William Morrow Acquires North American Publishing Rights to Luis Elizondo’s Memoir About His Government Work, Including Heading the U.S.’ UFO Program

Luis Elizondo’s out of this world memoir is headed to the printer…

HarperCollins imprint William Morrow has signed on for the North American publishing rights to a new memoir from the Cuban American former U.S. Army Counterintelligence Special Agent and former employee of the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Luis Elizondo

Elizondo is the former head of the U.S. Government’s UFO program, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program (AATIP). He was recently featured in a CBS 60 Minutes story about the potential existence of UFOs.

Following the Pentagon’s recent report to the U.S. Congress regarding UFOs, Elizondo was quoted saying, “The American people now know a small portion of what I and my colleagues in the Pentagon have been privy to: That these UAP (unidentified aerial phenomenon) are not secret U.S. technology, that they do not seem to belong to any known allies or adversaries, and that our intelligence services have yet to identify a terrestrial explanation for these extraordinary vehicles. This conversation is only just beginning.”

Elizondo spent the majority of his military career as a senior Intelligence Officer, hunting drug traffickers, terrorists, and spies around the world on behalf of the U.S. government and various branches of the military. In 2008, he was asked to be part of the Pentagon’s secretive UFO program. In 2010 he became its Director and led the effort to study UFOs around the world. In 2017, he resigned from his position in protest of excessive government secrecy regarding UFOs. Since then, he has led the global disclosure effort.

Ashley Reyes to Appear on Hulu’s “How I Met Your Father”

Ashley Reyes has landed a Father of a role…

The Latina actress has landed a recurring role on How I Met Your Father, Hulu’s straight-to-series spinoff to the long-running CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother.

Ashley Reyes

In How I Met Your Father, written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger, in the near future, Sophie (Hilary Duff) is telling her son the story of how she met his father: a story that catapults us back to the year 2021 where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends – Jesse (Lowell), Valentina (Francia Raisa), Charlie (Tom Ainsley), Ellen (Tien Tran) and Sid (Suraj Sharma) — are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life, and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options.

Reyes plays Hannah. Smart, practical, devoted to her job, Hannah is Sid’s (Sharma) girlfriend who’s a surgical resident in Los Angeles, so they are forced to maintain a long distance relationship.

Reyes, who was a series regular on Starz’s American Gods, recently shot the indie film Slayers opposite Abigail Breslin and Malin Akerman. A breakout from the 2016 LAMDA showcase, she made her Broadway debut in The Play That Goes Wrong.

David DeSantos to Appear on Fifth Season of CBS’ “S.W.A.T.”

David DeSantos is joining the team…

The 46-year-old Latino actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of CBS’ S.W.A.T.

David DeSantos

DeSantos will play Rodrigo Sanchez, a 20-year LAPD veteran and former SWAT member.

Sanchez is a gregarious, confident, and savvy political climber who left SWAT in pursuit of loftier jobs within the LAPD.

S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as a former Marine and locally born-and-raised SWAT sergeant who is tasked with running a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles.

DeSantos can be seen recurring on Season 3 of the CW’s Roswell, New Mexico, as well as on TNT’s Animal Kingdom.

On the film side, he recently appeared opposite Edward James Olmos and Richard Cabral in Windows on the World.

Grasie Mercedes to Star on NBC’s “Grand Crew”

It’s a Grand opportunity for Grasie Mercedes.

The 43-year-old Afro-Latina actress has joined the cast of NBC’s Grand Crew as a series regular.

Grasie Mercedes

The comedy, from Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor, follows a group of young L.A. professionals navigating the ups and downs of life and love. When they’re ready to unpack it all, they meet at their favorite local bar for a “wine down.”

Mercedes will portray Fay, a recently divorced transplant to Los Angeles who becomes fast friends with the regulars at Eastside Cru.

Jackson will write and executive produce. Mo Marable will direct and co-executive produce the pilot. Goor will executive produce.

