Is it just coincidence that fall TV premiere season gets underway during Hispanic Heritage Month? Probably, but we’re going to tune in and celebrate anyway. Though the American TV landscape is still sorely lacking in diversity, there are several new shows with veteran as well as up-and-coming Latino actors, so here’s a peek at our “to do” list. First up are shows with upcoming premieres followed by some ICYMI ones: a couple of shows whose premieres you might have snoozed on, but you should totally catch up on…
Fox, Thursdays 9/8c
Series premieres October 2
This 10-episode miniseries, an adaptation of ITV’s Broadchurch, will bring all the moody drama of the British original stateside. Gracepoint centers on the death of a young boy, Danny Solano, and the ensuing investigation. David Tennant (who was the lead in the original) and Anna Gunn (Breaking Bad) star as the detectives who are trying to bring Danny’s killer to justice. Chicago’s own Michael Peña plays Mark, Danny’s grieving father. Peña, fresh off his role as Cesar Chavez in the eponymous biopic, is no stranger to the small screen, with recurring roles on The Shield and Eastbound and Down.
A Toda Gloria
mun2, Sundays 9/8c
Series premiere October 5
Gloria Trevi has a reality show, and although we’ll get a glimpse at her family and friends, she can probably provide enough melodramatic antics on her own, to keep up with the Kardashians. Originally from Mexico, Trevi is an internationally known singer and actress, with plenty of awards and adulation. She also has the requisite checkered past (having spent four years in prison) to provide a “to hell and back again” storyline. The advance buzz, though, suggests that Trevi is just looking and moving forward.
CW, Tuesdays 8/7c
Series premiere October 7
It’s safe to say we’ve been looking forward to this series premiere for a while. Grant Gustin is Barry Allen aka The Flash, a “meta-human” in Central City who tries to use his newfound powers (super speed among others) to fight crime. Barry gets a little help from his friends at S.T.A.R. Labs, including Cisco Ramon, who’s played by talented newcomer Carlos Valdes. Cisco is an engineering prodigy, and the youngest member of the team. No word yet on whether Cisco will take up his own superhero disguise as Vibe, his alter ego in the comics, but we can dream about finally seeing a Latino superhero on TV, right?
Audience, Wednesdays 9/8c
Series premiere October 8
DirecTV’s latest original drama offers a chance to see Nick Jonas get punched in the face — in a boxing ring. Kingdom follows the Kulina household, a family of boxers: Jonas is the youngest son, Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood) is a Jonas brother, and Frank Grillo (Captain America: The Winter Soldier) is their former champ dad. Expect to see lots of Latino MMA fighters throughout the 10-episode season, most notably stuntsman Mario Perez, who might have the best IMDb bio we’ve ever seen.
ABC, Fridays 8:30/7:30c
Series premiere October 10
This is probably the most hyped premiere on our list, and with good reason — it’s the first show of its kind. It’s the first network sitcom created by a Latina, starring a Latina in the lead role as a Latina (not to put too fine a point on it). Cristela Alonzo, a Tejana comedian who’s slayed on Last Comic Standing, stars as Cristela, a Mexican-American law school student who turns her family’s expectations upside down by taking a roundabout way to financial stability (an unpaid internship). Though the show’s “old world meets new” premise isn’t the freshest, Alonzo has enough charm and wit to make even internships and living at home seem interesting.
Jane the Virgin
CW, Mondays 9/8c
Series premiere October 13
The CW has had a lot of success with shows with a supernatural element (see The Vampire Diaries and, well, Supernatural). Despite a seemingly fantastical premise, though, Jane the Virgin is more of a twist on the telenovela than a fairy tale. Jane (Gina Rodriguez) is saving herself for marriage to a working class stiff when she is impregnated via artificial insemination in a “wacky” mix-up at the gynecologist’s office. It remains to be seen how well medical malpractice will be played for laughs, but Rodriguez, who’s been lauded by The Hollywood Reporter, brings warmth and depth to the lead role.
NBC, Fridays 10/9c
Series premiere October 24
This comic book adaptation (of the Hellblazer series) has already seen some reworking: the character of Liv Aberdeen (Lucy Griffiths) has been scrapped, along with the student-teacher relationship that was to be at the core of the show. Instead, we get Mary “Zed” Martin (Angélica Celaya), a “hardcore psychic” with excellent bullshit radar, who will fight alongside the titular Constantine (Matt Ryan). Celaya has dabbled in the occult — entertainment, that is — with appearances in the 2008 vampire drama, Gabriel (starring Chayanne!), and a cheesy vampire flick, Cowboys & Vampires, so she’ll be right at home among angels and demons.
Wednesdays, Series premiere October 29
Lucha Libre is huge in Mexico (and a couple of other Latin American countries), and is second only to fútbol in popularity. El Rey Network’s jefe, Robert Rodriguez, is banking on the high-flying spectacles we know so well with the new reality series, Lucha Underground. Unknown but not untested luchadores will meet established fighters in and outside of the ring. Angelenos should keep an eye out for filming crews, as the show is currently taping its first season in Boyle Heights.
Series premiere mid-November
“Meet the new generation of charros” — that’s the tagline for Hulu’s latest original series. A show about Latino millennials for Latino millennials, Los Cowboys blends old world aspirations with new world complications, and provides an inside look at charreria, or Mexican rodeo. We’ll see these urban charros, whose team that includes a beauty queen and TV producer, saddle up in mid-November.
Brooklyn Nine Nine
Fox, Sundays, 8:30/7:30c
Hot off their double-fisted victory at the Golden Globes this year, the cast and crew of Brooklyn Nine Nine just returned for season two. We’re looking forward to watching the fallout over Detective Jake Peralta’s (Andy Samberg) undercover work, as well as his admission of romantic feelings for his overachieving Cubana partner, Detective Amy Santiago (Melissa Fumero). The show hasn’t gotten tunnel vision, though; the premiere wacky scenarios for the rest of the squad, including our fave, Detective Rosa Diaz (Stephanie Beatriz.)
Fox, Mondays 8/7c
Fox’s Gotham has a lot of on its plate: it has to create a world that needs Batman, and populate it with his friends and foes. The Gotham City Police Department has a lot on its respective plate handling said foes. Zabryna Guevara (X-Men: Days of Future Past) stars alongside series leads Ben MacKenzie and Donal Logue as Captain Sarah Essen, and Victoria Cartagena is fellow GCPD detective (and possible future vigilante), Renee Montoya.
ABC, Tuesdays 10/9c
Alana de la Garza, a Law & Order original recipe vet, is still on the right side of the law in her new show: her character, Jo Martinez, is a no-nonsense NYPD detective. De la Garza has great chemistry with her crime-solving partner, Dr. Henry Morgan (Ioan Gruffudd), but we’re hoping the show forgets about any “will they/won’t they” plans.