ABC has put in development family drama Chicano, inspired by Richard Vasquez’s novel, from Queen of the South showrunner Natalie Chaidez, Eva Longoria and Forest Whitaker.
20th Century Fox Television is the studio on the project, which is being produced in association with Longoria and Ben Spector’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s Significant Productions. Doug Pray, who exec produced Apple doc Home and HBO’s The Defiant Ones, is also an exec producer.
Written by Chaidez, who has also worked on 12 Monkeys, Hunters and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the drama is a multi-generational saga of the Sandovals, a Mexican-American family that immigrates to Los Angeles in pursuit of the American Dream. It will follow the struggles and triumphs of the Sandovals from 1920 through present and explores the question of what it means to be American
ABC has handed the project a script and additional development material plus penalty commitment. Chaidez, Longoria, Spector, Whitaker, Yang Bongiovi and Pray exec produce.
It is the latest ABC project for UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, which is currently under a deal at 20th Century Fox Studios Television. The company previously produced Grand Hotel. Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi, who run Significant Productions, which has a first-look deal at Amazon, currently serve as exec producers on Epix drama Godfather of Harlem.
Development of the project began with Pray working with Sylvia Vasquez, daughter of Chicano author Richard Vasquez, while Chaidez is a third generation Mexican-American whose own family’s immigration journey closely parallels the story told in Chicano.
“Chicano is just the first of many projects that we expect from Eva and Ben as we look to ramp up our slate of Latinx programming. As part of our studio family, they are valuable partners in helping us expand our commitment to compelling stories for underrepresented communities,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “With Forest, Nina, Natalie and Doug also at the helm of this project, we know we have the perfect powerhouse team to bring this Mexican-American family’s story to life and cultivate the next generation of Latinx storytelling.”
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