The highest profile Hispanic sitcom in the Hollywood will not return for a seventh season, and its star is not laughing about it.
"TV just became really, really white again," George Lopez told the Los Angeles Times.
Tuesday, ABC President Steve McPherson announced that the network's fall schedule no longer had a home for "The George Lopez Show," a G-rated family show starring the stand-up comedian as "a guy who has made lemonade from lemons at every turn." Four new sitcoms are on the plate at ABC, including "Cavemen," inspired by the Geico insurance spokes-Neanderthals.
"We're heading into the new season with a strong lineup of returning shows that we've developed and nurtured over the past few years," McPherson said in a release. "... We're dedicated to working hard week after week to deliver the best stories and most memorable characters on TV." Ratings and cost have been cited in the decision to axe "The George Lopez Show," which is produced by Warner Bros. Television.
Mr. Lopez, a 46-year-old Mexican-American, cited economics and race in criticizing the move by the Disney-owned network, and noted that two surviving sitcoms pulled lower ratings than his show.
"I get kicked out for a [expletive] caveman and shows that I out-performed because I'm not owned by [ABC Television Studios]...So a [expletive] Chicano can't be on TV but a [expletive] caveman can?" Mr. Lopez was quoted in the Los Angeles Times story. "And a Chicano with an audience already? You know when you get in this that shows do not last forever, but this was an important show and to go unceremoniously like this hurts. One hundred seventy people lost their jobs."
The show had been rumored for cancellation last season, but survived. "The George Lopez Show" was the third sitcom ever built around a Hispanic lead character [although the long-running "I Love Lucy" co-stared Desi Arnaz] and was the longest running of the bunch.
Mr. Lopez was named one of Hispanic Business's Most Influential Hispanics in 2002. A Los Angeles native, he has a long list of credits including co-hosting the Emmy Awards, the Grammy-nominated CD "Team Leader" and his latest comedy CD "The Baddest," the best-selling autobiography "Why Are You Crying?," and roles in feature films such as "Bread and Roses," "The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl," and the new comedy "Balls of Fury." A DVD of his latest HBO special will be released July 3.
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