Producers of an ABC sitcom inspired by the Latina singer’s life say they won’t try to re-tool the show for another star.
“No other actress would work for what we created,” executive producer Robert Boyett told me for a story in today’s New York Post. “We have no plans to do this show or anything like it.”
The network announced plans for “Jenni” — a sort of Mexican twist on “Malibu Country” — just four days before the singer died in a post-concert plane crash last December.
The comedy — which had been in development for three to four months — “was very specific to her,” Boyett says. “(It was) based on her life, family, singing, etc. We are still devastated by the personal loss.”
“Jenni,” according to reports, centered around “a middle-class, single Latina woman working to raise a family using unique parenting skills, while struggling to run a family business and navigate her extended, co-dependent relatives.”
Rivera’s real-life struggles were more complicated.
She was abused by her first husband, who was also accused of sexually molesting her eldest daughter. She also struggled with her weight, had been cheated on, and filed for divorce last October from her third husband.
Prior to her death, Rivera, 42, had sold more than 20 million records. She also starred in the hit reality show “I Love Jenni,” which returns for a third and final season April 14 on the bi-lingual cable network Mun2.
But the mother of five and grandmother of two was just becoming known to English speaking audiences.
Like Tejano singer Selena — who was murdered in 1995 — it now appears Rivera will become an even bigger star in death.
She’ll appear in her first feature movie, “Filly Brown,” later this month. There are also plans to release her memoir, “Unbreakable” and a new CD of English language songs this spring.
A movie about her life, entitled “La Diva de la Banda,” is also in the works.
Director Francsico Joel Mendoza has said he would like Jennifer Lopez to star.
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