Los Americans with Esai Morales Now Screening on L.A. City Buses’ Transit TV
By Abel Salas
September 20, 2011
With his new web series Los Americans, writer-director Dennis Leoni has been resurrected. The creator of the short-lived Resurrection Blvd. series for Showtime has gone from a show about a working-class Latino family with championship boxing aspirations to a show about an upper-middle class Latino household led by a newly unemployed, Americanized patriarch. Played by veteran actor Esai Morales, Lee Valenzuela bristles at the use of Spanish in his home, eschewing his Mexican roots as the Valenzuelas confront issues faced by most American families.
The irony is even more pronounced when you consider that the eight-episode series is now not only on the internet but also on TransitTV, a closed-circuit network aired exclusively on L.A. city buses. The partnership will bring the program to one million mostly working-class viewers every day.
“Forty-eight percent of the bus riders are Latino,” says Tuscon-bred Leoni, who left college for stunt
work at Old Tucson Studios before heading to Hawaii, where he moved to work behind the camera as
an assistant director on Hawaii Five-O, finally coming into his own with Resurrection Blvd.
Featuring an ensemble cast anchored by Morales, Yvonne Delarosa as the rock solid wife and mother
as well as Lupe Ontiveros as grandma Lucia, Los Americans was developed by V-Studios, the
production arm of One Economy Corporation, a global non-profit that seeks to bring the power of technology and information to under-served and low-income communities. In collaboration with
actor-writer-director Robert Townsend, V-Studio is charged with making public purpose media for
distribution on www.pictv.com (Pubic Internet Channel), also the home of the award-winning Diary
of a Single Mother.
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