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New ABC pilot based on Selena

The Selena Memorial statue on the Corpus Christi downtown seawall draws thousands of visitors a year who pay tribute to the Queen of Tejano music, now said to be the inspiration for a new TV series on ABC. Staff photo by JoAnna Kopp

A hugely successful Latina singer returns to her estranged family in a new TV series set to be developed for ABC. While the central character, Alex Guerra, is not Selena and the plot does not mirror Selena’s life, the inspiration for the series comes from the real star’s personality and drive. In fact, the Quintanilla family has approved the project and is providing input.

Selena Quintanilla Perez sold more than 60 million albums worldwide and won Grammys for Best Mexican American Album in 1994 and 1995. She was murdered by the president of her fan club in 1995. Only 23, the Corpus Christi resident was just beginning to make positive waves in the music industry, shining a spotlight on Latin culture and inspiring young women around the world.

The TV series does not yet have a name or a cast, but it does have producers and writers.

Miguel Nolla, who worked in production on the ABC shows “Private Practice,” “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Scandal,” wrote the put pilot and is co-executive producer. A “put pilot” is an industry term for a new show that a network agrees to air as either a special or a series. If the put pilot does not air, the network still has to pay for it, which usually means such a commitment leads to air time for the project.

Producing the show are Abraham Quintanilla Jr. and Suzette Quintanilla Arriaga. Other executive producers are Scooter Braun, Scott Manson and James Shin of SB Projects and Sergio Aguero, Jaime Davila and Rico Martinez of Campanario Entertainment.

SB Projects currently produces “Scorpion” on CBS and “Movie Night with Karlie Kloss” on Freeform. Campanario Entertainment is a Los Angeles-based TV production company committed to reaching out to Latinos in the United States with diverse projects via TV and digital content distribution.

There is no estimate yet on when the show will be ready for air.

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