the hit procedural Law & Order: SVU, a lot of people thought the show would suffer creatively without fan favorite Elliot Stabler. However, by bringing in Cuban actor Danny Pino (Cold Case)—and the equally talented Kelli Giddish (Chase)—SVU feels reinvigorated this season, and fresher than it has in years. Why? It’s because of the new dynamic between Olivia Benson (star Mariska Hargitay) and Pino's character Nick Amaro—a military intelligence officer who is an expert at reading people. While Benson is always quick to side with the victim, Nick isn't as quick to take sides. “He’s less of a true believer than Benson,” says Pino. “He sees ulterior motives in accusers.” That difference makes SVU’s interrogation scenes more fun to watch.
Latino Scene Stealer
Ana Ortiz, Hung
The third season of HBO’s hit comedy Hung features two good-looking male prostitutes—star Thomas Jane and new recurring guest star Stephen Amell—competing for the same female clients in Detroit. While the guys are both really hot—the younger Amell especially could star in a series of ab commercials—the new season’s real scene stealer is half-Puerto Rican actress Ana Ortiz, who joins the cast as a cop who likes to role play during sex. Ana’s character likes to play rough—the first time we meet her, she’s using handcuffs on Ray (Jane) and pinning him down to the ground—but she’s also got a sweet, vulnerable side that’s incredibly endearing. Look for her to become Ray’s main love interest this season.
Latina Most Likely to get Verbally Abused by Hugh Laurie
Odette Annable, House
Cuban actress, Odette Annable (Breaking In) has joined the cast of FOX’s hit series, House. The sweet actress will play Dr. Jessica Adams, a prison doctor who House (Hugh Laurie) meets while behind bars. In the very first episode of season eight, House goes after Dr. Adams by questioning a diagnosis she makes on an inmate. (He then tells her that she's a good enough doctor...for prison). Ouch! According to the show’s creator David Shore, that’s not all the cranky doc does to Odette’s character. "House manages to screw everything up while he's in prison, including her life," says Shore.
Best Sex Scene Starring a Latino
Michael Trevino & Candice Accola, The Vampire Diaries
In the season three premiere of the CW’s hit show, The Vampire Diaries, Caroline (Candice Accola) tries to pretend she’s not jealous of Tyler’s (Michael Trevino) date to Elena’s (Nina Dobrev) 18th birthday party. But Caroline can't control her animal instincts, so she grabs Tyler and kisses him passionately on the dance floor, then leads him up to an empty room where she rips her clothes off and uses her superhuman vampire strength to throw him onto a bed. Tyler then proceeds to kiss her neck and uses his superhuman werewolf strength to get on top of Caroline and hold her down. Who knew vampire on werewolf sex could be this hot?
Best Latino TV Villain (Female)
Lana Parrilla, Once Upon A Time
Just how wicked is the evil queen played by half-Puerto Rican actress Lana Parilla in the new ABC series, Once Upon A Time? Well, we’ll tell you this: In the pilot episode, she crashes a wedding and wishes the bride and groom eternal misery, orders a bunch of goons to kill a prince and steal a baby, and sends a host of fairy tale characters “somewhere horrible.” Even Parrilla, the actress who plays the evil queen, says her character’s got one hell of a mean streak. “There’s definitely a side of her that likes to fu** with people,” she says with a laugh.
Best Latino TV Villain (Male)
Edward James Olmos, Dexter
Showtime’s hit serial killer drama, Dexter has always featured Latino actors in killer roles (pun intended). In season one, Mexican-American actor Christian Camargo played the iconic role of Brian Moser (the “ice-truck killer”) and season three welcomed Jimmy Smits as Miguel Prado—a character who on the surface seemed to be a good guy, but was actually a sociopath and a murderer. The new season welcomes Oscar-nominated Mexican actor Edward James Olmos as a brilliant, charismatic professor of religious studies who moonlights as a serial killer. Rumor has it that Olmos’ character, Professor Gellar, likes to cut his victims open and then sow them back up. Yuck!
Favorite Latino Reality Star
Evelyn Lozada, Basketball Wives
From “You’re a Non-Mother******* Factor, Bi*** to “You’re a Bum,” and “You’re not in the circle!”—Evelyn Lozada’s trademark insults are so popular that they trend on Twitter. The Puerto Rican reality star might be one of six women who star on VH1’s hit show Basketball Wives, but Evelyn is hands down the show’s star and scene stealer. She's also a smart businesswoman. After she called her costar Tami Roman a "non-mother******* factor" during a heated fight on the show, Lozada created t-shirts with the trademark phrase and sold them on social networking sites. She made a ton of money…
Funniest Latina TV Star
Naya Rivera, Glee
While Evelyn Lozada takes care of insulting folks on reality TV, Naya Rivera holds it down on scripted TV. The half-Puerto Rican actress is hilarious as the snarky cheerio Santana Lopez on FOX's hit show, Glee. A self-proclaimed "straight-up bi***," Santana is crass, judgemental, vain and downright evil. Seriously, what kind of a person tells her peers that they need to visit a plastic surgeon ASAP? Still, we can't help but love McKinley High's resident mean girl, and at times we find her brutal honesty kind of refreshing.
