East Los High

United States

PMC produced East Los High in association with Wise Entertainment as a Hulu original series for hulu.com. The 24-episode first season aired on June 3, 2013; the second season aired on July 9, 2014; season three aired on July 15, 2015; and season four aired on July 15, 2016.

East Los High rose to be one of the top five shows on hulu.com during its first season and has received five Emmy nominations. Because PMC hires producers, writers, and actors from the community we’re trying to reach, East Los High was Hollywood’s first and only series with an all Latino cast. It draws more than one million unique visitors to Hulu’s Latino page each month and has been written about in publications like the American Journal of Public Health for its impact on issues like adolescent sexual and reproductive health. StayTeen.org’s website traffic doubling on the day East Los High launched and 22 percent of Planned Parenthood’s total widget visits during the first season were accessed through the East Los High website.

PMC built East Los High based on PMC’s approach to entertainment-education hoping to help address teen pregnancy and other health and social issues. Bill Ryerson, PMC’s President, Katie Elmore Mota, PMC’s former Vice President of Communications and Programs, and Virginia Carter, former PMC board member with an Emmy and two Peabody awards to her credit, trained the East Los High writers in PMC’s methodology. The introduction of transmedia storytelling was inspired by formative research demonstrating robust media usage by the target audience and Mota’s recent Master’s degree.

PMC produced the first season of East Los High and subsequent seasons have been licensed to Wise Entertainment for production. Wise Entertainment is a Hollywood-based production company established by Mota after East Los High’s first season.

East Los High has been covered for its notable firsts (such as the all Latino cast), its exciting drama, and its educational content in news outlets such as NPR, Los Angeles Times, and Indiewire.

East Los High Season One: Sizzle Reel
East Los High Season One: Behind the Scenes
East Los High Season One: Transmedia Experince

Making a Difference

In the first month, East Los High rose to be one of the top five shows on Hulu, and also the top show for Hulu’s Latino viewers. In September 2013, Hulu was honored by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) for producing an original show with an all-Lationo cast, East Los High. The NAHJ Media Awards recognize media that have increased visibility of and accurate representations of Latinos. East Los High also won a Bronze Lion at the Cannes Advertising Festival in France in June 2014.

Season One viewership on Hulu:
• East Los High was one of the top 10 shows on Hulu during its premiere month
• has performed as well or better than shows like Grey’s Anatomy or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart
• the show was in the top five among all programs on Hulu for the first month
• often the top show on Hulu for Latino viewers

Season One impact of eastloshigh.com website:
• During the first month of airing, more than 27,000 people used a planned parenthood widget from eastloshigh.com
• Of the more than 27,000 people who used a planned parenthood widget in the first month, 55% were new visits to planned parenthood
• During the first month of airing, direct traffic to StayTeen increased by 53%
• On the day East Los High premiered, traffic to StayTeen doubled
• More than 60% of viewers said they referred East Los High resources to a friend
• 48% of the target sample (Latinas 24 years old or younger) visited the eastloshigh.com resources page
• Visitors to the resources page browsed all 13 topics and reported the information helpful
• 81% of visitors to the resources page shared and recommended the resources they learned about

27,000

In the first month, more than 27,000 people used Planned Parenthood’s “The Check” widget available on eastloshigh.com to explore their risk and need to get tested for STDs, HIV, or pregnancy.

(East Los High Research)

98%

More than 98 percent of those who watched the episodes and used the transmedia elements said they found East Los High’s resources incredibly helpful.

(East Los High Research)

60%

60 percent of viewers said they referred East Los High’s resources to a friend.

(East Los High Research)

Project Information

Title: East Los High
Format: TV serial drama
Location: Los Angeles, California
Language: English
Duration: Currently available on Hulu if accessing from within the United States
Season One Original Airing: June 3, 2013
Season Two Original Airing: July 9, 2014
Season Three Original Airing: July 15 2015
Season Four Original Airing: July 15,2016

In-Country Team:
East Los High does not follow our typical in-country team construction. East Los High was produced by PMC for its first season. All subsequent seasons have been produced by Wise Entertainment on PMC’s behalf.

