Love him or hate him, George Lopez is an icon for Latino representation in U.S. mainstream media. Years before Jane the Virgin or even Ugly Betty became critical phenomena and found their way into the hearts of millions of non-Latinos, Mr. Lopez made us laugh and cry over six seasons of The George Lopez Show. But all good things come to an end, and ABC sadly pulled the plug on the groundbreaking sitcom in 2007, only to fill its slot with a disastrous 13-episode run of a long forgotten sitcom called Cavemen. Yeah, the GEICO ones. Even so, Lopez trudged on and made a pretty lucrative career for himself as a voice actor in animated features like Rio and The Smurfs and then tried his hand at the late-night format in 2009. His Lopez Tonight talk show lasted two years and was cancelled in 2011.
But the sitcom bug apparently wouldn’t let him go and he took another swing at the old multi-camera format with 2014’s Saint George. If you haven’t heard of it, that’s probably because it received scathing reviews, lukewarm ratings, and was pulled after only 10 episodes. If you’re counting, that’s less than Cavemen.
Despite another blow, it seems like Lopez is hell-bent on making it work, and this time he’s taken a play out of Larry David’s book with the upcoming, semi-autobiographical TV Land comedy Lopez. Why mention the irascible creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm? Well, for starters Lopez will follow an only slightly fictionalized version of George Lopez as he navigates a life of fame and fortune, caught between his working-class Mexican roots and a high society where he’ll never quite fit in. Additionally, Lopez will finally be ditching the traditional multi-camera soundstage format of his previous sitcoms for an edgier, more cable-friendly single-camera approach. That means less Big Bang Theory, more Louie.
Another promising element of his latest undertaking is that the co-creators of HBO’s universally acclaimed and painfully hilarious Silicon Valley will write and executive produce Lopez. According to Mr. Lopez, the show will take on his “challenges, insecurities, and inability to connect,” which has lately proven to be a winning formula for comics ranging from Larry David to Kevin Hart.
Thus far, TV Land has not released a formal premiere date, but we can look forward to a 12-episode first season sometime in 2016. Finally, to paraphrase the sagacious Eva Longoria: if you want this show to work, you kinda have to make an effort to watch it. We’ll be doing our part.