Taina (TV series)
|Created by||Maria Perez-Brown|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||26 (list of episodes)|
|Camera setup||Videotape; Multi-camera|
|Running time||23 minutes|
|Original release||January 14, 2001 –|
May 11, 2002
Taina Morales is a young Latina teenage girl who aspires to be a singer and actress. She, along with her best friend, Renee Jones, attend the Manhattan High School of the Performing Arts. Once there, they reunite with Lamar, whom neither has seen since elementary school. Taina and Renee's nemesis, Maritza Hogg (who knew Taina and Renee before high school) attends the same school they do, and is also an aspiring singer/actress. Every episode features Taina daydreaming of eventual super stardom, with occasional performances of a new song.
Cast and characters
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- Christina Vidal as Taina. Taina Maria Morales is a young, beautiful and talented Latina with hopes of being a professional singer and actress. She attended a performing arts school with her best friend Renee, rival Maritza, and friends Daniel and Lamar. She and her friends often got themselves into wacky situations in an attempt to become stars. Though Taina's impatience and impulsiveness would occasionally get her into scraps, she always let her honesty and compassion get her out of it. The name Taina is the female form of the indigenous Indian tribe which inhabited Puerto Rico. Most Puerto Ricans have Taino ancestry.
- Khaliah Adams as Renee. Renee Aretha Jones is Taina's best friend. She is an aspiring comedian and rapper. A crazy girl, she attended the performing arts school to become a comedian and a rapper. She often helped to ground Taina when her imagination ran away with her. Renee also tended to chase after boys frequently; unfortunately, her love interests were never the right ones for her.
- Chris Knowings as Lamar. Lamar Carlos Johnson is Taina's passionate guy friend and an aspiring director and writer. Not only did he serve as an editor of the performing art school's newspaper, he also had a crush on Taina and waited for the day she would finally come around. His best friend was Daniel, and the two often join forces to make a quick buck. He served as a support for Taina and the others, offering level-headed advice.
- David Oliver Cohen as Daniel. Daniel Nathaniel McDaniel is a multi-instrumentalist, who also shares the same school locker with Taina. Sweet and opinionated, his loves included writing songs, playing different instruments and chasing after girls. Daniel prided himself on being quite the ladies' man, but often ended up snubbed. It was hinted that he had true feelings for Renee. He loves The Beatles, and usually accompanied Taina's songs on his guitar.
- LaTangela as Maritza. Maritza Hogg is Taina and Renee's rival. She also aspired to be an actress and singer, but tended to be more ruthless than Taina. She loved to upstage others in her quest to become a star. However, she was not pure evil, and sometimes collaborated with Taina and her friends to make money or defeat other rivals. She prided herself on being an "evil diva".
- Lisa Lisa as Gloria Elana Morales
- Cristina Saralegui as Principal Rojas
- Josh Cruze as Eduardo Morales
- Manolo Villaverde as Gregorio "Abuelo" Sanchez
- Brandon Iglesias as Santito Morales (season 1)
- Selenis Leyva as Titi Rosa
- Joseph Bertot as Hector Colon
- Ruben Rabasa as Papito
- Jacob Urrutia as Santito Morales (season 2)
Development and production
Production on the show began sometime around the summer of 2000. The pilot was partially shot at the Laguardia Performers School in 1999 and finished at Nickelodeon on Sunset. Season 2 was shot from December 2001 – January 6, 2002. The show premiered on January 14, 2001 on Nickelodeon where ratings grew. New episodes would eventually move into the TEENick block at launch on March 4, 2001 starting with its eighth episode  and lasted for two seasons. Taina was scheduled to air every Sunday at 6pm. The show was even put on Nickelodeon's SNICK lineup on Saturday nights from January to May 2002, where ratings more than doubled in its second season. Despite its popularity, (the show garnered Nickelodeon its highest ratings in 3 years) the show was cancelled that June because Nickelodeon thought the show only appealed to girls. CBC reran the show for a few months in 2003. Taina has yet to ever air on television again in almost over two decades.
