It’s Lopez’s first sitcom starring role since his ABC series “George Lopez.”
This time, Lopez is playing a recently divorced working class Mexican-American turned successful engineer. Naturally, he has a demanding ex-wife and an overbearing mother. He also has an 11-year-old son, and an uncle, who are described neither as demanding or overbearing in Thursday’s announcement.
The “Saint” part of the show name stems from the character having a new role as a philanthropist, “giving back” by teaching history once a week at a night school.
The show was created by producing partners Matt Williams and David McFadzean, whose credits include “A Different World,” “Roseanne,” and “Home Improvement.”
And like FX’s Charlie Sheen sitcom “Anger Management,” Lopez’s new comedy comes from Lionsgate, and Debmar-Mercury — the latter being the outfit that gave the world 10/90 TV series model. It works like this: a network agrees to air 10 episodes of a new TV series; if those 10 episodes reach certain agreed-upon ratings threshold, it triggers an automatic pickup of 90 more episodes — getting the producers to the magic 100 episodes needed for syndication in a fraction of the time it takes under the traditional TV network model, in which 13-to-24-ish episodes are ordered per season.
The new show will reflect Lopez’s “no-holds-barred comedic take on the tensions surrounding race, class, sex and family life in Los Angeles through the eyes of a man straddling two separate cultures,” Lionsgate’s TV president Kevin Beggs said Thursday.
With Lopez’s strong following from the rapidly growing Hispanic audience, the first 10 episodes are sure to succeed, insisted the Debmar-Mercury guys.
Lopez’s TBS late night show, “Lopez Tonight,” debuted on the cable net in November of ’09. When TBS signed the recently booted “Tonight Show” host Conan O’Brien, Lopez’s show got pushed to a later timeslot, which Lopez at the time said he supported. But his ratings took a hit, and his show was pulled in the summer of ’11.