×

‘Jane The Virgin’ Team Talks Importance of Representation, Taking Final Season Back to Series Roots

After five years, multiple time jumps and a number of timely storylines, in addition to takes on telenovela tropes, “Jane The Virgin” is coming to an end on the CW. While there may be some pressure to end the show on a positive and powerful note, it’s not a pressure that is completely foreign to series creator and showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman.

When she was first developing the show, Urman shared at the show’s final farewell Paleyfest panel in Hollywood, Calif. Wednesday, she felt “pressure to make sure the representation felt good to the actors and the writing team.”

“I just wanted to authentically represent these characters and tell a lot of stories [that] women can be different in so many ways. There’s no right or wrong,” Urman continued. “It’s all been so much more than I could have expected.”

For series stars Gina Rodriguez and Andrea Navedo, the positive representation of Latina women was crucial in wanting to be a part of the series from the start.

“I saw Latina women hold the household together. That was the model I grew up with, but I didn’t see it reflected in media,” Navedo said. “I knew I had the odds stacked against me; I knew I wasn’t the popular type.” Navedo shared she almost quit acting because of how hard it was to find roles, but “Jane The Virgin” has given the women in her family a chance to be “seen.”

And Rodriguez added, “I have been raised by such strong women, so it’s lovely to continue to be around them … advised by them, protected and loved by them.”

One of the reasons Urman made the character of Alba Venezuelan, as opposed to Puerto Rican, like portrayer Ivonne Coll’s true heritage, was because she knew from the outset that she wanted to be able to talk about immigration. But as the show went on, the topicality started to feel more “critical,” she explained.

“I wanted to make a joyful show with a heroine at the center who was good and positive and…conflicted. I wanted to show that good people are interesting, too,” Urman said of the original mission. But “as we continued on, the world changed and our mission and what we wanted to say became more urgent.”

Before “Jane The Virgin” comes to an end, it will be going back to its roots.

“There are a lot of echoes of the pilot in this first script, and that’s going to be something that we’re continuing through the season — seeing how people have evolved and how you can be in a similar situation but everything is different about it now, and how five years have changed us,” Urman said.

What the cast and creator said they hoped people took away from the show when it was all said and done, though, was the representation of Latinx individuals and of strong women — as Navedo put it, “I see you” — and empathy for all individuals.

But Justin Baldoni added that he felt the show also exhibited the importance of bravery, especially in an industry run “predominantly on fear.”

“The same shows get made, the same stories get repeated. What was so unique about this show is that it said something and it did something,” he said. “This show’s a perfect example of a show that makes you want to be a better person. … With this day and age with all of the things happening in the world, I hope people see it’s possible.”

The final season of “Jane The Virgin” premieres Mar. 27 at 9 p.m. on the CW.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • T.J. Dillashaw, right, kicks Cody Garbrandt

    Disney Plans UFC Broadcast for FX

    UFC matches will return to FX  – but not on a permanent basis. ESPN has been showing preliminary bouts to UFC pay-per-view events for the last while on ESPN and ESPN2, and then showing the main card on its ESPN+ subscription video service. In September, the early lineup will air on FX, which the UFC [...]

  • George RR Martin

    George R.R. Martin Says HBO's 'Game of Thrones' Ending Won't Influence Future Novels

    Geroge R.R. Martin is sticking to his original plan when it comes to the future of “Game of Thrones.” In an interview with The Observer, Martin claimed that HBO’s controversial ending for the series would have no affect on the endings of the last two novels. “No, it doesn’t. It doesn’t change anything at all,” [...]

  • Listen: 'Pennyworth' Producer Talks Delving into

    Listen: 'Pennyworth' Executive Producer Talks Delving into Alfred's Backstory

    Bruno Heller may have served as an executive producer on the Batman-inspired series “Gotham” for the past five years, but it’s actually real-life people (not superheroes) that intrigue the producer the most. It’s for that exact reason that Heller’s newest series finds him exploring the origin stories of Batman’s butler Alfred in the Epix drama [...]

  • "Trust Issues" - Dylan and Lizzie

    'Instinct' Canceled After Two Seasons

    CBS has canceled “Instinct” after two seasons. Series creator Michael Rauch announced the cancellation Friday on Twitter, writing, “I’m very sad to relay the news that @instinctcbs won’t be renewed for a 3rd season. We will double up this Sunday and our season/series finale will be Aug 25.” Rauch also thanked series stars Alan Cumming [...]

  • Maisel Day

    My Mostly OK Maisel Day (Column)

    When Amazon announced its first-ever Maisel Day, I was intrigued. For one day, Aug. 15, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” fans and Angelenos (fangelenos?) could hit up various restaurants, theaters and retailers throughout Los Angeles for special deals, all at 1959 prices. Among the gems: $2.50 makeovers, $0.99 pastrami sandwiches and $0.30 for a gallon of [...]

  • Nordisk Film & TV Fond Announces

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond Backs Joachim Trier, Ole Bornedal, Yellow Bird

    Nordisk Film & TV Fond has announced three features, two series and a documentary set to receive $1.4m in financing, as well as distribution, dubbing and cultural initiative support recipients. Doing so, it highlights some of the key titles moving forward in the Nordic region. Already backed by the Danish Film Institute’s largest ever grant [...]

  • TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley' Final

    TV News Roundup: 'Silicon Valley's' Final Season Sets October Premiere Date

    In today’s roundup, “Silicon Valley” returns to HBO on Oct. 27 and Quibi greenlights a new cooking competition show “Dismantled.” DATES The fifth season of Netflix‘s “Peaky Blinders” will premiere on the streamer Oct. 4. The newest season will continue to follow one gangster family in the lawless streets of Birmingham, UK during the midst [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content