The CW is looking to turn one of its most celebrated series into a larger franchise.
The younger-skewing broadcast network is prepping a spinoff of the critical darling Jane the Virgin. Details on the offshoot are scarce, but it is poised to feature a whole new cast and follow a storyline from the flagship series. It is unclear if any of the stars of the original show — including leading lady Gina Rodriguez — will have onscreen roles in the project. The potential series will not air as a backdoor pilot as part of Jane the Virgin‘s final season.
The untitled spinoff will be written by Jane the Virgin writer Valentina Garza, who will executive produce alongside Rodriguez and her I Can & I Will Productions’ vp development Emily Gipson, showrunner Jennie Snyder Urman, producer Propagate’s Ben Silverman and former CW exec Joanna Klein. The project hails from Jane the Virgin producers CBS TV Studios. Brad Silberling, who directed multiple episodes of the flagship — including the pilot — is attached to exec produce and helm a pilot should the effort move forward.
The spinoff, which is in development, arrives as The CW is poised to say farewell to Jane the Virgin in 2019. The series, which scored the network’s first Golden Globe nomination, has earned mentions from the Emmys, TCA and Peabody Awards. Jane the Virgin, based on a telenovela of the same name, was a game-changer for The CW and turned Rodriguez into a mainstream star, sparking conversations of representation in television and film. The actress, despite lackluster ratings for Jane, became the face of The CW. The fifth and final season will take over the Wednesdays at 9 p.m. slot after rookie All American wraps its 16-episode order. A premiere date has not yet been announced.
For her part, Garza counts The Simpsons and Bordertown among her credits. She has been with Jane since season three and has written multiple episodes. She is repped by UTA, Industry Entertainment and Morris Yorn. Rodriguez and Urman (who also serves as showrunner on The CW’s Charmed reboot) are with CAA.
The Jane spinoff arrives as broadcast, cable and streaming outlets alike continue to look for spinoffs and other IP to turn into larger franchises as a way to break through a cluttered landscape that is expected to top 520 scripted originals in 2018. Speculation about a Jane spinoff has swirled for years, including one years-old rumor that fan-favorite Jaime Camil’s telenovela star Rogelio would get his own offshoot. Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the current Jane spinoff is not about Camil.
The CW is no stranger to spinoffs of its biggest hits. The network recently debuted Legacies, which is the third show in the Vampire Diaries franchise. The Mark Pedowitz-led broadcaster also successfully built an entire DC Comics universe out of Arrow and has tried multiple times to launch a Supernatural spinoff.