New year, new TV shows to get hooked on. The bonus? These courtroom dramas, family comedies, sci-fi thrillers and animated shows all star Latinos! From familiar faces (Lost’s Jorge Garcia in Alcatraz) to brand new ones (Claudia Bassols in ¡Rob!), here are 11 new shows we can't wait to check out this Spring!
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Work It (ABC)
The concept is just absurd enough to work, or at least ABC hopes so: Two out-of-work guys dress up as women to get jobs. One of them, a ladies’ man named Angel, is played by 41-ear-old boricua Amaury Nolasco (Prison Break), whose testosterone is what we like about him. But hey, we’ll give it a shot.
Premieres: Jan 3, 8:30 p.m. ET
A show that features a mostly Latino cast. There hasn’t been anything close to that since Ugly Betty. And what a cast it is: Comedian Rob Schneider’s obsessive-compulsive character marries Maggie (Spanish newcomer Claudia Bassol, 32), he marries her entire Mexican family, including dad (Cheech Marin, 65), mom (Dominican American Diana Maria Riva, 42, Our Family Wedding) undocumented uncle (Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez, 49), randy grandmother (Mexican actress Lupe Ontiveros, 69). The pilot is broad but funny and doesn’t over-rely on ethnic jokes.
Premieres: Jan. 12, 8:30 ET
Too bad they didn’t keep the hilarious original title to this one: Good Christian Bitches. Based on a book by that name, the series focuses on a group of blue-eye-shadowed Queen B’s from Dallas, including part Spanish-Mexican Marisol Nichols, 38, (24) as a high-school-outcast-turned socialite gossiper.
Premieres: March 4, 10 p.m. ET
A down-on-its-luck family from Texas moves to a California ranch to start over, only to encounter major drama from a rich family. You may have heard of the actress who plays la protagonista, Camila Najera: Mexican star Blanca Soto, 32, lead in a little telenovela called Eva Luna, which broke all kinds of ratings records in early 2011. Expect this to do as well, especially with two hot actors also starring: Aaron Diaz, the Mexican ex-husband of Kate del Castillo, and Rafael Novoa, the biggest telenovela actor in Colombia.
Premieres: Spring 2012
Napoleon Dynamite (FOX)
What could be better than bringing the awkward antics of the liger-loving, white-fro wearing teen to TV via an animated show? Well, how about hiring the cast of the movie to voice the characters? Mexican American Efren Ramirez, 38, returns as Napoleon’s slack-jawed buddy Pedro. We’ll be voting for him.
Premieres: Jan. 15, 8:30 p.m.
Everyone’s favorite actor-dude, Cuban-Chilean Jorge Garcia, 38, of Lost fame, returns to TV in this J.J. Abrams mystery, in which 302 prisoners of the infamous prison vanish from their cells in the 1960s only to suddenly appear in the present day and start to commit crimes commissioned by an unknown entity. Garcia plays Dr. Diego “Doc” Soto, a comic book- and Alcatraz geek who joins a group trying to solve the mystery.
Premieres: Jan. 16, 8 p.m. ET
Common Law (USA)
Argentinian-English actress Sonya Walger (Lost) plays the couples therapist that two homicide detective partners are ordered to start seeing in order to resolve their differences.
Premieres: Jan. 26, 10 p.m. ET
Morning Buzz (CNN)
The Cuban-Irish American correspondent, who produced groundbreaking specials including Latino in America is set to bring her sunny disposition and journalistic skills back to daytime TV when her new morning show premieres. According to the New York Post, though, the exact format, premiere date and even name, of the show is still in flux, so check the network’s website for updates.
Premieres: January 2012
Nuyorican theater and film actor John Ortiz, 43, aka Campos of Fast & Furious, will co-star with legend Dustin Hoffman, as a shady horse trainer, on this taut horse-racing track drama from Michael Mann, who produced Miami Vice, Heat and Hancock.
Premieres: Jan. 29, 9 p.m. ET
The River (ABC)
In this scary show from Paranormal movie producer Oren Peli, the family of an lost explorer goes searching for him in the Amazon when his emergency signal goes off, months after his disappearance. Mexican actress Paulina Gaitan, 19, (Sin Nombre) speaks only Spanish in the show, as Jahel, the daughter of the family’s loyal mechanic, Emilio, playd by Honduran actor Daniel Zacapa, 58 (Resurrection Blvd.).
Premieres: Feb. 7, 9 p.m. ET