With the CW’s Jane The Virgin, based on the Venezuelan telenovela Juana la Virgen, emerging as one of the best reviewed new shows this fall, the network is betting on another adaptation of a Latin American telenovela. The CW has put in development drama First Lady, executive produced by Jennifer Garner and Tariq Jalil.
The project touches on the hot-button immigration issue as it asks the question, What if the next First Lady of the United States is a former illegal alien? Written by Jenni Ross based on the Chilean series Primera Dama, First Lady chronicles one woman’s rags-to-riches journey from illegal immigrant to the White House, where she battles injustice and her own sordid past which has come back to haunt her. Garner’s Vandalia Films is producing with Warner Bros. TV where the company has a deal. Garner, Jalil and Ross executive produce, with Juliana Janes producing.
Primera Dama, created by Sebastián Arrau and distributed by Latin Media, aired on Canal 13-Chile in 2010 and has been sold or remade in multiple countries. Here is a trailer with English subtitles.
In addition to First Lady, Vandalia recently sold parenthood comedy Half Full to Fox. Garner, repped by WME, Management 360 and Jason, Sloane has Jason Reitman’s Men, Women & Children opening following its premiere in Toronto.
For Jalil and his Intrigue banner, First Lady joins drama Game Of Silence, based on a Turkish format, which has a pilot production commitment at NBC with Carol Mendelsohn executive producing through Sony TV. Ross sold her blacklist feature script Hot Mess to Endgame with Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas producing and also wrote the feature Baby Shower, currently out to directors. In TV, her first pilot script, All American Girl, sold to Bravo through Fox TV Studios. She is with WME, Haven Entertainment and Hansen Jacobson.