When it comes to diversity, NBC is no ABC. Still, the Peacock network did try to add some diversity to its primetime programming this fall—emphasis on “tried.”
Half-Puerto Rican actor Kirk Acevedo (Oz, Fringe) was cast in a supporting role on the Mario Bello cop drama Prime Suspect (which has now been benched by the network), while Mexican actor Al Madrigal had a supporting role on the ill-conceived comedy Free Agents (which got the ax after just six episodes).
Cuban actor Eddie Cibrian was also cast as the lead in The Playboy Club, a shortlived NBC drama set in 1963, that centered on the opening of the first Playboy Club in Chicago. But we all know what happened to that show...
Still, there is one NBC show with a new Latino star that survived this fall—the long-running procedural Law & Order: SVU. Now in its thirteenth season, SVU replaced departing star Christopher Meloni with Cuban actor Danny Pino this fall and the Cold Case alum seems to have worked out for the show.
In addition to Pino, there are also Latino stars on some of NBC’s returning shows. Half-Puerto Rican actress Aubrey Plaza continues to impress as Amy Poheler’s slothful college intern April on the hit comedy Parks and Recreation, while Cuban actor Oscar Nunez is still our favorite grumpy accountant on NBC”s long-running comedy, The Office.
NBC also added some diversity to its reality shows this year. Christina Aguilera was tapped to judge the network’s hit singing competition The Voice, and she’ll return to the show for a second season in the spring. A few weeks ago, NBC also announced that Cuban actress-singer Christina Milian has been tapped to serve as the show’s new social media correspondent!
While many of NBC’s new Latino stars were featured on shows that were cancelled, we have to give the Peacock network an A for effort in their diversity efforts this fall.