PBS ‘Family’ grows; 9 episodes ordered

Moreno joins skein as recurring character

PBS has picked up the back nine segs of Latino-themed drama “American Family,” with new episodes set to air as early as July.

Order brings to 22 the total number of segs PBS has ordered for the show’s first season.

In addition, “Family” has welcomed vet thesp Rita Moreno to the fold as a recurring character. Series exec producer Gregory Nava also told Daily Variety that plans are in the works to lense a handful of upcoming segs on location in Mexico.

Moreno, who has come on board for an initial four episodes, makes her entrance tonight — as the drama, which follows the daily life of a Hispanic-American clan living in East Los Angeles, kicks off the first of the season’s final five episodes. Thesp, who currently co-stars on HBO’s prison drama “Oz,” will portray a community activist, who works with Constance Marie’s character at her legal clinic. A possible romance with Edward James Olmos’ character is also in the mix.

Beginning on May 29, PBS will push the show back to 9p.m. on Wednesdays from its current 8 p.m. timeslot. Starting June 5, pubcaster will showcase “Family” with three weeks of “feature-length” presentations — essentially two repeat episodes playing back to back.

“Family” is produced by El Norte Prods. and KCET Hollywood in association with the Greenblatt Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios.