Stephanie Beatriz Launches Fictional True Crime Podcast “Tejana,” Expanding Project for TV

Stephanie Beatriz has found her range(r)

The 40-year-old Colombian-Bolivian Argentine actress has launched the fictional true-crime podcast Tejana in collaboration with Sonoro and Telemundo that will be adapted for television.

Stephanie Beatriz

The 6-episode first season is available now across all podcast formats.

The drama tells the story of Eileen Castillo, a Texas Ranger who is the only Latina on the force and at the center of a web of lies. She is sharp on the field but struggles with navigating office politics. She’s still haunted by the serial killer that stalked her town two decades earlier, so when a copycat killer emerges in Austin, Eileen must deal with the difficult memories she’s tried to suppress her entire life.

“In true crime fashion, Tejana is an incredibly dense and complicated mystery that centers the character of Eileen as she that mystery apart while trying to figure it out,” Beatriz tells Deadline exclusively. “Inside of that overarching story, there are also a bunch of different crimes that she and the other Rangers are trying to solve.”

She adds, “The Rangers have historically been this storied arm of the law. There are all these cultural touchstones like Walker, Texas Ranger, and the Lone Ranger. They’re these rarified, fantastical heroes in our media culture. And this puts a Latina as the lead and as this story’s hero. She’s a hero but she’s also very relatable because she’s flawed. She wants to be the best on the field and she’s a rising star who often has trouble navigating office politics. She has a heart of gold but she often puts her foot in her mouth at work.”

Series costars include Gabriela Torres, Jonah Platt, Marlaina Sims Powell, and Phil Lewis.

Beatriz reveals that the plan is to have her bring Eileen to life in the small screen version which is currently in its gathering stages— they’re assembling their writing and producing team. The executive producers are working with Sonoro to “bring it to streaming” where viewers can “watch this serialized thing take place over time.”

Beatriz said goodbye last month to Brooklyn Nine-Nine after the show concluded after 8 seasons and to her character, Detective Rosa Diaz. As she continues to portray members of law enforcement, Beatriz can’t help but reflect on what she learned from Rosa that she’s taken with her on her new journey with Eileen.

“I think these characters are very similar in that they’re extremely grounded, no-nonsense, and very direct,” the new mom said. “I think Eileen has much more a sense of humor about things; Rosa was often the straight guy character for other people to bounce things off of. Eileen understands that she often makes herself the butt of the joke to sort of lighten the mood. But I think it’s that groundedness that is just playing out in a totally different fashion because this isn’t a comedy, it’s a totally different genre.”

Beyond their plans for TV, Beatriz and her partners will continue to expand Tejana with future seasons of the podcast and are interested in taking the Texas Ranger to the big screen.

“We’re interested in creating audio content that will have a life past podcasts. The stories we’re interested in creating, Sonoro has an end goal for them to franchise it out with people like us as the leads so they continue and grow,” Beatriz said. “The story is so good! There are so many possibilities as to where this can go.”

Melissa Fumero to Star in Comedy “Bar Fight”

Melissa Fumero is joining the Fight

The 39-year-old Cuban American actress will star in Bar Fight, a comedy from writer/director Jim Mahoney, which wrapped production this week in Los Angeles.

Melissa Fumero

Fumero is part of a cast that includes Rachel Bloom, Luka Jones and Julian Gant.

Bar Fight follows exes Nina (Fumero) and Allen (Jones), who split everything in their lives 50/50 after their break-up to avoid any drama—everything, that is, except for their favorite local bar. Nina and Allen must compete in a ridiculous, tavern-style custody battle for their prized watering hole, in which lines will be drawn, sides will be chosen, and beers will be drunken.

The film is presented by Particular Crowd and Ingenious Media.

Fumero is best known for her turn as Amy Santiago in NBC’s Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The actress has also featured on the television side in Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.Elena of AvalorOne Life to LiveGossip Girl and more. She has appeared on the film side in Dan Cohen’s A Stone in the Water and Henry Barrial’s The House That Jack Built, among other titles.

Melissa Fumero Taking Part in NBCUniversal’s New “The More You Know” Social Justice, Equality and Equity PSAs

Melissa Fumero is helping people get in the know

NBCUniversal will launch a new series of its popular The More You Know PSAs that tackle systemic racism and speak up for social justice, equality and equity, with the 38-year-old Cuban American actress and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star among the artists taking part.

Melissa Fumero

Fumero joins a roster of NBC talent that includes Dulé Hill, James Roday Rodriguez and Kelly Clarkson, among others.

The campaign was developed in collaboration with social and racial justice organizations Fair Count, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the National Action Network and the National Urban League, and focuses on standing up against injustice, teaching children about equity, and the importance of voting and completing the census, especially for how it impacts the Black community and communities of color.

