Both projects hail from Rodriguez’s I Can & I Will Productions, which is set up under an overall deal with CBS Television Studios.
The CBS project is a drama titled “Have Mercy,” based on the German format “Dr. Illegal.” It centers around a Latina doctor who is unable to practice when she immigrates to Miami. She begins work as a nurse’s assistant, but risks everything when she opens a makeshift clinic in her apartment to serve the community. “Queen of the South” co-executive producer Dailyn Rodriguez will executive produce, with Intrigue Entertainment’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter also executive producing. Rodriguez optioned the format when she signed the overall deal with CBS TV Studios.
The CW project is a one-hour dramedy called “Illegal.” Based on the life of series co-executive producer and writer Rafael Agustin, the series follows a sixteen-year old American high school student named Rafael who discovers he is in fact undocumented. Rodriguez will executive produce along with I Can & I Will’s Emily Gipson.
Agustin, who currently writes for Rodriguez’s “Jane the Virgin,” was a Sundance Episodic Story Lab Fellow, and co-created and co-wrote the autobiographical play “N*ggerwetb*ck Ch*nk.”
I Can & I Will Productions is also developing a series adaptation of “LA Story” at CBS TV Studios in conjunction with Alison Rosenzweig and Michael Gaeta of Gaeta Rosenzweig Films, and a drama based on the novel “Flood Girls” which they are executive-producing alongside Drew Barrymore’s Flower Films and writer Corinne Brinkerhoff.
I Can & I Will Productions is repped by APA, Primary Wave Entertainment, and attorney Karl Austen. Agustin is repped by APA and attorney Jody Simon.
On Tuesday, CBS also announced they were developing a comedy series called “Welcome to Maine,” a multi-cam about a ninth-generation Maine family and a recent immigrant and his daughter who must all learn to embrace change when they share the same workplace in a tiny rural town.
That announcement came on the heels of the Trump administration formally announcing that they will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects approximately 800,000 undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children from deportation.