ABC had also made six pilots with Latinos in the mix for the 2011-2012 season, including some pretty powerful performers like John Leguizamo in "Only Fools and Horses" and Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz, Dania Ramirez, Angelique Cabral, and Roselyn Sanchez in the new Marc Cherry offering, "Devious Maids." Ultimately, they added only two new shows with Latinos to the schedule: Jai Rodriguez was part of Reba MacIntyre's new sitcom, "Malibu Country," and Rebecca Delgado Smith was in Sarah Chalke's ("Scrubs") new sitcom, "How to Live with Your Parents for the Rest of Your Life."
True, we were losing "Desperate Housewives" and they were letting "Cougar Town" go, but all in all it was a pretty solid list. Even better: as the season began, we saw Jessica Camacho and Jay Hernandez added to the supporting cast of the military/political drama "The Last Resort," and Enrique Murciano begin to appear in the horror/soap "666 Park Avenue."
So where are we now?
Not so good…but not as bad as it could be.
After years of modest success, "Private Practice" (with Benjamin Bratt) will be closing up shop early in 2013.
"The Last Resort" with Jessica Camacho and Jay Hernandez has just been cancelled (and we'd just discovered that Camacho–the only Latina in the show–is the traitor to the S.S. Colorado)
"666 Park Avenue" has also been cancelled, almost before Enrique Murciano had a chance to get started.
"Malibu Country," which started very late in the season–just a couple of weeks ago, in October–saw a double-digit percentage slip in its second episode; it's already on the cancellation bubble.
That's pretty much all the new Latino involvement of the season, already chopped or on the block…and the loss of one of the long-time stalwarts as well.
Meanwhile, and somewhat ironically, three of the shows that ABC passed on have found life elsewhere:
"Cougar Town" with Ian Gomez will be reappearing on TBS with new episodes next year.
Lifetime picked up "Devious Maids;" shooting is underway now and we'll see them in the spring of '13 as well.
John Leguizamo's dramedy pilot, under a different name, is being reshot and reconsidered, with virtually the same cast and even the same director.
So we enter the mid-year pretty much where we ended last season: Latinos in the cast of quality programs every night of the week, and one new show still to come ("How to Live with your Parents"…in January). It's just not quite as many hours as we had hoped for, and whatever small advances came along in "Last Resort," "666 Park Avenue," and probably "Malibu Country" didn't stick.
That seems to be the theme for the season and for all of 2012: When it comes to Latinos on TV, there hasn't been a big fallback, but there haven't been any great advances, either. Let's hope that some of the Latino-themed and Latino-starring series in development up and down the dial actually see the light of day in 2013.