The campaign kicked off this week on NBC’s Today with a spot on teaching children about inclusion and acceptance. The campaign will be rolling out over the next few weeks, with spots now available on TheMoreYouKnow.com and YouTube.

The More You Know site also includes comprehensive resources and educational guides.

“For over 30 years, ‘The More You Know’ has sought to bring light to the nation’s most pressing social issues,” said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal, “and we hope this new iteration will continue to educate, encourage and inspire people of all ages to take an active role in improving the world we live in.”

In addition to Fumero, Hill, Roday Rodriguez and Clarkson, stars participating in the campaign include: Carlos Adyan (En Casa con Telemundo), Freema Agyeman (New Amsterdam), Notah Begay III (NBC Sports), Gizelle Bryant (The Real Housewives of Potomac), Kandi Burruss (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Victor Cruz (E! News), Dexter Darden (Saved by the Bell), Ester Dean (Songland), Ryan Eggold (New Amsterdam), Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster), Damon Hack (Golf Channel), Zuri Hall (Access Hollywood), Ana Jurka (“En Casa con Telemundo and Titulares y Más), Aneudy Lara (100 Días Para Enamorarnos), Howie Mandel (America’s Got Talent), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Organized Crime), Wendy Osefo (The Real Housewives of Potomac), Jeimy Osorio (Telemundo), Nina Parker (E! News’ Nightly Pop), Nichole Sakura (Superstore), Jocko Sims (New Amsterdam), Chris Sullivan (This Is Us”), Justin Sylvester (E! News’ Daily Pop), Elyfer Torres (Enemigo Íntimo) and Reno Wilson (Good Girls).

Aimee Garcia Joins Voice Cast of Marvel’s “M.O.D.O.K.” at Hulu

Aimee Garciais joining the Marvel Universe

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Mexican American actress will be part of the voice cast Marvel’s animated supervillain family sitcom M.O.D.O.K. at Hulu.

Aimee Garcia

With executive producer Patton Oswalt starring as the constantly foiled Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing, the adult-centric comedy is set to debut this year on the Disney-controlled streamer.

She joins a list of newcomers to the animated series that includes Sam Richardson, Wendi McLendon-Coveyand Ben Schwartz.

“I’m blown away by our insanely talented and hilarious voice cast, who have all brought their specific kind of magic to this weird and wonderful corner of the Marvel Universe,” EP and showrunner Jordan Blumsaid of the additions to the series.

Karim ZreikMarvel Television StudiosSVP Original Programming & Production added in a statement today: “Patton and Jordan have done a phenomenal job in laying the groundwork for this exceptional ensemble. We’re thrilled to include this cast in the Marvel family,”

M.O.D.O.K.follows the extremely dysfunctional home life of the ex-A.I.M. member, who made his comics premiere way back in 1967.

In addition to Richardson, McLendon-Covey, Schwartz and Garcia, the cast additions include Melissa FumeroBeck Bennetand Jon Daly.

In Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K.,the megalomaniacal supervillain M.O.D.O.K. (Oswalt) has long pursued his dream of one day conquering the world. But after years of setbacks and failures fighting the Earth’s mightiest heroes, M.O.D.O.K. has run his evil organization A.I.M. into the ground. Ousted as A.I.M.’s leader, while also dealing with his crumbling marriage and family life, the Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing is set to confront his greatest challenge yet: a midlife crisis!

Garcia will play Jodie, M.O.D.O.K.’s wife and mother to his children, has had a late-in-life awakening — excited to pursue her mommy-blog turned lifestyle-brand empire and discover who she is as an independent woman in her forties. There are just too many things to do in this world and not enough time to waste being held back by negativity. And unfortunately for M.O.D.O.K., the thing weighing her down the most… is him.

Fumero will portray Melissa. Even with her father’s “features,” 17-year-old Melissa has risen the ranks to become the Heathers-like queen bee of her school and a star in the world of teen figure skating. Every popular kid either wants to date her or avoid her terrifying wrath. But for all of her success, Melissa secretly yearns for her father’s approval.

Garcia’s previous credits include television credits include George LopezDexterVegasand Lucifer.

Fumero’s television credits include Brooklyn Nine-Nineand One Life to Live.

Diana Maria Riva to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Sunnyside”

Diana Maria Riva is looking at the sunnyside of life…

The 49-year-old Dominican American actress has been cast opposite Kal Penn in NBC’s comedy pilot Sunnyside (formerly Untitled Kal Penn/Matt Murray).

Riva joins a cast that includes Kiran Deol, Moses Storm, Samba Schutte, Poppy Liu, Joel Kim Booster and Tudor Petrut.

