Gina Rodriguez for President on Disney+
Diary of a Future President is on Disney+. Ilana Peña created the show, inspired by her childhood — a Cuban-American girl raised by a single mother in Miami.
The main character is 12-year-old Elena. “I really wanted to tell a story about girlhood,” Peña said. “There are so many stories about boyhood.”
She describes Diary as a Latino The Wonder Years. “I hope viewers take away the heart and warmth that I and the cast and crew poured into the show,” Peña added. “I hope people can see themselves in Elena or her brother or her mother.”
Gina Rodriguez executive produces, and plays grown-up Elena, when she is president.
Tess Romero plays young Elena. Peña mentioned Romero in her audition alongside her TV brother, delivering the word “why” amidst a rich array of emotions. “It was the ‘why’ heard around the world,” said Peña. “In that moment, I was like, that’s our girl!”
New Hemmer Time on Fox News
Bill Hemmer Reports starts at 3 p.m. on Fox News Channel Jan. 20. Hemmer promises the proper mix of breaking news and newsmakers.
“If you can get a good balance between the two, I think you have a good product,” he said.
Hemmer cited Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather as influences. “The presence they have, the facts they bring, the ideas they have for being in the field when it’s appropriate,” he said. “All of that matters.”
The format is hardly set in stone. “We’re gonna try some things and if they work, we’re gonna stick with them,” he said. “If they don’t, we’ll go in a different direction.”
What will viewers take away from Bill Hemmer Reports? “I hope they get the whole picture,” he said. “That’s very important to me.”
Fresh ‘Station’ Chief on ABC
Season three of Station 19 begins on ABC Jan. 23. Krista Vernoff is showrunner on Grey’s Anatomy and runs the show at Station, too.
“The writers’ rooms are right next door, so I’m able to run back and forth,” Vernoff said. “I’m learning more and more about what really needs my attention.”
The first thing Vernoff did on Station was bring first responders into the writers’ room, just as she’d done with doctors on Grey’s. “I needed to fall in love with the world of first responders the way I’d fallen in love with surgeons,” she said.
Vernoff promises a “messier” season, whether it’s relationships or firehouses. “It’s a little grittier, a little dirtier,” she said.
She sat with each cast member, as she’d done on Grey’s, to find out their unique skills. That will see characters salsa dancing, singing and other shenanigans.
“We found organic ways to integrate all that stuff,” Vernoff said, “and that is exciting to me.”
Michael Malone, senior content producer at B+C/Multichannel News, covers network programming, including entertainment, news and sports on broadcast, cable and streaming; and local broadcast television. He hosts the podcasts Busted Pilot, about what’s new in television, and Series Business, a chat with the creator of a new program, and writes the column “The Watchman.” He joined B+C in 2005. His journalism has also appeared in The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Playboy and New York magazine.
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