Jane the Virgin is heading into its final season, but fans don’t have to say goodbye to the show entirely. The CW has ordered a pilot for a Jane the Virgin spinoff series called Jane the Novela, reports Entertainment Weekly. The series will be a telenovela anthology in which each season is based on a novel “written by” Jane the Virgin lead character Jane Villanueva (Gina Rodriguez)—and narrated by Jane, too.
According a statement the CW gave E! Online, the series synopsis is “A telenovela anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel ‘written by’ Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself. The first installment takes place at a Napa Valley Vineyard, where family secrets (and family members) don’t stay buried for long.” Fans of the show know that Jane published a historical romance novel, Snow Falling, in Season 3.
The first season is being referred to as “Tar & Roses” and it “takes place at the intersection of Napa Valley wine country and the San Francisco art scene,” reports Deadline.
Gina Rodriguez is “potentially onboard” to narrate the new series, though further details hasn’t yet been confirmed, reports Variety.
Whether she narrates the show or not, Rodriguez will be back as an executive producer, as will Jane the Virgin creator and showrunner Jennie-Snyder Urman, reports Variety. The other executive producers include Jane the Virgin writer Valentina Garza, who will also write the new series, and Brad Silberling, who will direct the series. Rounding out the executive producers list are Ben Silverman, Joanna Klein, Emily Gipson, Jorge Granier and Gary Pearl. CBS Television Studios is producing, along with Jennie Snyder-Urman’s Sutton Street Productions, Gina Rodriguez’s I Can and I Will Productions, and Silverman’s Propagate Content.
Growing up in northeast Chicago, Gina Rodriguez loved playing the 1980s Carmen Sandiego computer games on her family’s “big-ass Dell” and watching the ’90s game shows and series.
“My parents are super into education, so learning about geography was great,” says the Jane the Virgin star, who is featured in the current issue of Entertainment Weekly. “And then for her to be Latina — and voiced [on the series] by Rita Moreno, my queen — it made such an imprint on me.”
Now Rodriguez is voicing the globe-trotter on a new Netflix series that recasts Carmen as a Robin Hood of sorts. “We give her an origin story,” says the actress, who also headlines the action flick Miss Bala (in theaters Feb. 1) and recently directed an episode of The CW’s Charmed (airing Jan. 27). “It’s just lovely to revive that character but also put her in the context of a multi-dimensional, complex woman which we need to see more vision of, you know. We need to see versions of that.”
Rodriguez — who is also slated to star in a live-action Carmen Sandiego film for Netflix as well as help launch a book series based on the new version of Carmen — hopes the show will help educate young viewers as she was educated by former versions of the character, but it’s not only her young fans that she’s expecting to watch.
“I think adults will enjoy the nostalgia, and it really does play out like a fun spy show,” she says. “But I’m most excited to binge this with my nieces and nephews — I feel blessed that we get to bring Carmen to the next generation.”
In anticipation of Carmen Sandiego, an interactive experience has been set up at TheCarmenEffect.com that gives readers a look into the iconic character’s incredible influence over the years.
Carmen Sandiego also features the voice of Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard and launches Friday on Netflix.
To see Gina Rodriguez in the pages of Entertainment Weekly, pick up the new issue of the magazine on stands Friday, or buy one — or all four —of our special covers featuring Supernatural‘s Winchester family, Jensen Ackles, Misha Collins, and Jared Padalecki now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.
Gina is featured on the new February issue of Cosmopolitan magazine. Check out some of her interview below, view magazine scans, photo session images, and video from her interview.
You know that feeling at the top of the rollercoaster? When you’re seconds away from the first big plunge and feeling that perfect mix of excitement, anticipation, and fear? Gina Rodriguez feels like that pretty much all the time these days. Or as she puts it, grinning from ear to ear during lunch at a Culver City restaurant, “terrified as fuuuck.”
The 34-year-old actress has filmed 10 movies during her time off from the instant hit Jane the Virgin, but it’s the upcoming Miss Bala where she lays her reputation, future career, and big-screen viability on the line. She stars as Gloria, a Mexican-American who finds herself swept up—and complicit—in the deadly crimes of a cartel. Taking this professional leap, she says emphatically, makes her really scared. But she’s not preoccupied with achieving box-office success or critical acclaim.
“I felt very alone growing up. I didn’t feel represented. I didn’t feel a part of the conversation,” she explains. “And if you see yourself projected, you believe you are worthy, valuable.” Miss Bala as a whole is groundbreaking. The majority of the cast is Latinx, and so were many of its crew. “When Hollywood reimagines films, they have historically whitewashed them. In this case, the American girl is me, a Latina born in this country. I find that revolutionary.”