Co-written by Penn and Matt MurraySunnyside is named after the neighborhood in the historically diverse Queens borough of New York where the show is set. It centers on former New York City Councilman Garrett Shah (Penn), who finds his calling when faced with seven recent immigrants — five of them played by immigrant actors — in need of his help and in search of the American Dream.

The single-camera comedy is being executive produced by Penn, writer-producer Murray, The Good Place creator/executive producer Michael Schur and Universal Television.

The seven recent immigrants are Jin Hao, played by South Korea-born Booster; Mallory, played by UK-born Deol; Mei Lin, played by China-born Liu; Drzen, played by Romania-born Petrut; Hakim, played by Africa-born Schutte; Griselda, played by Riva, a first generation Dominican; and Brady, played by Storm.

Directing the pilot is another immigrant, Oz Rodriguez. The ensemble was put together by casting director Allison Jones who also has worked with Schur on his other shows, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place

Riva was last seen in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan and NBC’s Telenovela. She’ll next appear in the Netflix series Dead to Me and the Appledrama series Morning Show.

Christina Ochoa Reveals Her Hero in CARE’s International Women’s Day #HerInHERO Campaign Video

Christina Ochoa is celebrating her hero as part of this year’s International Women’s Daycommemorations…

The 34-year-old Spanish actress, a star on ABC’s drama series A Million Little Things, appears in a new video released by humanitarian non-profit organization CARE as part of its #HerInHERO campaign.

Christina Ochoa

In the black-and-white clip, 30 female celebrities – including Ochoa, Kelly ClarksonSophia BushJess Glynne and others — name their personal female heroes. Most, including Clarkson, discuss the impact their mothers have had on their lives.


But Ochoa claimed marine biologist Sylvia Earleas her hero, saying, “She has pioneered the role of women in STEM and marine sciences, inspiring the lives of young women.”

Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nine-Nine star Stephanie Beatriznamed country music legend Dolly Parton as her hero.

International Women’s Day is Friday, March 8.

NBC Renews America Ferrera’s Comedy Series “Superstore” for Fifth Season

There’s more in (super)storefor America Ferrera

NBC has ordered a fifth season of its critically acclaimed comedy series Superstorestarring the 34-year-old Honduran American actress.

America Ferrera Superstore

The series has maintained solid ratings in its current season to date. In Live+7, Superstore is averaging a 1.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 4.4 million viewers overall its Thursday 8-8:30 pm timeslot against rival programming as The Big Bang Theory, Grey’s Anatomy and NFL Thursday Night Football. 

In delayed viewing, Superstore’s next-day 0.85 rating in adults 18-49 increases by 154% to 2.16 rating after seven days of linear and digital viewership.

The series also is a strong digital performer, deriving 44% of its live plus seven day plus digital rating in adults 18-49 from non-linear sources, the second biggest percentage on the NBC schedule behind only Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

“Week after week Justin Spitzer, our amazing writers, and cast and crew masterfully deliver a comedy that not only makes us laugh but speaks to the larger issues of the day,” said Lisa Katzand Tracey Pakosta, Co-Presidents of Scripted Programming, NBC Entertainment.

Created and written by Justin Spitzer, Superstore centers around Amy (Ferrera), the store’s most stalwart employee as well as the glue holding the place together. Jonah (Ben Feldman), who is often the target of his colleagues ribbing, is joined on the floor with his fellow associates, including sardonic Garrett (Colton Dunn), the ambitious Mateo (Nico Santos) and sweet teenager and new mom Cheyenne (Nichole Bloom).

Superstore is produced by Universal Television in association with the Spitzer Holding Company and The District

Superstore returns to the NBC lineup for the remainder of its fourth season at 8:00 pm on Thursday, March 7.

Justina Machado Wins Imagen Award for Best Actress – Television

Justina Machado is celebrating her big Day

The 33rd annual Imagen Awards were announced over the weekend, with the 45-year-old Puerto Rican actress taking home one of the big prizes.

Justina Machado 

Machado was named Best Actress – Television for her starring role on Netflix’s One Day at a Timewhich earned the award for Best Primetime Program.

It’s her second consecutive award for portraying Penelope Alvarez on the series.

The Imagen Awards are presented by the Imagen Foundation, an organization that encourages and champions the positive portrayal of Latinos in entertainment.

Pixar’s Coco took the trophy for Best Feature Film and Best Director for Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina.

