Lopez will throw party for 'Amigas'

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Jennifer Lopez's Nuyorican Prods. has teamed with Jane Startz Prods. to develop "The Amigas Sweet 15 Club," a TV series about five entrepreneurial Miami teens running a Quinceanera party-planning business.

In addition to the TV show -- which is being billed as a half-hour comedy with dramatic undertones -- the companies plan to develop "Amigas" into a series of young adult books, Latin music-inspired CDs and potentially other franchise properties targeting female tweens.

Based on an original idea by Startz, the TV series project follows the "Amigas" as they use their collective talents (one is a singer, one is a DJ, one is a graphic artist, etc.) to launch an after-school party-planning business aimed at helping Latina girls throw their dream Quinceanera (Sweet 15) bashes. Lopez is executive producing the project, which is being shopped to networks, along with fellow Nuyorican principal Simon Fields and Startz.

"I think the whole Latina population is tremendously interesting and has a lot to offer," Startz said. "('Amigas') will be familiarizing people with cultures they may not see all the time."

Each episode of the potential series would focus on a different girl and on how her family and cultural background play into planning the event.

"Quinceanera are very different for each Spanish-speaking group," Fields said. "They all celebrate in a different way."

In the past decade, Latin culture has gone mainstream with such crossover music artists as Lopez, her husband Marc Anthony and Shakira. It also has moved into primetime, most recently with the success of ABC's "Ugly Betty," also told from the perspective of young Latinas.

Music will be prominently featured in "Amigas," which Startz hopes to use as a vehicle to break up-and-coming Latin artists.

Lopez will be heavily involved in all producing aspects of the project, Fields said, specifically music and casting.

Nuyorican has produced such feature films as "Shall We Dance" and "El Cantante" as well as the MTV series "Dance Life."

Startz produced the film and TV series based on the popular "The Baby-Sitters Club" books. Her credits also include the features "Tuck Everlasting" and "Ella Enchanted."
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