EXCLUSIVE: HBO Max has decided not to make Gordita Chronicles, a 1980s comedy about coming of age, into a second season. The decision comes a little more than a month after the show debuted on the platform to good reviews. It also comes as Warner Bros. is changing its programming. Streamer for Discovery.
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In a statement to Deadline, a spokesperson for the streaming service said, “Live-action kids and family programming will not be a focus of our programming shortly.” This is why it was so hard to end Gordita Chronicles on HBO Max. “The series got good reviews and a loyal fan base. We are proud to have worked with creator Claudia Forestieri and our two powerhouse executive producers, Eva Longoria (who also directed the pilot brilliantly) and Zoe Saldana, to bring Cucu’s journey to the screen. We thank them and the talented cast and crew for making such a heartfelt, ground-breaking show that touched a very important group of people so profoundly.
Gordita Chronicles is a rare streaming show that shows how the Latino community in the U.S. lives. The studio behind it, Sony Pictures Television, plans to shop it around to other networks, just like it did with One Day at a Time after Netflix canceled it. The Latino family comedy moved to Pop and CBS and ran for a second season.
“We are heartbroken by the larger programming changes at HBO Max that won’t let our special show, Gordita Chronicles, run by Latinx comedy powerhouse Brigitte Muoz-Liebowitz, have a second season at its original home,” Longoria and Saldaa said in a statement. “As producers and storytellers, we are proud to have worked on this piece of magic. We are always looking for true and original stories that show off the joy and talent of our community. We continue to be blown away by the overwhelmingly positive reviews and growing audience numbers, which show that viewers understand how important this show is and how important a place it fills in the media landscape for Latinx content.
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HBO Max started making live-action family shows with Head of the Class, which was canceled after one season, Gordita Chronicles, and Theodosia, the future of which is unknown. Jennifer O’Connell, EVP of Original Nonfiction and Live Action Family, has been responsible for the schedule.
This is one of the many changes to programming that WarnerMedia outlets have made since Discovery bought the company in April. It has caused the TNets to make less original scripted shows. After Warner Bros. bought O’Connell, it’s also unclear what will happen to his non-fiction books. Discovery wants to merge HBO Max with its non-fiction streaming service Discovery+.
#GorditaChronicles is a rare streaming series reflecting authentically the experiences of the Latino community in the U.S., and Sony Pictures TV plans to shop it elsewhere as it did with ‘One Day at a Time’ following its cancellation by Netflix https://t.co/6v8PCOhOFx pic.twitter.com/mDsND4TEbd
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) July 30, 2022
As a sign of the upcoming change in programming and because of the lack of information, I’ve heard that HBO Max has stopped taking new pitches for live-action kids/family and unscripted shows.
HBO Max states that the break from live-action kids and family shows is “for the immediate future.” In the long run, the streamer will likely get back into the field for specific projects. Warner Brothers Harry Potter is one of the world’s most popular kids and family IPs, and Discovery owns it. The company’s leaders have said they want to put a Harry Potter show on HBO Max in the future, but nothing is set in stone yet.
Most streaming services have had trouble making live-action kids and family shows, and Netflix’s efforts in this area, like The Babysitters Club, Julie and the Phantoms, Alexa and Katie, and Raising Dion, didn’t last long either. Even Disney’s main platform for family entertainment, Disney+, hasn’t done well with shows that aren’t Star Wars or Marvel. Turner & Hooch and Diary of a Future President are just two examples of shows that didn’t make it.
— Claudia Forestieri (@PlanetClaudia) July 29, 2022
Forestieri wrote Gordita Chronicles based on her childhood. It’s about family, opportunity, love, resilience, and boldly going against the status quo in pursuit of the “American Dream.” It tells the story of Cucu “Gordita” Castelli, who has just left her friends and family in Santo Domingo and moved to Miami with her marketing executive father, Victor, bold and vivacious mother, Adela, and status-obsessed older sister, Emilia. Even though life in America is very different from what they thought it would be, the Castelli is determined to take control of their strange new world.
Olivia Goncalves, Diana Maria Riva, Juan Javier Cardenas, Savannah Nicole Ruiz, Noah Rico, Cosette Hauer, and Dascha Polanco are among the stars of the Sony Pictures Television show.
Forestieri wrote the pilot and is in charge of making the show. Jennifer Robinson, Chris King of SPT’s Osprey Productions, and Josh Berman are the show’s executive producers. Brigitte Munoz-Liebowitz runs the show and is an executive producer for Bons Mots Emporium. Eva Longoria is the executive producer for UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and also directed the pilot for the show. Zoe Saldaña, Mariel Saldana, and Cisely Saldaña are executive producers for Cinestar Pictures.
At SPT, all three of Berman, Forestieri, and Munoz-Liebowitz have overall deals.
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Jessa Martin is the author of Nogmagazine, A professional in writing by day, and novelist by night, she received her bachelor of arts in film from Howard University and her master of arts in media studies from the New School. A Brooklyn native, she is a lover of naps, cookie dough, and beaches, currently residing in the borough she loves, most likely multitasking.