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ABC is showing a sign of confidence in rookie comedy Cristela.
The comedy has earned a back-nine order, giving the freshman vehicle starringCristela Alonzo a full-season order.
The comedy was filmed on a shoestring budget after ABC passed on ordering the project to pilot. Studio 20th Century Fox Television took the penalty and filmed a “proof of concept” presentation using the Last Man Standing stage with the crew behind the studio’s Tim Allen comedy including director/co-EP John Pasquin.
The series tells the story of Cristela, an American Latina straddling two cultures while not fully belonging to either. In her sixth year of law school, Cristela (Alonzo) is finally on the brink of landing her first big (unpaid) internship at a prestigious law firm. The only problem is that her pursuit of success is more ambitious than her traditional Mexican-American family thinks is appropriate. She’s stuck straddling the old culture she’s trying to modernize at home with her working-class family and the modern world she’s trying to embrace in her professional career. Carlos Ponce, Terri Hoyos, Andrew Leeds and Sam McMurray co-star.
The series opened to modest reviews and and a good start in its home on Fridays at 8:30p.m., where it’s paired with Last Man. Cristela debuted to a 1.3 rating among adults 18-49 and 6.6 million total viewers — besting its lead-in in the demo and total viewers and on par with CBS veteran Hawaii Five-0 in the latter. Through seven airings, it’s averaging a respectable 5.5 million total viewers.
Cristela becomes ABC’s second comedy to earn a full-season pickup behind Black-ish. Both comedies are part of the network’s diversity push, which also includes midseason comedy Fresh Off the Boat.
Overall, Cristela is ABC’s fourth freshman series to earn a full season. It joins Black-ish and dramas Forever and How to Get Away With Murder, with the latter picked up for a total of 15 episodes. Meanwhile, ABC comedies Selfie and Manhattan Love Story have already been canceled.
This season has been a challenging one for comedies. In addition to Black-ish, only NBC’s Marry Me has been picked up for a additional episodes. The latter received a more limited five-episode order.
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