Rita Moreno, the multi-talented actress who had a key role in the PBS children’s series “The Electric Company” will play for the kiddie set once again.
Moreno, one of the few thespians to have an Oscar, an Emmy, a Tony and a Grammy, will lend her vocal talents to “Nina’s World,” an animated series slated to debut in 2015 on NBCUniversal’s Sprout network. Moreno will voice “Abuelita,” the grandmother of the show’s title character and will help the six-year-old at the center of the story navigate childhood and learn about her culture.
“Nina’s World” is a spin-off of sorts of Sprout’s “The Good Night Show.” In that program, an adult character named Nina, played by actress Michele Lepe, joins a character named Star to introduce programming and segments that aim to lull the network’s tyke viewers to sleep. Lepe will also have a role in the new program, giving voice to Nina’s mother, and will be an executive producer of the series.
The concept is similar to what Sprout has done with other programming on its lineup. The network also runs a program called “The Chica Show,” which features an anthropomorphic chicken character who is also at the center of it’s “The Sunny Side Up Show,” a morning program it runs each day for children.
“Rita Moreno is a living legend, and it’s fantastic to welcome her to Sprout’s family,” said Sprout President Sandy Wax, in a prepared statement. “We know that she will bring her character to life as no one else could – she embodies all of the spirit and energy that Abuelita brings to Nina’s World while maintaining an authenticity to the character’s Hispanic background.”
Moreno played a variety of roles on the iconic “Electric Company,” often yelling the phrase, “Hey, you guys!” that was one of the best-known elements of the program.
Moreno’s achievements are well-known. She recently received one of Hollywood’s highest honors, the Screen Actors Guild’s Lifetime Achievement Award, for her nearly 70-year-long career. Following her Broadway debut at the age of 13, Moreno moved onto films, with roles in classics like “Singin’ In the Rain” and “The King and I.” In 1962, Moreno became the first Hispanic woman to ever win an Academy Award, landing the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her performance as Anita in “West Side Story.” Moreno is one of only 12 people in history to be celebrated as a winner of Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. She also had a major role in TV Land’s “Happily Divorced” for three seasons, and most recently was the voice of Aunt Mimi in the animated film “Rio 2”.
Newcomer Isabella Farrier will voice the role of young Nina. Sprout will work with Pipeline Studios, the Canadian production company, to create the show.