Cristela Alonzo explains why 'Cristela' is a multi-camera comedy

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cristela-tca-panel.jpg When Cristela Alonzo had to decide what her TV series debut would be, she had an immediate answer: "Cristela," a multi-camera comedy.

"To me, multi-cams are like live theater, if you do it well," Alonzo said during the 2014 Summer TV Press Tour on Tuesday (July 15). "I like the feeling you get from the audience. I loved watching multi-cams growing up and my favorite ones I can still watch today. It captures this essence of theater that not a lot of people like to see."

Alonzo also credits her love of theater for her enjoyment of multi-cam shows so much.

What else did we learn from about "Cristela" during the TCA panel?

- The quality you will see in the first episode won't decrease as the season goes on. "The pilot was such a labor of love and we put so much into it," Alonzo says. "Now that the show has been picked up we put the same amount into every episode."

- In "Cristela," Alonzo's semi-autobiographical character is a lawyer, even though the stand-up comic has never spent a day studying law in her life. So why is Cristela a lawyer onscreen? "My mom loved pilots and she loved lawyers," Alonzo says. "I didn't want to be a pilot on the show because that's a little difficult to do, so I became a lawyer."

- Stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias guest stars in the pilot because he's friends with Alonzo in real life. "Gabriel is a really great friend of mine," Alonzo says. "We've known each other for about 12 years and our friendship is about doing a lot of stuff together, working together, so when the show presented itself with this character I asked if he wanted to come over and play for a day. He said, 'Absolutely.'"
Photo/Video credit: ABC