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Freeform and Selena Gomez are developing a “Latina Empire

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Though a lot of the hype from its first season has died down, Fox’s Empire is still a big-time hit. That means it’s overdue for other networks to swoop in and put their own spin on its music industry-themed soap opera setup, which is exactly what Freeform (née ABC Family) is doing now. According to Deadline, the teen-friendly network has teamed up with Selena Gomez and producer Aaron Kaplan to develop what they’re calling a “Latina Empire.” The drama series will be set “in a low income Latino neighborhood” and it will focus on “an 18-year-old girl destined for greatness,” which actually doesn’t sound anything like Empire.

The show is also inspired by the story of a high school student named Ana Cobarrubias, who is working to “[make] a difference in her poor East L.A. neighborhood” and is doing her best to “defy society’s expectations for someone like her by being a strong and confident young woman.” Cobarrubias also “plans to pursue a career in cinematic arts” so she can tell stories about people like her, and she is a “consultant” on the project. So, technically, it’s more of a show based on a real-life inspiring teen than a “Latina Empire,” but comparing it to an existing hit is probably more attractive to potential viewers and advertisers than connecting it to some girl who isn’t famous yet, as inspiring as she may be.


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