Eva Longoria Exec Producer Role Might Prove Key
By Bel Hernandez
Hollywood, CA — It’s a done deal! Executive producers Marc Cherry (Desperate Housewives) and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) have managed to take their Devious Maids to Lifetime! The four maids Ana Ortiz (Ugly Betty), Judy Reyes (The Pregnancy Project), Dania Ramirez (Entourage), and Roselyn Sanchez (Without a Trace) will be working in Beverly Hills for the rich and famous portrayed by Susan Lucci (General Hospital), Edy Ganem (Livin’ Loud) and Grant Show (Swing Town), among others.
Left without a home last month when ABC passed on the series, which was adapted from a Mexican TV series, Lifetime has ordered 13 episodes to begin airing in 2013. The series which played to great ratings in Mexico, where both the rich employees and the maids were all Mexican, might not be received as favorably here in the States, as the Latino community is already tired of seeing themselves in negative stereotypes — in this case as maids.
Executive producer Longoria has already spoken out about the criticism that is starting to bubble, defending the show in a recent AOL Latino video interview. “When we get backlash [from the Latino community] saying ‘Oh they’re playing the stereotypical maids,’ my immediate response is ‘so you’re telling me their stories aren’t worth telling?” And she didn’t stop there, “That’s what angers me, especially in the Latino community.”
Longoria cautioned, “Sometimes you can’t win and I think that people really need to look at the paradigm of television and realize this is a very powerful medium for Latinos to have a voice. Let’s support it so that they will make more.”
Having Longoria on board will be a big plus for the show, since in the past her choice of roles and her penchant for the promotion of positive Latino images have been evident in her participation as one of the producers of the NCLR Alma Award, which award Latinos in front and behind the camera. She has also produced several projects which spotlight issues and success of Latinos in the U.S. as evidenced in her participation with the documentary The Harvest and the documentary Yo Sumo sponsored by Pepsi, which highlights successful Latinos in all sectors of society.
As for Lifetime they are happy to be in business with one of the most successful showrunners, Cherry, in recent history. “We are thrilled to be getting into business with one of entertainment’s true visionaries,” Lifetime chiefs Robert Sharenow and Nancy Dubuc said in a joint statement to The Hollywood Reporter. “This show and Marc Cherry’s unique storytelling voice perfectly articulate Lifetime’s strategy of attracting top-tier creatives with their most original and exciting projects.”
In addition to Cherry and Longoria the other Devious Maids producers are Maids will count the Desperate Housewives creator as an executive producer, along with Sabrina Wind (Desperate Housewives), Paul McGuigan (Scandal), Larry Shuman (Kissing Miranda), David Lonner, John Mass, Paul Presburger and Michael Garcia.