The Baker and the Beauty cast isn't ready to say goodbye to canceled Latinx series
Series star Victor Rasuk wants fans to help bring back The Baker and the Beauty and wants to also resuscitate HBO's How to Make It in America.
ABC may have canceled the Latinx comedy The Baker and the Beauty this week, but the cast isn't ready to let the show go without a fight.
More than 100,000 fans have already signed a petition asking that the show be picked up and renewed for a second season. EW has learned that the show is in the early stages of being shopped around at streamers. The titled aired on ABC but was produced by Universal Television, leaving the possibility of it finding a home at their own streamer Peacock.
The Baker and the Beauty, based on the Israeli rom-com Beauty and the Baker, tells the story of the Garcia family and how their world gets flipped upside down when their eldest son Daniel (Victor Rasuk) meets and falls in love with Hollywood star Noa Hamilton (Nathalie Kelley). But the show was more than just a meet-cute. It also delicately handled the coming out story of the youngest Garcia child, Nathalie (Belissa Escobedo) during the second half of the season.
"Now more than ever, the world is waking up to the importance of diversity and representation on our televisions," said Kelley, who is of Australian and Peruvian descent, in a statement. "We want networks to commit wholeheartedly to ensuring that BIPOC, LATINX and LGBTQ+ people, and other marginalized groups, get a chance to tell our stories. The Baker and The Beauty was a show that embodied the themes of unity, empathy, and compassion, all of which are so needed in our national discourse right now.
She adds, "I praise them for allowing the youngest daughter Natalie’s LGBTQ storyline to be central to our show. I am also forever grateful to them for casting me, an Indigenous woman, as the lead female role. Noa Hamilton was not written for a woman of color, but they cast me anyway. And I could not be prouder of what we all did and the show we created."
Series star Rasuk is familiar with the early cancellation of a series beloved by fans. How to Make it in America ran for two seasons on HBO before it was announced it would not be returning, and it's still the title he's most asked about.
"I think this show resonated with so many people because we just don't see Latino families portrayed in a positive light on TV," Rasuk tells EW exclusively. "But this story goes way beyond it being a Latino story because I heard from fans who were from different and diverse backgrounds—our stories are universal stories. I understand that ABC came to their decision to cancel and they had to do what was best for them as a network. Aside from signing the petition, fans can support the cause by continuing to talk about the show using the hashtag #SaveBakerandtheBeauty. ABC may not have been the right network for us but I am positive the right one is out there."
He adds, "Anything is possible today. If the fans really wanted How to Make it in America to come back, I think with the right social media push it could happen! It's not too late. I would definitely make the time to shoot both The Baker and the Beauty and How to Make it in America. Let's do this!"
Rasuk's father was played by veteran actor Carlos Gomez, who in his 30-year career in Hollywood has starred in Desperados, Fools Rush In, Friends, ER, and Charmed. Gomez tells EW that it took three decades for him to land the role of his dreams as Rafael Garcia, the patriarch on The Baker and the Beauty.
"Throughout my career, I've portrayed many roles in so many projects but none have made me as proud as playing Rafael," Gomez explains. "Being able to play the supportive parent of a young woman as she comes out to her parents has really been the honor of my career. Fans have shared their coming out stories with me on social media, both Latinx viewers and beyond. The Garcia's are very special and their story needs to continue."
Gomez's small screen wife was played by Lisa Vidal, who also has a long list of TV and film credits including The Cosby Show, New York Undercover, ER, American Horror Story, Being Mary Jane, and countless feature films. She says the Garcia family has many more important stories to tell, they just need the opportunity.
"I've spent 40 years working in Hollywood and I always prayed for a role like this," Vidal says of playing matriarch Mari Garcia. "Carlos told me about this role and I was interested immediately. Mari is so far from any stereotype Latinos have had to portray on television and the issues we dealt with go beyond Latinidad, these are stories that take place in homes all over the world. Rafael and Mari were a very-much-still-in-love couple who worked through family issues together. I am grateful for the outpouring of support we've received from our fans, our community, and everyone who is helping to lift up our little show that has so much heart."
The series has received support from celebrities including Eva Longoria, Eugenio Derbez, and Gloria Calderon Kellett, whose show One Day at a Time returned with a fourth season on Pop TV after it was canceled by Netflix.
"Disappointed to hear that the very charming @BakerBeautyABC was canceled," she posted on Twitter. "One of the few positive portrayals of a Latinx family on network tv. @thelisavidal is the Latina mom America deserves on their networks! Networks DO BETTER!"