Eva Longoria’s hoping to bring the Chicano story and struggle to the small screen.
The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star has joined forces with Natalie Chaidez and Forest Whitaker to develop the family drama Chicano, inspired by Richard Vasquez’s novel of the same name, for ABC.
Written by Chaidez, known for her work on 12 Monkeys, Hunters and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the drama is a multi-generational saga about 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 Sandoval family from 1920 through present and explores the question of what it means to be American.
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.
ABC has handed the project a script and additional development material plus penalty commitment. Chaidez, Longoria, Spector, Whitaker, Yang Bongiovi serve as executive producers.
It’s 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.
Development of the project began with one of the executive producers, Doug 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.”