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  EN LA VIDA

PBS to Release 'American Family' on DVD
Edward James Olmos Speaks with En La Vida
by Carlos Correa
2003-04-01

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After a successful first season on PBS, American Family, starring Edward James Olmos and Raquel Welch, will be heading to the world of DVD starting April 29. For new viewers it's a chance to meet this heartwarming Mexican-American family who go through the struggles and triumphs of daily domestic life. For fans it's a chance to recapture the episodes they missed during regular prime-time scheduling.

The series chronicles the life of Jess Gonzalez (Olmos), a barbershop owner who is also the conservative patriarch of the Gonzalez family. Sonia Braga plays Berta, his wife of many years, and their grown children Nina, Esteban, Vangie, Conrado and Cisco are played by Constance Marie, Esai Morales, Rachel Ticotin, A.J. Lamas, Kurt Caceres and Austin Noah Marques.

The family's flamboyant Aunt Dora (Welch) lives next door and adds some spice to everyone's life. 'The show is a profound and beautiful series in Latino history. It's dramatic, it keeps you laughing and it makes you think about the culture you represent,' Olmos told En La Vida. He who returns to television after a successful run during the '80s on NBC's Miami Vice.

When American Family debuted on PBS in January 2002 it was the first drama series to feature an entirely Latino cast on broadcast television.

'It's ground-breaking television, which we don't often see on other networks,' Olmos said. 'A show with an all-Latino cast is rare and critics used to say people don't want to watch shows like this, but George Lopez proved them wrong,' he added.

Bringing the acclaimed series to DVD also gives American Family a whole new audience and an opportunity to make the show even more popular. The entire first season on DVD courtesy of Fox Home Entertainment will include two audio tracks giving the viewer the option of listening in English or Spanish, as well as a choice of English or Spanish subtitles.

'More people will get involved in the series. We hope to find the people that were not there before,' Olmos said, stressing that American Family is not just for Latinos, but for everybody who enjoys a good family series.

'We are like any other family. We have our ups and downs, and proceed with our daily activities in life. We try to become better people,' he said.

Like many DVDs, American Family: Season One will include scene commentary on its episodes, cast bios, interviews, home movies, and behind-the-scenes highlights of the show.

The retail price for the 6-Disc box set of American Family: Season One will cost you $69.98, but will be well worth the price.

'We are as American as apple pie, but instead of pie its burritos,' Olmos jokes.

_____

Fox Home Entertainment invites viewers to become part of the Gonzalez family as PBS's acclaimed American Family Season One comes home on DVD on April 29. Created by Academy Award-nominated director Gregory Nava (El Norte, Selena), the ensemble cast includes a virtual who's who in the Latino acting community, with some of the hottest stars today including Academy Award-nominee Edward James Olmos, Constance Marie, Rachel Ticotin, A.J. Lamas and Raquel Welch as the Gonzalez family, residents of East Los Angeles. The pivotal first season also features special appearances by guest stars Esai Morales, Sonia Braga and Kate Del Castillo in her first American television appearance. '"The series is about an American family living in Los Angeles that happens to be Latino,' said Director Gregory Nava. 'I wanted to create a show that will make audiences laugh and cry as it chronicles the daily struggles and triumphs of a family. American Family is about everyone's family.'


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