“Gordita Chronicles” Finally Gets a Second Life on Tubi, Hulu and Disney+

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According to new McKinsey & Company research, there are over 62 million Latinos living in the United States who not only account for more than $3 trillion of GDP but are also avid consumers of film and TV. US Latinos account for 24 percent of box office ticket sales and 24 percent of streaming subscribers. Yet somehow, there still aren’t enough Latines behind and in front of the camera even though our viewership doubles when we see ourselves represented on or off screen.

Today, we still don’t have enough TV programming that accurately represents us — and the few shows that have been created for us and by us, like “Vida,” “One Day at a Time,” “Promised Land,” and “Gentefied,” were eventually all canceled despite their popularity. Among these many cancellations was Dominican American creator Claudia Forestieri’s beloved “Gordita Chronicles,” which was released in June 2022 on HBO Max and was canceled after just one season. Despite having a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes, Max removed it from their platform altogether, breaking the hearts of fans and the creators who brought it to life. Now more than a year later, the 10-episode series is getting a second chance at life as it returns to not one but three streamers: Tubi, Disney+, and Hulu.

“After over a year of hoping and praying for the show to get a second life, it was like having Christmas Day three days in a row. [I] still can’t believe it,” Forestieri tells PS. “First, we found out about the show streaming on Tubi, which was like the answer to all my prayers. Then we found [out] we were also going to be on Hulu, and I could barely believe it. Then, last Friday, the day the episodes went on Tubi and Hulu, I got this photo from one of our actors showing me the show was also on the Disney+ platform, too.”

“Gordita Chronicles” included Zoe Saldaña and Eva Longoria’s backing as executive producers, and it is one of the rare TV shows that represents the Dominican American family experience. For years, the only Latine family shows available either depicted Mexican American stories, like “The George Lopez Show,” or occasionally the Puerto Rican or Cuban narrative. That was part of Forestieri’s inspiration behind creating the show. She wanted to develop a program inspired by her own life growing up as a gordita and a Dominican immigrant navigating life in Miami in the 1980s — something that touched on important themes around immigration, the pressure to assimilate to American culture, as well as Dominican family values and traditions. Colombian American Brigitte Muñoz joined forces with Forestieri as the first Latina showrunner and creator duo.

The show also featured an impressive cast, including Olivia Goncalves, who played the show’s protagonist, 12-year-old Carlota “Cucu” Castelli, Diana Maria Riva, who played the mom (Adela), Juan Javier Cardenas, who played the dad (Victor), a Dominican of Italian descent hence the last name, and Savannah Nicole Ruiz, who played Cucu’s older sister, Emilia.

But despite its high ratings and continued support from the community, the show just couldn’t survive the brutality of Hollywood. Its cancellation caused so much outrage among Latine viewers that fans eventually went on to create the #SaveGordita digital campaign across social media in hopes that another streamer would pick it up. Forestieri believes the reason why Latine shows constantly get canceled is because streamers and networks don’t allow them the time to really build their audience.

“If you take a show off a platform too fast, you don’t give it a chance to build an audience. In the ’90s, ‘Seinfield,’ which is my favorite TV comedy of all time, didn’t initially do that well,” she explains. “I don’t even think it did that well by season two. I think it was season three when it started becoming a hit, but the network believed in the show and gave it time to find an audience and grow into this phenomenon.”

Forestieri, who has written for shows like “Selena: The Series” and “Good Trouble,” started her career as a journalist working in Spanish-language media. The cancellation of “Gordita Chronicles” left her frustrated by the lack of transparency behind the decision to cancel the show. Streamers rarely provide show creators with data or analytics on how a show performs, according to Forestieri.

“My career started in media working at Telemundo, and we had what they called overnight ratings . . . you’d see what percentage of the audience you have. There was more transparency with numbers,” she says. “That system wasn’t perfect either . . . but what I loved about that system is any TV station could have access to those ratings and you could immediately see if a show was being watched or not. Now with the streamers, they keep that info very close to their chest.”

But, as Forestieri explains, Sony believed in the “Gordita Chronicles” and has for the past year been working hard to find another platform for the show to live on.

“I’m so grateful to all the streamers who saw the value in our show and paid to have it on their platforms and to the wonderful distribution team at Sony who made it all happen,” she adds.

The show’s second chance at life gives Forestieri and fans not just hope for a second season, but reinforces that Latine storytelling matters. In fact, during the time that “Gordita Chronicles” has been off the streamers, Forestieri has not only been fighting hard to get it back on a streamer, she’s also been working on new show ideas — all centered around Latine narratives.

“Personally, for me, I feel that the timing couldn’t have been better, because I am in the middle of pitching a reboot of the ‘The Nanny’ called ‘La Nanny.’ We’re in the middle of pitching that, which I’m really excited about,” she says. Forestieri shares that the show which she created with comedy writer Shawn Wines, is set in Manhattan with a Dominican American single mom who was raised in Washington Heights but currently lives in the Meat Packing District as a divorced fashion designer with her two kids. “It’s these themes of new arrivals versus first and second generation. It’s kind of going to be the same tone as ‘Gordita Chronicles,” she adds.

Forestieri wants to continue to create shows that make Latines feel seen with accurate representation and thoughtful storytelling, and she also wants to counter negative stereotypes about Latines, particularly Latine immigrants. She believes now, more than ever, our stories matter and deserve to be seen on screen.

“I just think erasure is the worst thing you can do to a community — to not see them. It really affects your psyche growing up,” she says. “Our contributions need to be felt on TV, film, and more. Sometimes it feels like one step forward and two steps back. But there’s a lot of us fighting the good fight, writing good scripts, and developing really good TV show ideas and putting our heart and souls into it because we love it and we know at its best it can really touch people.”

“Gordita Chronicles” season one is available now to stream on Tubi, Disney+, and Hulu. Check out the trailer below:

Johanna Ferreira is the content director for POPSUGAR Juntos. With more than 10 years of experience, Johanna focuses on how intersectional identities are a central part of Latine culture. Previously, she spent close to three years as the deputy editor at HipLatina, and she has freelanced for numerous outlets including Refinery29, Oprah magazine, Allure, InStyle, and Well+Good. She has also moderated and spoken on numerous panels on Latine identity. .

This post was originally published on PopSugar

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