Of course, Gina would like the movie to follow in the barrier-breaking footsteps of Black Panther and Crazy Rich Asians. But if it bombs? “Hopefully, it’s the same thing that happens every time a white movie bombs,” she says. “They just make another one!”
Gina arrived for our lunch wearing cropped Levi’s and a cozy cream sweater, her hair pulled into a messy bun. But the casual look and warm energy mask this workaholic’s ambition. “I was a broke, starving artist for years before I got Jane,” she says of her drive and jam-packed schedule.
Her intensity is obvious in our freewheeling convo, which skips from feminism (“It’s not ‘women are better.’ It’s equality”) to reproductive rights (“If abortion is illegal, ejaculation should be too!”) to whether she wants to freeze her eggs (she doesn’t).
In fact, Gina can trace her ambition back to when she set a goal for herself, at 14, to star on a TV show. She orders a mimosa as she recounts what it was like back then, when she lived in Chicago, one of three first-generation daughters born to Puerto Rican parents. Her mom made killer arroz con pollo, and Nuyorican salsa music was always playing. “For years and years, I tried,” she says. “When I was 29, I hit it.”
That’s when she landed the role of Jane Villanueva, a virgin whose life takes on telenovela-level drama when she’s mistakenly inseminated with a sample from her smoking-hot, wealthy boss. It’s a part that scored Gina a Golden Globe and made her a household name.
“It’s interesting. As a performer, you have to quite literally bury your life,” she says. “At the same time, every day on-set I’m like, How the hell did I get this lucky? To live out your dreams is a really surreal experience.”
But not every day is peachy. While filming the fifth and final season of Jane, Gina’s beloved rescue pup Casper started walking funny and had to be rushed to the vet. She found out he needed emergency spinal surgery between takes. “And I couldn’t cry because I was doing a scene where Jane’s happy and things are great,” she says. The next day, she got an update.
“As I’m walking into my Cosmo cover shoot, thinking, Wow, I’m finally gonna be a Cosmo girl!, the doctor says, ‘Casper has no motor function in his legs.’” In the moment, all Gina could think about was how he was doing. But you’d never know it, looking at these photos. Because part of her job is to put a big-ass smile on her face, even when it’s the last thing she wants to do.
The struggles of being in the public eye have hit Gina hard. “The anxiety started coming, like, two years into Jane. I had my first panic attack at a sushi restaurant. All of a sudden, I thought I was going to die, and people are taking pictures. It was horrendous,” she says, shaking her head. “There are a lot of things in the manual of living out your dreams that you don’t know about. Like you don’t have any more friends. You never go out to eat. You never see your family, your boyfriend, girlfriend, or whatever you have….”
What Gina has is her fiancé, Joe LoCicero. They got engaged last summer and stans lap up their PDA on social media. (The couple met when Joe played a stripper during season two of Jane.)
“Dating Joe was a new experience for me because I put myself first,” she says. “For so long, I put every man in front of me. As a successful woman, it is so hard because of our cultural norms that, like, the man has to be the breadwinner! And the man has to be the more powerful one. It was so difficult for me to find a man who didn’t want me to dim my light for his ego.”
Their love lies in the little things too. Keeping the house clutter-free is one of the ways Gina curbs her anxiety. Even after a 14-plus-hour day on-set, she compulsively tidies up. Recently, she mentioned to Joe how relaxing her nights had felt, and he confessed that he’d been doing all the dirty work before she got home, to save her the stress. “He was like, ‘I just want you for 15 more minutes,’” she says, tearing up. “It made me cry. I was like, ‘Fuck, yeah. Get rid of the clutter! Thank you, baby.’” She grabs a napkin and dabs her eyes. “And he puts the seat down,” she says, “and sometimes I leave the seat up for him.”
When I ask how she knew Joe was her person, she compares him, surprisingly, to an autoimmune disorder she’s had since she was 19. “I said this to Joe the other day, and he was like, ‘That sounds terrible.’ But it’s true,” she says. “My Hashimoto’s, it’s just a part of me. That’s how I feel with Joe. There was this moment of, Oh, I’m going to be with you forever.”
Gina’s condition can cause fatigue, depression, and weight gain, something she finds frustrating. “I remember my first cover shoot. I heard them whispering, ‘When she stands like that, it doesn’t look good.’ Those comments feel like knives from across the room,” she says. “I can hear you! And who fucking cares if it doesn’t look attractive? This is the way I look when I sit. My shit folds!”
But her life—her stardom, romance, and self-worth—has changed.
“I finally love my body,” she says. “I let go of the anxiety and the fear of not looking beautiful. Because it’s not about the picture. It’s about the fact that I stand on this cover with every Latina who wished she saw herself reflected. Because it’s not my face—it’s the 55-million-plus girls who are like, ‘Holy shit! We belong.’”
