9:02am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Eva Longoria to Star in NBC 'Telenovela' Series
NBC kicked off its time at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour with news that Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria would star in a 13-episode series called Telenovela.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt said Telenovela would offer a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into the making of a telenovela. Longoria will produce and star as a beautiful diva and star of a popular telenovela.
Telenovela is a half-hour single-camera comedy series hailing from Cougar Town co-executive producer Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein and Universal Television, where Longoria's Unbelievable Entertainment is under an overall deal. The comedy was one of two projects that Longoria was eyeing to star in, with an untitled comedy also in contention at ABC. Longoria was said to have a series commitment attached to the NBC project. Longoria, Pietrosh, Goldstein and Ben Spector will exec produce.
Longoria will star as Ana Maria, star of Latin America's most beloved telenovela, who strives to stay on top in a world where the drama on-camera is nothing compared with what's happening offscreen.
Greenblatt told THR after the session that the series, which marks Longoria's return to primetime as a series regular following a recent guest arc on Fox's Universal Television-produced Brooklyn Nine-Nine, will likely bow in the fall.
Telenovela comes after The CW's Jane the Virgin broke out in a big way among critics and at the Golden Globes, where star Gina Rodriguez earned the network's first-ever win for her role as the star of the dramedy based on the Venezuelan telenovela.