In July 2002, Nickelodeon announced that Taina was cancelled after two seasons, despite its massive success and big ratings due to their consensus that the show was appealing to girls. According to Josh Cruze, the show was also getting more expensive to produce. According to Vidal in a later interview, scripts for a third season and a made-for-television movie of the series were already written before Nickelodeon cancelled the show.
|Season||Episodes||First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||January 14, 2001||April 22, 2001|
|2||13||January 19, 2002||May 11, 2002|
Season 1 (2001)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||1||"Be Careful What You Wish For"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman||January 14, 2001|
Taina Morales, an aspiring entertainer begins her first day at Manhattan School for The Arts, a performing arts school. However, she gets a reality check from her Drama teacher Mr. Colon who calls her out on her overacting and she begins to doubt her acting ability. Lamar is convinced that Daniel is a jinx, is then is forced to take an all female ballet class.
Guest star: Cristina Saralegui as Principal Rojas (can be heard on the intercom).
|2||2||"Blue Mascara"||Kim Fields||Tracy Grandstaff||January 21, 2001|
|Taina is asked to join the senior girl group Blue Mascara (3LW). However, the group discourages her from continuing to hang out with Renee, feeling that it will interfere with the group's career pursuits. Meanwhile, Daniel loses a bet to Lamar and has to join the school's losing basketball team. In the end, Taina decides that her friendship with Renee is more important than being in Blue Mascara and quits the group. Gia (Adrienne Bailon), Lia (Kiely Williams) and Ria (Naturi Naughton) go on to perform "No More (Baby I'ma Do Right)" without Taina and Maritza tries to take Tania's place in the group.|
|3||3||"Quinceañero"||Kim Fields||Fracaswell Hyman and Maria Perez-Brown||January 28, 2001|
Taina and Gloria disagree on what dress she should wear for her Quinceañero, her 15th birthday party. Lamar competes with Alex (Nick Cannon), Maritza's boyfriend who appears to have feelings for Taina.
Guest star: C-Note
|4||4||"Mega Funds"||Beth McCarthy||Anthony Hill||February 4, 2001|
|Taina is forced to find her own way to get money to go on an amusement park trip to see the singer Joe perform, after her parents refuse to giver her the money. After winning a cash prize for a radio contest, Taina spends almost all of the money on an expensive pair of shoes instead of on the trip. Lamar and Daniel win the chance to be radio DJs for a week at Papito's, however Lamar's ego goes to his head, ruining the experience for them both.|
|5||5||"En Español"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman||February 11, 2001|
|Taina gets a bad grade on a Spanish exam forcing Abuelo Gregorio to go overboard by having the family immersed in their Puerto Rican heritage. Lamar helps Taina write a love letter to Papito's nephew who only speaks Spanish. A weird goth girl named Ice falls in love with Lamar.|
|6||6||"Charmed Bracelet"||Carl Lauten||Tracy Grandstaff||February 18, 2001|
|After buying a cheap bracelet and being told that her great grandmother was psychic, Taina is convinced that she is one as well. Daniel and Lamar are obsessed with a skiing video game at Papaito's, to the point that they refuse to take showers.|
|7||7||"I Want It That Way"||Kim Fields||Nicole Jefferson||February 25, 2001|
A short play that Taina wrote is chosen for a showcase which she must also direct. However, the task becomes way too overwhelming when her actresses Renee and Maritza, her musician Daniel, and her assistant director Lamar all want to do their own thing.
