Gina Rodriguez isn’t content to star in one of the most critically acclaimed shows on the air; now, the Golden Globe winner has signed an overall deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind the CW’s Jane the Virgin, Deadline reports.
Through the actor’s production company, I Can and I Will Productions, Rodriguez will produce shows for CBS TV Studios, which is also the studio behind CW hits Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, The 100, and the just-premiered Riverdale. I Can and I Will produced its first program back in December, the inaugural Marie Claire Young Women’s Honors awards show, which Rodriguez hosted. The company has also optioned a German pilot called Dr. Illegal.
If you’ve been following Rodriguez’s career, the move shouldn’t come as a surprise. Since winning her first Golden Globe, for best actress, in 2015, Rodriguez has made clear her ambitions to produce and to advocate for women and minorities, particularly Latinas. Her production company takes its name from a motto she learned from her father; she’s also at work on a memoir called I Can and I Will: Tools My Daddy Gave Me, which will be released later this year by Simon & Schuster — CBS TV Studio’s sister company, Deadline notes.
Rodriguez’s overall deal is a win for women in the TV and film industry. Despite apparent gains, in 2016, the number of female directors among high-grossing domestic films actually fell from the previous year, from a measly 9 percent to a paltry 7 percent — a lower share than in 1998. And the percentage of women working in other behind-the-scenes jobs also declined slightly last year compared to 2015. It can only help to have more high-profile women who are committed to gender and racial parity forming their own production companies and inking deals with big studios.
Plus, with this deal, Rodriguez joins a club that’s usually occupied by men. Earlier this month, Donald Glover signed an overall deal with FX, the channel behind his Golden Globe-winning series, Atlanta. That followed a similar 2013 deal between FX and Louis C.K., who’s co-created two more series (Baskets and Better Things) for the channel since Louie debuted in 2010.