Last year, we were so disappointed by the lack of diversity on the FOX network—namely the lack of Latino stars on the network—that we gave FOX a grade of "F" in our diversity report cards series. The network received a failing grade not only because there were just three Latino stars on FOX last year (Freddie Prinze Jr (24), Monica Raymund (Lie to Me), and Naya Rivera (Glee), but also because all three of those stars were playing supporting roles on the network—there was not a single Latino actor starring on a FOX show last year.
That said, it seems that in 2011 the FOX network made an effort to feature more Latino stars on its primetime shows. The biggest Latina addition to the network this year was of course Jennifer Lopez, who joined FOX's #1 show, American Idol as a judge (replacing Simon Cowell in the show's 10th season). Having Jennifer on Idol boded well for the hit reality singing competition. Not only did it reinvigorate the show creatively—Idol was feeling a bit sluggish in season nine—but it also significantly improved the show's ratings from the year prior.
But Lopez isn’t the only Latina that FOX cast in a leading role this year. Last spring, the network cast Cuban actress Odette Annable (Brothers & Sisters) as the female lead on their Christian Slater comedy, Breaking In. (This summer, Annable was tapped to join FOX's hit show, House as a series regular for the show's eighth season). And of course half-Puerto Rican actress Naya Rivera is still making us split our sides as the irreverent cheerleader-turned-gleek Santana Lopez on FOX's hit comedy, Glee!
We're thrilled that FOX hired more Latin stars in 2011 than it did in 2010 (even if we are a little bummed that the network didn't cast any Latin stars on its two biggest new shows of the fall: The New Girl and the action-adventure series, Terra Nova). And we're excited to tune in to the network this spring to see Cuban actor Jorge Garcia (Lost), as one of the stars of the new sci-fi series, Alcatraz.