New Cast Members Yancey Arias and Jesse Borrego Announced

LOS ANGELES (October 6, 2003) - PBS' AMERICAN FAMILY has begun principal photography in East Los Angeles for an all-new 13-part drama premiering in April 2004. The stellar cast is led by Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, Raquel Welch, Constance Marie, Rita Moreno and includes special appearances by Sonia Braga.

"I wanted to do something different with AMERICAN FAMILY this year," said series creator, Academy Award nominee, writer/director Gregory Nava. "Instead of doing an episodic series, I wanted to tell one epic story that will unfold over 13 parts. The topical story lines will be based around events of the Iraq war. The universal story will open the doors to the Gonzalez's past and show how the family came to America during the Mexican Revolution. AMERICAN FAMILY will depict all the sacrifices they have made through the years to achieve the American dream. There will be a definite beginning and ending, making it more like a mini-series."

The latest production marks the addition of two new cast members, Yancey Arias and Jesse Borrego. Arias, star of last year's critically acclaimed series, "Kingpin," joins the cast in the starring role of Conrado, a doctor and the family's oldest son. Borrego, one of the stars of the popular 80's TV series, "Fame," also has been added to the cast as Shady, a character from Esteban's past.

Production began with a sumptuous wedding and reception for Morales' character, Esteban Gonzalez and Ofelia, played by accomplished Mexican actress Kate del Castillo. The wedding sequence is filming in the East Los Angeles area under the direction of Nava. The cast and more than 300 extras are participating in the colorful celebration.

Following the filming of the first episode, shooting of the drama continues at the Hewitt Stages and various locations throughout Los Angeles as well as northern and central Mexico.

Encore episodes of AMERICAN FAMILY, which launched in 2002, returned to PBS Sundays at 7 p.m. beginning September 28. The saga of the Gonzalez family continues with the premiere of the new 13-part drama in April 2004.

AMERICAN FAMILY is produced by El Norte Productions and KCET/Hollywood in association with The Greenblatt Janollari Studio and Fox Television Studios. Creator and executive producer is Gregory Nava. Executive producers are Barbara Martinez-Jitner, Bob Greenblatt, David Janollari and Eric Gold. Major funding for AMERICAN FAMILY is provided by Johnson & Johnson, the American Legacy Foundation, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

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