20th TV signs Estefan to develop Latino drama

Music producer will exec produce the series

Emilio Estefan has inked a deal with Twentieth Century Fox TV to develop a Latino-themed network drama. Under the pact, Estefan will exec produce the project aimed for this fall’s network TV development.

Estefan, winner of 19 Grammy Awards, has helped develop the careers of artists including Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez and wife Gloria Estefan. In 2008 he produced and helmed “90 Millas,” a full-length doc detailing the history of Cuban music.

Twentieth believes the pact with Estefan will help it cast a broader demo net.

“Reaching out to all audiences, including the Latino audience, is a critical priority for this studio as we look for the next big international hit,” said 20th TV chairs Dana Walden and Gary Newman. “Emilio has a vision for a dramatic series that combines great storytelling with an authenticity in terms of Latino culture.”

Estefan sees the TV opp as a chance to clear up “confusion” about his culture. In the media, “A lot of the Latinos have been hookers, drug dealer,” he told Variety. “I see through the years how people get disappointed. In the movies, when they put a Latino onscreen, it’s always predictable. I feel we have yet to see a good drama that doesn’t represent us with drugs.”

Development deal allows the music-turned-TV producer to tap into a new generation of Latinos and portray the culture in a more positive light. “We’re looking to have great actors in the show who represent minorities in the right way.”

And while Estefan boasts a Rolodex filled with A-list Spanish-speaking talent, he said he’s “looking for new faces” for the TV project: “We’ll be looking for people who represent the new generation…second generation Hispanics who can do bilingual TV.”

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