Rodriguez to Direct First Episode and Guest Star in Series
Selenis Leyva and Michael Weaver to Star Alongside Young Newcomers Tess Romero and Charlie Bushnell
Production started this week in Los Angeles on Disney+’s “Diary of a Female President,” from CBS Television Studios, executive producer Gina Rodriguez (“Jane the Virgin”) and Rodriguez’s production company, I Can and I Will Productions. Emily Gipson (“Someone Great”) will also executive produce, along with creator Ilana Peña (“Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”) and showrunner Robin Shorr (“The Carmichael Show”).
Told from the narration of her diary, “Diary of a Female President” follows Elena, a Cuban-American 12-year-old girl as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school and begins her journey to become the future president of the United States.
Rodriguez is directing the first episode of the show, which Disney+ ordered straight to series. She also has a recurring guest starring role as adult Elena, currently on the campaign trail.
“We’re thrilled to be working with the multi-talented Gina Rodriguez who lends her strength behind and in front of the camera,” says Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “Disney+ is the perfect home for Gina, Emily, Ilana, Robin and CBS Studios to bring this heartwarming, funny, and relatable family story to life.”
Executive producer Gina Rodriguez commented “I established my production company as a vehicle to tell stories for and by the underrepresented. Bringing this story to Disney+ is a dream come true not to mention hope for our future.”
“We’re excited to team with Disney+ on this series,” says David Stapf, president, CBS Television Studios. “‘Diary of a Female President’ may currently be a fictional tale, but one day soon this hopeful, inclusive and aspirational story will become a reality. In addition, we’re delighted to be involved with yet another project from Gina. She is an extraordinary talent who has demonstrated tremendous skill in choosing and shepherding projects with diverse voices.”
Up-and-coming actor Tess Romero (“Blind Spot,” “Alternatino”) portrays young Elena, unabashed, semi-dweeby, ultra-observant, and with a strong point of view, as she walks through the world with purpose and confidence. Charlie Bushnell, who makes his acting debut in the series, plays Bobby, Elena’s sweet-faced but mischievous older brother. Selenis Leyva (“Orange Is the New Black,” “Murphy Brown,” “Maniac”) stars as Gabi, Elena and Bobby’s intelligent and loving mom. Michael Weaver (“Here and Now,” “The Real O’Neals,” “Notes from the Underbelly”) plays Sam, a lawyer at Gabi’s firm who is in the beginnings of a relationship with her.
Rodriguez can be seen playing the title role on the series “Jane the Virgin,” for which she won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy in 2015. Her voice can be heard as “Carmen Sandiego” in the animated series. Other film credits include “Annihilation,” animated film “Ferdinand,” animated film “The Star,” “Deepwater Horizon,” animated film “Smallfoot,” and Catherine Hardwicke’s “Miss Bala,” and the Netflix film “Someone Great,” which she starred in and served as a producer.
The series has received a 10-episode order and will stream on Disney+ in 2020.
Launching in the U.S. on November 12, 2019, Disney+ will be the ultimate streaming destination for movies and shows from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and more. From The Walt Disney Company’s Direct-to-Consumer and International segment, Disney+ will offer ad-free programming with a variety of original feature-length films, documentaries, live-action and animated series and short-form content including series “The Mandalorian,” “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “The World According to Jeff Goldblum,” and “Encore!” and films “Lady and the Tramp” and “Noelle.” Alongside unprecedented access to Disney’s incredible library of film and television entertainment and 30 seasons of “The Simpsons,” the service will also be the exclusive streaming home for films released by The Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including “Captain Marvel,” “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” “Toy Story 4,” “The Lion King,” “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” “Frozen 2,”and “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.” Visit DisneyPlus.com to learn more.
About CBS Television Studios:
CBS Television Studios is one of the industry’s leading suppliers of programming for broadcast, basic and premium cable, and streaming platforms. The Studio’s programming includes the phenomenally successful NCIS franchise; the critically acclaimed “Star Trek: Discovery,” “Madam Secretary,” “Jane the Virgin,” “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” the hit dramas “Seal Team,” “FBI,” “Blue Bloods,” “Hawaii Five-0,” “Macgyver,” “Magnum P.I.,” “The Code,” “Bull,” “Instinct” and “Elementary;” the popular comedy series “The Neighborhood,” “Man with a Plan,” “Fam,” “Charmed,” “Dynasty” and “In the Dark” for The CW; the summer action-adventure series “Blood & Treasure,” and “90210,” a revival of “Beverly Hills, 90210” for FOX.
The Studio also produces the Daytime Emmy Award-winning talk show “The Talk,” as well as the Emmy award-nominated late night series “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” and “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” For CBS All Access, the studio produces “The Good Fight,” “Strange Angel,” the streaming service’s first comedy series, “No Activity,” “Why Women Kill,” “Interrogation,” “The Twilight Zone,” and the highly anticipated adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling novel, “The Stand.” Additionally, as part of the expansion of the “Star Trek” universe, the studio produces “Star Trek: Picard” featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising the role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard, “Star Trek: Short Treks,” “Star Trek: Lower Decks,” which marked CBS All Access’ foray into the animation landscape, as well as the untitled “Star Trek” animated series for Nickelodeon. The studio’s programming also includes series based on popular, viral segments from “The Late Show with James Corden,” “Carpool Karaoke” for Apple Music and “Drop the Mic” for TBS, as well as “Dead to Me,” “Insatiable” and “Unbelievable” for Netflix. Additionally, the studio produces the comedy anthology series “The Guest Book” for TBS; “Our Cartoon President” and “Your Honor” for Showtime; “Diary of a Female President” for Disney+ as well as “A Higher Loyalty,” a miniseries based on former FBI director James Comey’s memoir.
Andrea Gruber, Andrea.Gruber@disney.com, 818-460-7020
CBS Television Studios:
Arpi Ketendjian, Arpi.Ketendjian@cbs.com, 818-655-7221