Guest star: Cristina Saralegui as Principal Rojas
|8||8||"A Twitch in the Tail"||Rick Fernandes||Fracaswell Hyman||March 4, 2001|
|Taina auditions for a soap opera, with Santito who accompanies her, getting the role instead. Beatrice, a girl that Daniel had a crush on back in band camp moves into town and falls for Lamar.|
|9||9||"Big Break"||Chuck Vinson||Anthony Hill||March 11, 2001|
|Taina is desperate to be cast as Robert De Niro's daughter in a movie. Daniel and Lamar get jobs to buy a used computer program to make their movies. Taina's Titi Carmen visits causes tension with Abuelo Gregorio.|
|10||10||"Friend or Phone"||Chuck Vinson||Anthony Hill||April 1, 2001|
|Taina wants a new cell phone due to hers malfunctioning. After her Titi Rosa buys her a new phone, Taina sells her old phone to Renee, when Taina's old phone finally breaks down for good, Renee asks for her money back, which causes a rift in their friendship. Daniel and Lamar try to bribe Maritza for Knicks-Lakers tickets.|
|11||11||"Singing with the Enemy"||Kim Fields||Anthony Hill||April 8, 2001|
|Taina, Renee and Maritza must team up to perform for a talent show or get a failing grade in Drama class. Taina has difficulty telling Renee that she can't sing. Daniel has writer's block and turns secret and embarrassing stories from Lamar and Taina into songs.|
|12||12||"Undercover"||Kim Fields||Tracy Grandstaff||April 15, 2001|
|Taina is suspicious that Alex of the group MDO is a fraud.|
|13||13||"My Left Eye"||Rick Fernandes||Fracaswell Hyman||April 22, 2001|
|Taina is selected to record a song with a popular artist and must go tour for year, with her having to make a tough decision on whether she should go or not.|
Season 2 (2002)
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|14||1||"Crouching Actor, Hidden Chicken"||Richard A. Fernandes||Fracaswell Hyman||January 19, 2002|
|Taina acts like a tough girl to snag a role in a boxing movie. Daniel and Renee build a robot for a robot fighting competition.|
|15||2||"Sabotage"||Chuck Vinson||Tracy Grandstaff||January 26, 2002|
|Taina and Maritza join forces to take down Lizzie (Brooke Allison), a southern girl who sabotaged her way to get the lead role in the school musical. Renee develops romantic feelings for Daniel.|
|16||3||"Scary Legend"||Richard A. Fernandes||Anthony Hill||February 2, 2002|
|A scary story told by Mr. Colon spooks Taina and the gang. While staying at school at night for costume fittings, Taina and Renee make a bet with Lamar and Daniel to see who can last being in school without being scared.|
|17||4||"Test Friends"||Virgil L. Fabian||Wayne Conley||February 9, 2002|
|Taina and Renee take a magazine quiz on their friendship and find out they hardly know anything about each other. Lamar, Daniel and Maritza must work at Papito's to pay for a display case glass they broke.|
|18||5||"Papi Don't Preach"||Fracaswell Hyman||Fracaswell Hyman||February 23, 2002|
Eduardo questions Taina about whether she attended an all night party, even though he told her not to, with Taina vehemently saying she did not go. Lamar and Daniel get jobs at a movie theater and promise Taina and Renee to sneak them in for the movie premiere starring Teck Money of The Real World.
Guest star: Nick Cannon as LaTanya (of All That and The Nick Cannon Show)
|19||6||"The Big Show"||Kim Fields||Luisa Leschin||March 2, 2002|
Taina tries to audition for the lead role for the new school play directed by Shevchenko (Liz Torres), a once prestigious theatre director. However, Taina has to overcome the long standing rule that only seniors can audition for lead roles in school plays. Lamar and Daniel sell tickets to the school play with extreme measures. Renee and Maritza compete for the affection of Darius the senior male lead in the play.
Guest star: Jaci Velasquez as Yvette
|20||7||"Crushin’"||Joe Menendez||Rodney Stringfellow||March 9, 2002|
|Taina gets a surprise finding out that the guy that she is crushing on is younger than she thought. Lamar becomes jealous when Renee interacts with Daniel on the interest of sumo wrestling.|
|21||8||"Abuelo Knows Best"||Maria Perez-Brown||Maria Perez-Brown||March 16, 2002|
Abuelo Gregorio spends more time with Taina, but he begins to cramp her style. Maritza wants to begin writing her own songs and asks Lamar and Daniel for help.
Guest stars: Luis Fonsi and Shakira
|22||9||"Bad Review"||Melissa Joan Hart||Tracy Grandstaff||March 23, 2002|
Taina gets a bad review of a play from Lamar, which has her reevaluating her performance. Daniel invites Maritza as his plus one for an opera show, in exchange for Maritza promising to give him a guitar signed by all four Beatles. However, Maritza's fashion advice drives Daniel crazy.
