On Monday night, Eva Longoria‘s hiatus from primetime television is finally over when her her new show, Telenovela where she plays Ana Sofia. The show is a behind the scenes look of a fictional popular Spanish-language soap opera.

Four years after her departure from Desperate Housewives, Longoria is excited for her new show and the influence it will have on the Hispanic community. “I wanted to focus on good content because Hispanics will show up when the content is good,” she said. “It’s not hitting people over the head ‘We’re Hispanic!’ But at the same time you can be proud that you are that different voice.”

Longoria is not just starring in the show but also writing and directing. She believes that in order to capture the essence of the show, she also needs to be behind the camera.

“When it comes to diversity in television, we have to have more people behind the camera,” she says. “We have to have more producers and writers — specifically, writers — in order to create those stories and dig from the well of our community, which has been untapped. And that’s what we’re doing here,” she said.

Before their official premiere on Monday, the show did a soft launch preview in the beginning of December. The show received praise from the critics but the audience lacked in numbers. The first episode averaged a 1.4 rating in adults ages 18 to 49 and 5.4 million viewers at the 10 pm hour. The second episode was much lower, pulling just a 0.8 rating and 3.3 million.

With a bidding war between NBC and ABC, NBC ultimately won with a contract for 13 shows but had to reduce it down to 11 due to scheduling conflicts.

Longoria is confident in her 11 show contract.  “I’m all about truth, and so I always feel like you don’t sugarcoat things that shouldn’t be sugarcoated,” Longoria said, “I mean, you can’t do anything about scheduling and finances of an entire network; there’s no battle to fight there. What we can do is make those 11 an amazing 11. NBC, I, and the writers and the cast all want the same thing: We want a very successful comedy.”

“Telenovela” airs Monday night at 8:30 pm on NBC.


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