×

Immigration Projects Take Center Stage at Broadcast Networks

Immigration has dominated the headlines of late, and the broadcast networks are taking notice.

The Big 4 are all developing multiple projects that focus on immigrants in one form or another. CBS is developing the comedy “Welcome to Maine,” as Variety previously reported, which follows 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. Greg Garcia serves as executive producer on the project.

Meanwhile, Gina Rodriguez has set up Latino-led series at CBS and The CW. At CBS, drama “Have Mercy” 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. At CW, dramedy “Illegal” follows a 16-year-old American high school student named Rafael who discovers he is in fact undocumented.

Variety has also learned that Fox is developing “In the Country We Love,” based on the memoir of the same name by “Orange Is the New Black” star Diane Guerrero. That project was set up at CBS last year, with Guerrero attached to star as an attorney who begins defending undocumented immigrants for free, with Guerrero also attached as an executive producer. CBS ultimately passed on the project, but CBS TV Studios remains attached along with 20th Century Fox TV. It should be noted, of course, that none of these projects have yet to ordered to pilot and are not guaranteed to make it to air.

The development of these projects come as President Donald Trump has made immigration a key issue of his administration. Trump kicked off his campaign for President in June 2015 with a speech in which he referred to Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists.” He subsequently campaigned on the promise that he would construct a wall on the United States’ southern border with Mexico, and has made funding the wall a part of his budget negotiations with Congress. Most recently, the Trump administration formally announced 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.

More TV

  • Pennyworth

    TV Review: 'Pennyworth'

    Is there a law that says there must always be a certain number of Batman properties on air at all times? Just as Christopher Nolan’s “Dark Knight” films germinated a fandom that seemed to demand not merely a Ben Affleck Batman but also two different Joker-based franchise, so too did the conclusion of Fox’s “Gotham” [...]

  • She's Gotta Have It Review

    'She's Gotta Have It' Canceled After Two Seasons at Netflix

    Netflix has canceled Spike Lee’s series adaptation of “She’s Gotta Have It.” The show ran for two seasons at the streamer. Lee is expected to shop the series to other outlets. The news comes less than two months after the release of Season 2 back in May. “Spike Lee is one of the greatest filmmakers [...]

  • David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

    'Game of Thrones' Showrunners Will No Longer Attend Comic-Con Panel

    “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, along with some beloved “Thrones” actors, have canceled their scheduled appearances at San Diego International Comic-Con. Actors Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont), Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei of Naath), director Miguel Sapochnik, and dual writer-producers Benioff and Weiss are no longer attending, HBO revealed in a revised panel lineup [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops

    TV News Roundup: 'Mr. Robot' Drops Season 4 Trailer (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, USA releases a trailer for the final season of “Mr. Robot,” Apple plans a “Snoopy in Space” series and Variety has an exclusive clip from Season 3 of Netflix’s “The Epic Tale of Captain Underpants.” CASTING Golden Globe-winner Ian McShane will guest star in the season premiere of “Law & Order: SVU.” [...]

  • Elisabeth Moss Handmaid's Tale

    Why Elisabeth Moss Deserves More than 'The Handmaid's Tale' (Column)

    Elisabeth Moss has a long talk with a somewhat less-than-present conversation partner, to which Moss herself brings a certain wired tension. Her physical posture, upright even as her voice frays with exhaustion, indicates as much as do her words a new resolve to do better than she’s done as a caretaker. Having run out of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content