Guest stars: Solange Knowles as Rachel and Dorothy Lyman as Ms. Harper
|23||10||"Desperately Seeking Agent"||Kim Fields||Tracy Grandstaff||April 6, 2002|
Taina is willing to go through many extremes to be signed by an agent. Daniel is caught in a lie by his dad and blames Lamar for not cooperating with him on hiding the truth.
Guest stars: Carlos Alazraqui as Stan LaBlan and Melanie Chartoff as Sasha Simmons
|24||11||"Starstruck"||Loretha Jones||Jim Hecht||April 13, 2002|
|Nicole Burke (Kelly Rowland) an actress, begins attending Manhattan School for The Arts, and everyone believes that she is as evil as the character she plays on her popular teen soap opera, with Taina being the only one giving her a chance. On Mr. Colon's orders, Renee and Lamar pretend to be mother and son outside of class to bring out a better performance out of them for what should be an emotional scene.|
|25||12||"The Fear Factors"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman||May 4, 2002|
Lisa, an old friend of Taina's shows up to Manhattan School for The Arts auditioning for the lead in the school musical, however, she is not a registered student and asks Taina to help keep her secret. Lamar asks Gladys Goldfinger (Roma Maffia), a retired wrestler to help him perform better in his stage combat class in exchange for helping her learn how to cry to fulfill her acting dreams. Maritza asks Daniel to be her piano player when her elderly one dies.
Guest star: Tina Landon as Jackie
|26||13||"Beyond The Music"||Kim Fields||Fracaswell Hyman||May 11, 2002|
Lamar shows the Drama class his Behind the Music-style documentary looking back on short-lived group made up of Taina, Renee, Daniel and Maritza.
Guest stars: Dream and Lil' Romeo
Only one DVD release of the show titled after the pilot, "Be Careful What You Wish For"', was released in the UK, which features the first four aired episodes. The DVD is region 2 and has yet to be released in the U.S. but is available at Amazon.com, however not playable on American and Canadian DVD players. YouTube is currently the only way to see the show.
On February 19, 2002 during its second season, Nickelodeon released the Taina soundtrack, featuring songs by Christina Vidal and LaTangela. Other songs on the soundtrack were sung by 3LW and Dream, who both guest starred on the show. The album, released by both Jive Records and Nick Records, includes songs such as "I Thought That We Were Friends" and the show's theme song, "Gonna Be a Star".
1. Gonna be a Star - performed by Christina Vidal
2. Carnival - performed by Christina Vidal
3. I Represent - performed by LaTangela
4. Feel Good - performed by Christina Vidal
5. Not while I'm Around - performed by LaTangela
6. Not this Time - performed by 3LW
7. I'm in Love with Me - performed by LaTangela
8. Thought that we were Friends - performed by Christina Vidal
9. In my Dreams - performed by Dream
10. Voy a ser una Estrella (Gonna be a Star) - performed by Christina Vidal
Note: The album actually credits the artists as their character with the exception of Dream and 3LW.
Awards and nominations
- 2002 – Outstanding Children's Television Programming (Won)
- 2002 – Outstanding Actress in a Television Series – Christina Vidal (Nominated)
- 2002 – Outstanding Script for a Television Drama or Comedy – Fracaswell Hyman & Maria Perez-Brown for episode "Quinceanero"(Nominated)
- Nickelodeon. "Premiere of Nickelodeon's 'Taina' Posts Triple-Digit Ratings Gains". Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- Nickelodeon. "Nickelodeon's 'Taina' Continues Ratings Rise, Posts Triple-Digit Gains in Tween and Kid Demos for Two Weeks". Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- Vázquez, Richard. "lasculturas.com." Tania. N.p., n.d. Web. Jun 23, 2010. <http://www.lasculturas.com/aa/aa011401a.htm>.
- "Yahoo! Groups". Retrieved December 19, 2016.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved February 20, 2008.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)