Updated 05:47 AM EDT, Tue, Apr 20, 2021

'Telenovela' Casting News: Jencarlos Canela Confirmed As Leading Man in Comedy Series

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Jencarlos Canela will star as the leading man in the upcoming NBC comedy series titled "Telenovela."

According to Latin Times, the 26-year-old actor will portray a Latino heartthrob and telenovela superstar, Xavier, in the Eva Longoria-produced comedy.

Canela is known for his roles in Telemundo telenovelas like "Pasión Prohibida," "Mi Corazón Insiste," and "Más Sabe El Diabloe." He also had a stint in the Univision reality show "Va Por Ti," where he coached the winning contestant in the first season, Latin Times noted. Aside from these, Canela is also an award-winning singer-songwriter. Some of his hits are "Tu Sombra," "Irreparable," and "Tu cuerpo."

Also added to the cast as series regulars are "Prison Break" alum Amaury Nolasco and Diana Maria Riva, according to The Hollywood Reporter. They will be joining "Desperate Housewives" alum Longoria as Ana Maria, "star of Latin America's most beloved telenovela, who strives to stay on top in a world where the drama onscreen is nothing compared with what's happening offscreen."

Nolasco is set to play the villain Rodrigo, while Riva will portray Mia, Ana Maria's best friend, THR added.

Bob Greenblatt, chairman of NBC Entertainment, said that fans will see a different material in "Telenovela."

"I think you're going to start to see a really big change and we're ahead of the curve...we're excited about the idea of looking at an all Latin cast so I think you'll see more of that for sure," Greenblatt said, as quoted by Latin Times.

"Telenovela" is a half-hour single-camera comedy series from "Cougar Town" co-executive producers Chrissy Pietrosh and Jessica Goldstein, Universal Television, and Ben Spector, The Hollywood Reporter noted. The show has been picked up for thirteen episodes and will also serve as Longoria's return in a TV role since starring on "Desperate Housewives" and a stint on FOX's "Brooklyn Nine-Nine," Latin Times added.

"There are few actresses with as much international appeal as Eva Longoria," said NBC president Jennifer Salke, as quoted by PEOPLE. "She is a perfect fit for 'Telenovela'."

In a panel at NATPE recently, Longoria insisted that the comedy series is not a Hispanic show.

"Our show is not a Latin show," the actress said, as quoted by a separate report from The Hollywood Reporter. "The perspective is basically mine. It's about a telenovela star who doesn't speak Spanish."

She added, "It's about content. I'm not the Hispanic go to producer. That's not what I set out to do. A lot of the shows we develop happen to have interesting, diverse characters, a lot of female characters. And about half are organically Hispanic characters."

"Telenovela" is yet to receive an air date.

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