History of East Los High:
PMC was encouraged by a funder to expand into the United States’ TV market. Formative research identified that more than 50 percent of Latinas in the US were becoming pregnant before the age of 20. PMC built East Los High based on PMC’s approach to entertainment-education hoping to help address this disparity. Bill Ryerson, PMC’s President, Katie Elmore Mota, PMC’s former Vice President of Communications and Programs, began constructing the myriad of components needed to create a show. They hired Carlos Portugal to direct the project and hire writers. Ryerson, Mota, and Virginia Carter, a former PMC board member with an Emmy and two Peabody awards to her credit, trained the East Los High writers in PMC’s methodology. The introduction of transmedia storytelling, which was inspired by formative research demonstrating robust media usage by the target audience and Mota’s recent Master’s degree, meant thinking about how PMC’s rules for the drama applied to drama extensions.

After season one, Mota left her full-time position at PMC to form the Hollywood-based production company, Wise Entertainment, which now handles all elements of East Los High’s production utilizing and building upon the framework established with season one, including most of the original writers and producers, the program advisory board, and Carter’s review of scripts. PMC has been pleased to license East Los High to Wise Entertainment because of their continued efforts and ability to grow and strengthen the show. PMC hopes that the #ELHAddicts continue to enjoy the characters, the stories, and the helpful information about health and social issues.

News Related to this Project:


East Los High: Entertainment that Means Something

September 12, 2016 — On July 15th, fans got what they had been waiting for – season four of East Los High... Keep reading.


A Nonprofit’s Los Angeles Drama Receives Three Daytime Emmy Nominations

April 13, 2015 — LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES – The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences had some big news on April... Keep reading.


Sexy Lessons: East Los High CoCreator Kathleen Bedoya Explores Real-Life Issues in a Telenovela Format

November 6, 2014 — PMC has pasted the text of this article here. See original post in Latina Magazine. By Celina Shatzman.... Keep reading.


Critic’s Pick TV Picks: ‘East Los High,’ Paralympics, ‘Welcome to Sweden’

July 4, 2014 — PMC has pasted the text of this article here. See original post in the LA Times. By Robert Lloyd... Keep reading.


Hulu Announces Season Two of East Los High for Summer 2014

February 14, 2014 — SHELBURNE, VT – Hulu said it has ordered 12 new episodes of the English-language series East Los High,... Keep reading.


East LA Homegirl Goes Hollywood

September 16, 2013 — Evangeline Ordaz is no ordinary Hollywood show runner. When she’s not teaching constitutional law or rehabbing historic buildings,... Keep reading.


‘East Los High’: Not Just Another Teen Soap

July 17, 2013 — NPR July 11, 2013 Despite the fact that it’s been generating a lot of buzz, Devious Maids is... Keep reading.


Storylines


Season One: East Los High

Season One of East Los High follows the lives of two Latina cousins, Maya and Jessie, as they face the hardest decisions of adolescence including the inevitable decisions regarding sexuality. As seniors at Roosevelt High School in Los Angeles, the two girls’ choices reflect their characters and visibly shape their futures with every step. Maya, a lone wolf with nothing to lose after running away from her tragic home, struggles with her dark past both physically and emotionally. Jessie, a pretty, popular girl on the straight and narrow, lives a seemingly perfect life – until it all falls apart.

From an entanglement of love triangles, pregnancy, obsession, infidelity, peer pressure, self-denial, and true love, the girls emerge profoundly changed. Audiences will find themselves deeply engrossed in the dramatic lives of these teens while simultaneously learning through the characters’ experiences about reproductive health care and options, self-honesty, independence, self-confidence, healthy lifestyle choices, and the consequences of their actions. East Los High depicts the hard reality that faces many teens and young adults, and through the trials and tribulations of the characters, the audience will slowly come to learn about the importance of informed decision-making.


Season Two: East Los High

The second season of East Los High brought back some of the most popular cast members from the debut season including Ceci, who became a young mother in the end of season one. She returns to coach the Bomb Squad, the school’s dance team she once co-directed, and struggles to take the unruly team to state championships, while also raising her child and dealing with a boyfriend who turns out to be more than meets the eye.

Season two also continues to explore unexpected love triangles between the new characters, and it deals with issues such as domestic violence, bisexuality and coming out in high school, as well as advocacy and sexual and reproductive health issues.


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