Cristela is smashing barriers both on and off screen. The sitcom, loosely based on Cristela Alonzo 's life and stand-up routine, stars the comedian as a young woman living with her chaotic family while striving to become a lawyer. The multi-camera sitcom has earned positive attention from critics, particularly thanks to its honest portrayal of an extended Mexican-American family all living under one roof in Dallas. Alonzo, who co-created the show with fellow executive producer Kevin Hench, explains why you should get to know Cristela.
TV Guide Magazine: I have time to watch one more show. Why should it be yours?
Cristela Alonzo: I've heard Cristela saves lives. Maybe it can save yours too. (By the way, everyone who told me that was alive.)
TV Guide Magazine: Who should be watching?
Alonzo: Everyone. I've heard the more people watch, the better it is for ratings.
TV Guide Magazine: What happens if we don't watch?
Alonzo: The terrorists win.
TV Guide Magazine: Give us an equation for Cristela.
Alonzo: The Mary Tyler Moore Show + Roseanne ÷ the square root of Law & Order + Police Academy 4: Citizens on Patrol x E (where E = Erik Estrada from CHiPs). I obviously don't do math well.
TV Guide Magazine: What's the best thing anyone has said about Cristela?
Alonzo: "Thanks for making a show I can watch with my kids."
TV Guide Magazine: What's the worst?
Alonzo: "Cristela is a show that stars a chick who looks like a fat Demi Lovato."
TV Guide Magazine: What's an alternate title for your show?
Alonzo: Seinfeld. It worked the first time, so let's try it again.
TV Guide Magazine: Finish this sentence: "If you like _______, you'll love our show."
Alonzo: If you like rooting for the underdog, you'll love our show.
TV Guide Magazine: What credit of yours would you like us to forget?
Alonzo: My credit score. I would like you to forget my credit score.
TV Guide Magazine: Tell me something about your cast.
Alonzo: They're an amazing group of talented people that I respect and love. I had never been to Disneyland and Andrew Leeds (who plays Josh) coordinated a trip for the entire cast to go with me for my first time. We all spent the day together and it was one of the best days I've ever had. That's a great example of how this group of people have become part of my family.
TV Guide Magazine: On what other series would you most like to be an executive producer?
Alonzo: The sci-fi portion of Adult Swim's Too Many Cooks.
TV Guide Magazine: Let's scare the network. Tell us an idea that didn't make it on to the screen.
Alonzo: Cirque du Soleil Presents: Cristela. A half-hour of magic and acrobatic feats as we discover that Cristela is being set up on a blind date.
TV Guide Magazine: Pick another show and start a fake feud.
Alonzo: Hey, The Mary Tyler Moore Show! Your ass is mine! (Did I do that right?)
TV Guide Magazine: With which show would you like to do a crossover episode?
Alonzo: Too Many Cooks, where Smarf [a cat puppet] and I get into a misunderstanding via text.
TV Guide Magazine: Come up with a premise for the spin-off.
Alonzo: My mother Natalia (Terri Hoyos) starts helping the Dallas police department solve crimes but has trouble because as a devout Catholic, she thinks EVERYONE is guilty.
TV Guide Magazine: How will your show change the face of TV?
Alonzo: Well, I think our show certainly makes the TV landscape a lot browner. That's for sure.
Cristela airs Fridays, 8:30/7:30c, on ABC