Bill Duke to direct “The Blexicans” sitcom pilot here

Director Bill Duke

Director Bill Duke (Sister Act 2, A Rage in Harlem) begins production here the end of January on the pilot for the half-hour sitcom The Blexicans. It will shoot at Cinespace and locations in the surrounding Little Village neighborhood.

The Blexicans is about the romance and culture clash that ensues after the marriage between African American Carl, an aspiring comedian who hates working for his family’s struggling funeral home and Mexican American Gabriella, whose family owns an upscale restaurant while she wants to be a fashion designer.

“I wanted to do something that promoted cultural unity, not just between blacks and Mexicans, but between all cultures,” says executive producer/funder Kelvis Smith. 

The concept struck him when he attended a family reunion and heard an extended family member introduced as a “Blexican.”

“When my aunt gave Hector that title, the family was stunned for like 30-seconds,” Smith recalls.

The show will be a first, the producers say, as no other television show has taken a close look at the relationship of a Mexican and African married couple.“The show will say what others won’t say about race, to make it thought-provoking and funny,” says Duke.

The Blexicans director Bill Duke (front, center), flanked by producers Cherise and D'Shaun Ragland.  Head writer Rick Najera is third from left, along with writers and readers from an LA writing session.Husband and wife team D’Shaun and Denise Ragland of Pilsen-based Red Dove Media are producing, with a team that includes Delvin Molden of END Productions and Zandra Rivera of Mainstream Media.

Rivera also serves as casting director and writer along with head writer Chicago native now LA-based Rick Najera, a senior writer for CBS, who speaks for the Latino culture. 

Local writers Jim White and John Ruffin cover the African American side.

While the two lead roles are still open, Najera has been cast as Gabriella’s father, Jorge and local comedian George Wilborn will play a comedy club owner.

The pilot will be shopped to both broadcast and cable distribution, says Cherise Ragland. “We already have interested parties for new media but no final commitments have been made.  We are not excluding the endless possibilities for new media. 

“We are going to tell the truth and viewers will tune in for the raw truth. We are going to say the things people think, but are afraid to say.  Only then can we find healing because the truth sets us free,” she says.