Favorite Latina Action Star
Cote de Pablo, NCIS
As Israeli Weapons expert Ziva David on TV’s #1 drama, NCIS, Cote de Pablo has been kicking ass and taking names for seven seasons now—and the Chilean actress shows no signs of slowing down. During a live chat with Latina’s Facebook fans earlier this month, Cote was asked the following question: ‘If you were to write an episode of NCIS, what would it be like?’ Cote said the episode would feature "Lots of action,” and added, “where Ziva gets to kick some butt and possibly lots of sexual tension—kind of like a Mr and Mrs Smith episode," she said.
Sexiest New Latin Star
Ramon Rodriguez, Charlie's Angels
In ABC's sexy Charlie's Angels reboot, Ramon Rodriguez spends more time with his shirt off than he does with it on—and we are not complaining! The Puerto Rican hunk has a ripped chest and some serious washboard abs. Plus, he's extremely charming. Ramon's character Bosley—who serves as a confidante to the Angels, as well as the liason between Charlie Townsend and the girls—is also plenty playful and flirtatious and that makes us weak in the knees.
Show Starring A Latino That We're Most Looking Forward to in 2012
Work It (starring Amaury Nolasco)
The funniest comedy pilot we saw this fall is the only comedy ABC benched until Spring. It’s called Work It and stars Puerto Rican actor Amaury Nolasco as Angel Ortiz, an unemployed man living in a woman's world, who dresses up as a sexy woman to get a job. It’s hilarious watching Amaury struggle to understand the complex psyches and neuroses of the women he works with, while at the same time flirting with his sexy boss Vanessa, played by Rochelle Aytes. It's the best gender-bending comedy since Mrs. Doubtfire! And we must say, Amaury makes one beautiful woman!
Best New Drama Starring A Latina
Once Upon a Time (ABC)
From the writers of Lost, Once Upon A Time is a fresh new take on the storybook legends everyone knows—or thought they knew. Spellbinding, chillingly dark and truly original, the show—which is set in two worlds: a storybook world of fairly tales where anything is possible, and the real world (“where happy endings go to die”)—boasts a talented cast led by three extremely talented actresses: Ginnifer Goodwin (Big Love), Jennifer Morrison (House) and half-Puerto Rican actress Lana Parrilla (Swington) as the evil queen in a performance that will haunt your dreams.
Favorite Latina TV Cop
Lauren Velez, Dexter
Puerto Rican actress Lauren Velez has been running Miami Metro Homicide as Lt. Maria Laguerta on Showtime's hit show Dexter for five seasons now, and with each passing season, her character becomes more of a badass! When you get called into Laguerta's office, you know you're in trouble—even if you’re her husband, Detective Batista (David Zayas). Imagine getting yelled at both at home and at work. Yikes!
Favorite Buddy Comedy (Male)
How to Make it in America (Victor Rasuk and Brian Greenburg)
In the hit HBO series, Victor Rasuk and Bryan Greenberg play best friends Ben Epstein and Cam Calderon—two 20 something’s who live in New York and are trying to start their own line of denim called Crisp. We love Ben and Cam’s friendship because they have each other’s backs when the chips are down—which for them is always! In real life, Rasuk (who's Dominican) tells Latina.com that their bond off-camera is just as tight.
Best Lesbian Couple
Sara Ramirez and Jessica Capshaw, Grey’s Anatomy
Orthopedic Surgeon Callie Torres (Sara Ramirez) and Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw) on Grey’s Anatomy aren’t just our favorite gay couple on televidsion—they’re our favorite couple on TV, period! Arizona arrived in Callie's life at a time when Callie was just beginning to discover that she deserved to be loved and to be treated with respect. They've been their for each other through thick and thin and despite their many struggles (things every couple goes through, straight or otherwise), they're now married and have a baby together. What’s not to love about this endearing couple?
Favorite Buddy Comedy (Female)
Shake It Up! (Bella Thorne and Zendaya)
On the hit Disney Channel series Shake It Up! Bella Thorne and actress Zendaya star as Cece Jones and Rocky Blue, two best friends who are both aspiring dancers. Thorne, who's Cuban, says the buddy aspect is what makes the show unique. "We haven’t really experienced a buddy comedy that’s based around dance,” says Thorne, who explains that she and Zendaya are as close in real life as they are on the show. “Zendaya is chill and she accepts my craziness and she's also really sweet. She's always there for me through thick and thin and I get to spend a lot of time with her." How could these two cuties not be our favorite buddy pair on TV?
Favorite Buddy Comedy (Male)
How to Make it in America (Victor Rasuk and Brian Greenburg)
In the hit HBO series, Victor Rasuk and Bryan Greenberg play best friends Ben Epstein and Cam Calderon—two 20 somethings who live in New York and are trying to start their own line of denim called, Crisp. We love Ben and Cam’s friendship because they have each other’s backs when the chips are down—which for them is always! In real life, Rasuk (who's Dominican) tells Latina.com that their bond is just as tight.