Other winners included Overboard stars Eugenio Derbez and Eva Longoria, as well as a tie for Best Supporting Actress in television for Brooklyn Nine-Nine‘s Stephanie Beatriz and Suits actress Gina Torres.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Best Feature Film: Coco(Disney Pixar)
Best Director: Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, Coco(Disney Pixar)
Best  Actor  –  Feature  Film: Eugenio  Derbez,  Overboard (3Pas  Studios  and  Pantelion, Lionsgate MGM)
Best Actress – Feature Film: Eva Longoria, Overboard(3Pas Studios and Pantelion, Lionsgate MGM)
Best Primetime Program – Drama: Station 19(ABC; ABC Studios)
Best Primetime Program – Comedy: One Day at a Time(Netflix)
Best Primetime Program – Specials, Movies & Mini-Series: The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Actor – Television: E.J. Bonilla, The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Actress – Television: Justina Machado, One Day at a Time(Netflix)
Best Supporting Actor – Television: Jorge Diaz, The Long Road Home(National Geographic; Phoenix Pictures, Finngate Television, and Fuzzy Door for National Geographic)
Best Supporting Actress – Television (TIE):
 Stephanie Beatriz, Brooklyn Nine-Nine(Fox; Universal Television, Fremulon, Dr. Goor Productions and 3 Arts Entertainment)
Gina Torres, Suits(USA Network; Universal Cable Productions)
Best Young Actor – Television: Jenna Ortega, Stuck in the Middle(Disney Channel; Horizon Productions, Inc.)
Best Variety or Reality Show: Pati’s Mexican Table(WETA/American Public Television; Co-production of Mexican Table LLC, WETA Washington DC, and FRANK)
Best Children’s Programming: Elena of Avalor(Disney Junior; Disney Television Animation)
Best Documentary: The Pushouts(Curious Matters, LLC)
Best Informational Program (Local or National): Noticias Telemundo: “Nuestra Gente Extraordinaria” (Telemundo Network)
Best Short-Form Non-Fiction Program: ESPN Features – SC Reportajes – “Hoops Sagrado” (ESPN Deportes; ESPN)
Best On-Air Advertising: Broken Crayons (brokencrayons.us; Republica

Stephanie Beatriz Joins Voice Cast of Warner Bros.’ “The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part”

Stephanie Beatriz has landed a Sweet role… 

The 37-year-oldArgentine actress and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star has joined the voice cast of Warner Bros.’ The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part alongside Broad City‘s Arturo Castro.

Stephanie Beatriz

Beatriz will portray new character Sweet Mayhem; Castro will play new character Ice Cream Cone.

Also confirmed to return is Alison Brie as Unikitty and Nick Offerman as Metal Beard.

They join previously announced cast members from the first movie Chris Pratt (Emmet), Elizabeth Banks (Lucy), Will Arnett (Lego Batman) as well as Tiffany Haddish who plays a new character Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi.

Mike Mitchell, of Shrek Forever AfterTrolls, and Sky High directs.

Lego Movie 2 is being produced by the same team behind the Lego film franchise since the first feature title debuted in 2014. That film racked up $469M at the global box office.

The Lego Movie 2 reunites the heroes of Bricksburg and takes place five years after the first movie. They face a new threat: Lego Duplo invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The battle to defeat them and restore harmony to the Lego universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored and musical worlds.

Lego Movie 2 opens nationwide in 2D and 3D on February 8., 2019.

NBC Picks Up Stephanie Beatriz’s “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” for a Sixth Season After Fox’s Cancellation

Stephanie Beatriz isn’t retiring after all…

Shortly after Fox cancelled Brooklyn Nine-Nine, the cop comedy series, starring the 37-year-old Argentine-born American actress, has been picked up by NBC for a 13-episode sixth season.

Stephanie Beatriz

NBC, whose sister studio Universal TV produces the Andy Samberg-starring series, was one of the potential suitors for the comedy after its cancellation.

NBC also was among the broadcast networks that bid for the Brooklyn Nine-Nine pitch from creators Mike Schur and Dan Goor when it hit the marketplace in 2012 before the project landed at Fox in a very competitive situation.

“Ever since we sold this show to Fox I’ve regretted letting it get away, and it’s high time it came back to its rightful home,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “Mike Schur, Dan Goor, and Andy Samberg grew up on NBC and we’re all thrilled that one of the smartest, funniest, and best cast comedies in a long time will take its place in our comedy line-up. I speak for everyone at NBC, here’s to the Nine-Nine!”

Created by the Parks and Recreation duo of Goor and Schur, former college roommates, Brooklyn Nine-Nine centers on Peralta, played by Saturday Night Live alum Samberg, a screwball who happens to be a real good cop. His captain in the NYPD’s 99th Precinct is Raymond Holt, a seen-it-all and emotion-challenged captain played by Andre Braugher, who scored three consecutive Emmy noms for Supporting Actor from 2014-2016. Terry Crews, Melissa Fumero, Joe Lo Truglio, Beatriz, Chelsea Peretti, Joel McKinnon Miller and Dirk Blocker also star.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which was Fox’s highest-rated live-action comedy series this season among adults 18-49, is produced by Universal Television.

The show won two Golden Globes in its freshman season — for best comedy series and best actor in a comedy series (Samberg).