The CW’s new dramedy “Jane the Virgin” has nary a supernatural creature in sight. That’s quite a departure from the usual fare on the younger-skewing network, and the cast and showrunners couldn’t be more excited about that fact.
At the 2014 summer TV press tour on Friday (July 18), executive producer Jennie Snyder Urman told the room of reporters that while the show is a mix of two other, older popular shows, it still has its own qualities.
“I loved ‘Ugly Betty,’ but this show is a little less broad,” Urman says. “I wanted it to have more of a fairytale, whimsical quality. It’s like ‘Ugly Betty’ meets ‘Gilmore Girls.'”
Urman credits the relationship at the center of “Gilmore Girls” with that comparison. “The mother/daughter relationship was so central to that show too,” Urman says. “The two of [those shows] together is that strange mark I’m trying to hit. But at the same time, this is a telenovela. I’m hoping if I keep the characters grounded and relatable, we’ll be able to find the comedy in that. It’s a tricky tone and one that I’m excited about tackling.”
What else did the showrunners and cast reveal about the comedy that follows Jane (Gina Rodriguez), a virgin who gets accidentally artificially inseminated, as she decides whether or not to keep the baby and how it affects her life, family and friends?
– If you’re thinking that if you were in Jane’s situation, you’d sue the hospital, don’t worry: So will Jane. “I would find it incredibly difficult, a girl who gets accidentally inseminated and not dealing with that,” Urman says. “Jane is a really good person and will struggle with that choice [in upcoming episodes].”
– Rodriguez can’t wait for viewers to meet Jane because she’s a positive role model for younger girls. “I don’t have to be a perfect size 0. I can be a perfect size me,” Rodriguez says. “I waited for Jane, I waited for her patiently and now she’s here. She’s strong and independent and striving to make her dreams come true. The mix-ups and mishaps that happen in her life is a beautiful example of things we face in real life.”
– Ivonne Coll, who plays Jane’s grandmother, has a long history of acting in telenovelas, but explains that “Jane the Virgin” isn’t your stereotypical soap. “It’s a take on telenovelas so we have bouts where we can be over-the-top funny,” Coll says of the differences between the two genres.
“Jane the Virgin” premieres Monday, Oct. 13 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on The CW.