PBS Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

Posted by PBS Publicity on

and more feature Latino themes

(Alexandria, VA; September 16, 2003) PBS continues to deliver the most diverse programming of any broadcaster, and for Hispanic Heritage Month, PBS offers drama, independent film and documentaries that celebrate the multi-generational richness of the Latino community and reveal the enduring strength of family in America today.

Beginning September 28, the critically acclaimed drama AMERICAN FAMILY, directed by Gregory Nava (Selena, El Norte), returns to PBS on Sundays at 7:00 p.m. The saga of the Gonzalez family continues in encore episodes this fall, leading up to the premiere of an all-new, 13-part television event in April 2004.

"We've created a show that will make the audience laugh and cry as it chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a family. AMERICAN FAMILY is about everyone's family," says Nava.

In the first season of AMERICAN FAMILY, Jess Gonzalez (Academy Award nominee Edward James Olmos), the conservative patriarch, and his daughter Nina Gonzalez (Constance Marie), a feminist attorney, are constantly at odds with each other. Nina has moved back home following a family tragedy. She must make the difficult choice between her dreams of a career in Washington, DC, or staying home to help raise Pablito, her brother Esteban's son. Esteban (Esai Morales) struggles to rebuild his life after serving time in prison. Flamboyant Aunt Dora (Raquel Welch) lives next door and adds some spice to everyone's life. All the while, Cisco Gonzalez (A.J. Lamas), the youngest sibling, videotapes the family's antics and posts the 'family drama' in his online journal. The series also includes special appearances by Sonia Braga as Berta, Jess' wife, and Mexican actress Kate Del Castillo as Ofelia, Esteban's girlfriend. Complete episode descriptions are available on PBS PressRoom® (www.pbs.org/pressroom).

AMERICAN FAMILY is produced by El Norte Productions and KCET/Hollywood in a ssociation with The Greenblatt Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios. Creator and executive producer: Gregory Nava. Major funding for the AMERICAN FAMILY television series is provided by Johnson and Johnson, the American Legacy Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Also for Hispanic Heritage Month, PBS will premiere nationally THE BLUE DINER on Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 9:00 p.m. ET (check local listings). THE BLUE DINER epitomizes the lives of many Latinos in the U.S. with a tale of struggle and disappointment, survival and hope, full of surprise and humor. It is the story of a Puerto Rican mother and daughter living together in Boston and the difficulties they encounter when the daughter, Elena, mysteriously loses her ability to speak Spanish, her first language. Everyone has a theory about the origin of Elena's misfortune, but no one knows for certain what has caused the tragic and absurd event. THE BLUE DINER stars Miriam Colón (All the Pretty Horses, Lonestar) and Lisa Vidal ("ER," "Third Watch," I Like It Like That, "The Division") as the explosive mother-daughter duo. José Yenque (Traffic, The Price of Glory) and William Marquez (Zorro, Forces of Nature) are featured as the men who love them. THE BLUE DINER is a production of Blue Diner Films and is presented on PBS by WGBH Boston. Funding is provided by Latino Public Broadcasting and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The documentary series P.O.V. and INDEPENDENT LENS present diverse new films and miniseries during Hispanic Heritage month. P.O.V. airs "Soldados: Chicanos in Vietnam/The Sixth Section" and "The Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Muniz" and "Foto-Novelas 2" premieres on INDEPENDENT LENS. A full list of programs is available on PBS PressRoom® (www.pbs.org/pressroom).

PBS, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, is a private, nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation's 349 public television stations. Serving nearly 90 million people each week, PBS enriches the lives of all Americans through quality programs and education services on noncommercial television, the Internet and other media. More information about PBS is available at www.pbs.org, the leading dot-org Web site on the Internet.

- PBS -
Press Contacts:
Stephanie Aaronson, Sr. Director, Media Relations and Program Promotion, PBS,
(703) 739-5074
Kim Tavares, Sr. Associate, Media Relations and Program Promotion, PBS,
(703) 739-5011

Images/artwork: Available upon request or on PBS PressRoom¨ (www.pbs.org/pressroom).