Young 'Jane the Virgin' actress tapped to star in new Disney Channel comedy

Jenna Ortega on December 4, 2014 in Studio City, California.

Jenna Ortega on December 4, 2014 in Studio City, California.

In a move that may signal a step toward producing more programming aimed at Latino viewers, the Disney Channel has green-lighted a new series starring Jenna Ortega, Variety is reporting.

Ortega, the child actress who plays the young version of Gina Rodriguez’s title character on “Jane the Virgin,” is set to play Harley, an engineering whiz and inventor who is also the middle of 7 kids in the Diaz family.

The comedy, titled “Stuck in the Middle,” is scheduled to begin taping in November and airing sometime next spring.  

According to Variety, the Disney Channel “is grooming [Ortega] to be their next big star.”

Also set to appear in the new series are some familiar Disney faces, such as Kayla Maisonet of “Dog With a Blog,” Ariana Greenblatt of “Liv and Maddie” and Isaak Presley of “Austin & Ally.”

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“Jane the Virgin,” a loose adaptation of a Venezuelan telenovela, was the big critical success hit of the 2014-15 season, earning AFI, Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe awards, with Rodriguez becoming a genuine Hollywood star.

Apart from the recurring role of Young Jane, Ortega has had guest spots on TV shows like “CSI: NY” and appeared in movies such as “Iron Man 3.”

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