Warn your iCal there’s gonna be some edits soon. The CW has just announced its schedule for the network’s 2019 spring returns, and there is a lot going on.
In addition to Arrow and Legends of Tomorrow heading to Mondays, iZombie and Jane the Virgin are kicking off their final seasons, The 100 is finally back, and In the Dark, the new mystery about a blind woman (Perry Mattfeld) who finds herself linked to a murder, is getting a Supernatural lead-in.
The CW Spring 2019 Schedule
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27
8:00-9:00 PM RIVERDALE (New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM JANE THE VIRGIN (Season Premiere)
MONDAY, APRIL 1
8:00-9:00 PM DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (New Time / New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM PENN & TELLER: FOOL US SPECIAL
THURSDAY, APRIL 4
8:00-9:00 PM SUPERNATURAL (New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM IN THE DARK (Series Premiere)
MONDAY, APRIL 15
8:00-9:00 PM DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM ARROW (New Time / New Episode)
TUESDAY, APRIL 30
8:00-9:00 PM THE FLASH (New Episode)
9:00-10:00 PM THE 100 (Season Premiere)
THURSDAY, MAY 2
8:00-9:00 PM IZOMBIE (Season Premiere)
9:00-10:00 PM IN THE DARK (New Episode)
Welcome to the third annual Women in Television issue, which celebrates some of the industry’s most incredible women and asks them to debate the problems facing females working in TV. From fair pay to power imbalances and speaking up on set, they get vocal in this unmissable interview…
Rodriguez, 34, rose to fame as the titular star of acclaimed comedy Jane the Virgin, which is currently in its final season. In 2015, she was the first actor on the CW Network to win a Golden Globe, and this year donated the money that was set aside for her Emmy campaign to pay for the college tuition of an undocumented Latina student. She set up I Can & I Will Productions to tackle the lack of Latinx representation on- and off-screen
My favorite TV show growing up was Martin. I love comedy and Martin Lawrence was revolutionary in that time because there weren’t many people of color on screen. He lived with his wife Gina in a small apartment… It just felt much more relatable than, say, Full House, which definitely wasn’t the way I was raised at all.
Growing up as a Latina in the United States, I didn’t see us portrayed positively on TV. When you see certain images repeated so often, the reflection of representation on screen makes you feel a certain way about yourself. You tell somebody over and over again that they’re something, eventually they’re gonna believe it. I just wonder how much more tolerant our society would be if there weren’t such stereotypical roles portrayed for so long. If Latinos weren’t always portrayed as the villain, would we really feel a particular way about that community? If Muslims weren’t portrayed as the terrorists, would we feel a certain way about that community? I don’t think so. Art does, I believe, create tolerance. It can be responsible for healing so much – when it’s a reflection of reality.
I grew up economically challenged. We did not have much, at all. When I would do small short films or things for barely any money and I could barely pay rent, my father would tell me: “Don’t worry about the money you’re making now. You prove to them how much you’re worth!” And I used to think, “Do I know how much I’m worth? Have I been taught how much I’m worth?” Now, when I get blessed to be the lead or get a big film, do I know my worth? And do I know how to ask for my worth? How do you get that when you’re not taught it?
When I get the chance to watch television, I love It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia – they’re really awful people and they remind you that there’s funny in the world of awful. I started watching Vida, which is very cool – I’m really proud of [screenwriter] Tanya Saracho for creating something new and revolutionary. And The Good Place brings me so much happiness and light-heartedness right now. But if I was going to award anything, I’d say Black Mirror. We should be using it as a guide to what we shouldn’t do in our culture.
I feel extremely listened to as a woman on set. Very empowered. Very respected. Jane the Virgin is female-led – 70% female writers, 70% female cast, 70% female directors – so it’s very common to see women in high-powered positions on our show. I know that’s not common, so I don’t take that for granted. At all.
The TV show of my life would be called I’m Just Trying.
Watch Season 5 of Jane the Virgin on Netflix now
As the fall TV season nears its end, it’s time to start looking forward to midseason premieres and returns and The CW is giving fans plenty to get excited about.
The highly anticipated Roswell reboot Roswell, New Mexico finally has a premiere date — January 15. Meanwhile, Black Lightning will move to Mondays following Arrow, beginning January 21. The shift will bump DC’s Legends of Tomorrow to its former Monday time slot.
New series In the Dark is scheduled to debut Thursdays once Legacies finishes its 16-episode first-season run. Meanwhile Jane the Virgin will return for its final season on a new night — Wednesdays. No premiere date has been announced fore Jane just yet, but it’s sure to come soon.