On March 1st, Wilmer Valderrama will return to the small screen. He’s starring in NBC’s new drama Awake, a fantasy crime drama series created by Kyle Killen, exec produced by Killen and Howard Gordon. Valderrama is no stranger to television as his star shined bright on the hit sitcom That '70s show. “You know, after doing eight years and 200 episodes of easily the silliest character anybody could ever create, I was very excited to explore the rest of my skills.
“I was able to do it with certain films, like Fast Food Nation, The Dry Land and Larry Crowne; but returning to television is something that is exciting for me, especially being able to be a part of something that is so unique, different and mysterious. I didn’t want to do another comedy, especially with the type of character I had played. I feel like closing that chapter and showing the world and my fans a different side of me. I was very blessed that Howard and Kyle were able to see me as this character.”
Awake is based on Police Detective Michael Britten, played by Jason Isaacs, who is involved in a car accident, along with his wife Hannah (Laura Allen) and son Rex (Dylan Minnette). Michael goes back and forth between two realities: In one, Rex survived while Hannah is dead; in the other, Hannah survived but Rex did not. Trying to keep both his loved ones alive, Michael starts living a “double life,” by living two realities, dealing with different personal conflicts and police partners.
“I actually play a character that exists in both aspects of his life,” says Valderama. “I play an LAPD officer in one reality, and I play his partner in the other. The fun part about this show is that it’s so unpredictable.”
In Other News
Last March, the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts launched the Art of Politics Impact Project to shed light on the lack of Latino commentators and guests on the four network Sunday news shows: ABC’s This Week, CBS’s Face the Nation, FOX News Sunday, and NBC’s Meet The Press. The Art of Politics Impact Project is being implemented in collaboration with the National Council of La Raza, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Being Latino, The Libre Initiative and 16 other national Latino organizations.
After reviewing 149 broadcasts over nine months, NHFA concluded that only 10 Latino men were invited as guests and commentators. Most appeared more than once and some were invited both as guest and commentator. The individual breakdown by show is as follows: ABC’s This Week included five Latinos; CBS’s Face the Nation had two; FOX News Sunday had four; and NBC’s Meet The Press had seven.