Jennifer Lopez hasn’t rested on her laurels since being booted from American Idol. The pop-star turned her attention to television, executive-producing a groundbreaking pilot for ABC Family. “The Fosters” is a comedy-drama about a lesbian couple raising a “multi-ethnic” mixture of biological and foster children.
“The Fosters” stars Teri Polo and Sherri Shaum among other actors. ABC Family is offering these tidbits about the pilot:
The Fosters are a bi-racial couple who are raising a biological son along with several other adoptive children. Lena is an altruistic school principal, who is determined to save children. She decides to take in Callie, a “troubled” teen with an abusive past whose ways will turn the family lives upside down. Stef is a tough yet kind police officer who isn’t as eager to add to their family. Lena tries to introduce new children to the family, not always with Stef’s knowledge.
A newly-released trailer shows tension between the children and their parents as they attempt to navigate the pangs of growing up in an “untraditional” family. Jezebel points out:
In the trailer, Teri Polo’s character says “We’re definitely not the Brady Bunch.” A blatantly obvious signal to viewers — look how different we are! — but also a refreshing reminder that it’s not 1969. We’re living in a new era, with all different kinds of families. Unlike that ABC show called Modern Family — you know, the one where the women don’t have jobs — “The Fosters “actually feels apropos for 2013.
Another scene included in the trailer shows siblings Jesus (Jake T. Austin) confronting Marianna (Cierra Ramirez) about selling his pills for cash so she could meet her biological mother.
“The Fosters” appears to reimagine villages where the gender of parents is not nearly as important as the love and support offered.
ABC Family has championed progressive issues within its programming. The network aired a series spin-off of “10 Things I Hate About You” featuring a bold, outspoken feminist as the protagonist as well as “Huge,” a series chronicling issues kids combat at a weight-loss camp. Women and Hollywood considers “Switched at Birth” to be the “first mainstream television series to have multiple deaf and hard-of-hearing series regulars and scenes shot entirely in ASL [American Sign Language].”
The network boasts impressive inclusivity. GLAAD found 55 percent of ABC Family’s original primetime programming features some LGBT presence. This statistics led GLAAD to bestow ABC Family with an “excellent” score from the Network Responsibility Index, a database chronicling LGBT issues in television. ABC Family is only the second network to earn this distinction.
ABC Family’s president, Michael Riley, prides the network on promoting positive programming with progressive undertones. In response to ABC’s garnering of the excellent score, he said:
We’re proud of our programming, and grateful for the recognition from GLAAD. We strive to reflect the rich diversity of our audience and the world around us, including the LGBT community, through strong characters and engaging, authentic storytelling. Earning GLAAD’s highest rating for our inclusive programming is both an honor and a validation of our programming’s positive impact.
“The Fosters” premieres June 3 at 9/8(c).
Will you be watching “The Fosters?”