Taina (TV series)
Taina is an American sitcom created by Maria Perez-Brown that originally ran on Nickelodeon from January 14, 2001 to May 11, 2002. Originally filmed at Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida, it was the last sitcom to be filmed there before being moved to the Nickelodeon on Sunset in Hollywood for its second season. Despite high ratings, the series only lasted for two seasons before being cancelled in 2002, partly due to increasing production costs.
|Created by||Maria Perez-Brown|
|Opening theme||"Gonna Be a Star", performed by Christina Vidal|
|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 teenager who aspires to be a singer and actress. She and her best friend Renee Jones attend the Manhattan High School of the Performing Arts, where they reunite with Lamar, whom they haven't seen since elementary school. The girls' nemesis Maritza Hogg, who knew them before high school, also attends the performing-arts school and hopes to be a singer/actress. Every episode features Taina daydreaming of eventual superstardom and occasionally performing a new song.
Cast and charactersEdit
This section describes a work or element of fiction in a primarily in-universe style. (November 2018)
- Christina Vidal as Taina Maria Morales, a young girl 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 their search for stardom. Though Taina's impatience and impulsiveness would occasionally get her into scraps, her honesty and compassion got her out. The name Taina is the female form of the name of the indigenous Puerto Rican people, the Tainos.
- Khaliah Adams as Renee Aretha Jones, Taina's best friend. She is an aspiring comedienne and rapper. A boy-crazy girl, 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 weren't the right ones for her.
- Chris Knowings as Lamar Carlos Johnson, 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 Nathaniel McDaniel, a multi-instrumentalist, who also shares the same school locker with Taina. Handsome and opinionated, his loves included writing songs, playing other instruments and chasing after girls. Daniel prided himself on being quite the ladies' man, but often ended up scorned. It was hinted that he had true feelings for Renee. He loves The Beatles, and usually accompanied Taina's songs on his guitar.
- LaTangela Newsome as Maritza Hogg, 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 wasn't pure evil, and sometimes participated with Taina and her friends to make money or fight 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 productionEdit
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 May because Nickelodeon thought the show only appealed to girls. CBC reran the show for a few months in 2003.
In July 2002, Nickelodeon announced that Taina was cancelled after two seasons, due to their consensus that the show was only appealing to a female demographic. 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.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||13||January 14, 2001||April 22, 2001|
|2||13||January 19, 2002||May 11, 2002|
Season 1 (2001)Edit
|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, but when her drama teacher, Mr. Colon, calls her out on her overacting, she starts to doubt her acting ability. Lamar is convinced that Daniel is a jinx, then he's 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 she will interfere with the group's career pursuits. Meanwhile, Daniel loses a bet to Lamar and must join the school's losing basketball team. Taina ultimately 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 her 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 singer Joe perform, after her parents refuse to giver her the money. After winning a cash prize in 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, but Lamar's ego goes to his head, ruining the experience for them both.|
|5||5||"En Español"||Carl Lauten||Fracaswell Hyman||February 11, 2001|
|When Taina gets a bad grade on a Spanish exam, Abuelo Gregorio goes overboard immersing the family in their Puerto Rican heritage. Lamar helps Taina write a love letter to Papito's nephew, who only speaks Spanish. A weird goth girl, 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 also psychic. Daniel and Lamar are so obsessed with a skiing video game at Papito's 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. The task becomes 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 but Santito, who accompanied her, gets the role. Beatice, whom Daniel had a crush on back in band camp. moves to 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 after hers malfunctions. When Titi Rosa buys her a new phone, she sells her old one to Renee; when it finally breaks down for good, Renee asks for her money back, causing a rift in their relationship. 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, embarrassing stories from Lamar and Taina into songs.|
|12||12||"Undercover"||Kim Fields||Tracy Grandstaff||April 15, 2001|
|Taina suspects 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 on tour for a year; she faces a tough decision on whether or not to go.|
Season 2 (2002)Edit
|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 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 Mr. Colon told 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 longest there 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 after he told her not to, and Taina vehemently says she didn't go; Lamar and Daniel get jobs at a movie theater and promise they will sneak Taina and Renee into the film 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 in the new school play directed by Shevchenko (Liz Torres), a once-prestigious theater director, but she must overcome the long-standing rule that only seniors can auditions for lead roles in school plays. Lamar and Daniel sell tickets to the play with extreme measures, and Renee and Maritza compete for the affection of Darius, the play's senior male lead.|
|20||7||"Crushin’"||Joe Menendez||Rodney Stringfellow||March 9, 2002|
|Taina discovers that the guy she's crushing on is younger than she thought; Lamar gets jealous when Renee and Daniel share interest in sumo-wrestling.|
|21||8||"Abuelo Knows Best"||Maria Perez-Brown||Maria Perez-Brown||March 16, 2002|
Abuelo Gregorio spends more time with Taina but starts to cramp her style; Maritza wants to write 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, but her fashion advice drives him 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, caught in a lie by his dad, 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|
|When actress Nicole Burke (Kelly Rowland) starts at Manhattan School for the Arts, everyone believes that she is as evil as the character she plays on her popular teen soap and only Taina gives her a chance. On Mr. Colon's orders, Renee and Lamar pretend to be mother and son outside of class to bring better performances out of them for an emotional scene.|
|25||12||"The Fear Factors"||Chuck Vinson||Fracaswell Hyman||May 4, 2002|
Taina's old friend Lisa shows up to the Manhattan School for the Arts to audition for the lead in the school musical and asks Taina to help keep secret that she isn't a registered student. Lamar asks retired wrestler Gladys Goldfinger (Roma Maffia) to help him perform better in his stage combat class in exchange for teaching her how to cry to fulfill her acting dreams; when her elderly piano player dies, Maritza asks Daniel to be her new one.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 the 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. The show is also currently not available to view or stream on Paramount+, where many of it’s Nickelodeon counterparts are streaming. However, the entire series is viewable on YouTube and is currently the only means of accessing the program.
"Taina: Original Television Soundtrack" is the official soundtrack for the series. It was released on February 19, 2002 by Nick Records distributed through now-defunct Jive Records/Zomba Recording Corporation and MTV Networks. The album contains songs featured in the show's second season, such as "Feel Good" and "I'm In Love With Me" and none from the first season, with the exception of "Gonna Be A Star", the show's theme. The songs are performed by the show's stars Christina Vidal and LaTangela with additional songs performed by 3LW and Dream (previously featured on their respective albums 3LW and It Was All a Dream), as members of both groups made appearances during the show's first season. Additionally, the soundtracks boasts writing and production from legendary R&B group and production team Full Force (known for working with show star Lisa Lisa) as well as Nate Butler, Lindy Robbins and Kevin Paige.
|1.||"Gonna Be A Star"||Christina Vidal||3:01|
|4.||"Feel Good"||Full Force||Christina Vidal||3:33|
|5.||"Not While I'm Around"||LaTangela||3:47|
|6.||"Not This Time"||3LW||3:20|
|7.||"I'm In Love With Me"||Chuck Giscombe||LaTangela||3:03|
|8.||"I Thought That We Were Friends"||Christina Vidal||3:14|
|9.||"In My Dreams"||Dream||4:55|
|10.||"Voy a Ser Una Estrella (Gonna Be a Star)"||Christina Vidal||3:00|
Note: The album actually credits the artists as their characters with the exception of Dream and 3LW.
Awards and nominationsEdit
- 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)
American rapper and singer, Shelley FKA DRAM's 2015 hit single "Cha Cha" made reference to Taina in the song's chorus where he sang: "I like to cha cha (yeah), I like to cha cha (yeah), with a Dominican that resembles Taina".
- 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)