Previously announced cast members include Nicole Byer, Justin Cunningham, Aaron Jennings, Echo Kellum and Carl Tart.

Mercedes most recently served as a staff writer on NBC’s Perfect Harmony. Her acting credits include roles in Fox’s 9-1-1, Freeform’s Good Trouble, TNT’s Southland, HBO’s The Affair and CBS’ Criminal Minds.

Francia Raisa to Star in Hulu’s Comedy Series “How I Met Your Father”

Francia Raisa has laded a Father of a role…

The 33-year-old Mexican/Honduran American actress has been cast as a lead opposite Hilary Duff in How I Met Your Father, Hulu’s straight-to-series spinoff to long-running CBS comedy How I Met Your Mother.

Francia Raisa

Raisa and Duff will be joined on set by Tom Ainsley, Tien Tran and Suraj Sharma.

Created and written by Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth BergerHow I Met Your Father is set in the near future, with Sophie (Duff) telling her son the story of how she met his father, much like Josh Radnor (and Bob Saget’s) Ted Mosby did in the original series.

The story starts in 2021 as where Sophie and her close-knit group of friends are in the midst of figuring out who they are, what they want out of life and how to fall in love in the age of dating apps and limitless options.

Raisa will play Valentina, Sophie’s (Duff) roommate. She’s an aspiring stylist and Sophie’s great friend. She’s impulsive and adventurous and Sophie relies on Valentina’s ability to cheer her up when she gets down. Valentina has just come back from London Fashion Week with the gorgeous, British Charlie.

Duff also produces the series, which will use a multi- and single-camera approach similar to its predecessor. How I Met Your Mother creators Carter Bays and Craig Thomas executive produce How I Met Your Father, which comes from 20th Century Fox Television.

Raisa plays Ana Torres, a first-generation Cuban-American and roommate to Yara Shahidi’s Zoey Johnson, on Freeform’s Black-ish spinoff Grown-ish. Her previous credits include Netflix’s Dear White People, The Mindy Project and The Secret Life of the American Teenageramong others.

Natalie Mendoza to Star as Satine in Broadway’s “Moulin Rouge! The Musical”

Natalie Mendoza is seeing rouge

The 42-year-old part-Spanish Australian actress/singer has been cast as the lead role of Broadway’s Moulin Rouge! The Musical, filling the vacancy left when the Tony Award-nominated Karen Olivo resigned in April.

Natalie Mendoza

With the casting of Mendoza, the full Moulin Rouge! cast is in place for the resumption of performances on Friday, September 24, at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre.

The musical originally opened on July 25, 2019, but performances were suspended in March 2020 when Broadway went dark due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown.

Mendoza joins a principal cast that also includes Aaron Tveit, Danny Burstein, Sahr Ngaujah, Tam Mutu, Ricky Rojas and Robyn Hurder.

The casting is a bit of a homecoming for Mendoza, who portrayed a can-can dancer named China Doll in Baz Luhrmann’s 2001 film Moulin Rouge!

“From the moment Natalie was cast as China Doll in Moulin Rouge! the film, we knew we had discovered a major young talent,” Luhrmann said in a statement. “That young talent has now blossomed into the lead in our Broadway production. I could not be more thrilled that Natalie will be lowered in that glorious swing as Broadway’s Sparkling Diamond.”

Said Mendoza, “Having been involved with the film from its early conception, the role of Satine has always been close to my heart. This rare jewel of an opportunity to play a character like her on Broadway feels like a full circle moment. With this stunning group of bohemian artists and this uniquely conscious creative team I couldn’t be in better care.”

Mendoza, raised in Australia, previously worked with the Broadway musical’s director Alex Timbers when she appeared as Imelda Marcos in Here Lies Love at London’s Royal National Theatre.

 

He starred on the BBC One drama series Hotel Babylon and The Descent horror film franchise.

On the film side, she’ll next be seen in the buzzy Cannes Film Festival film Annette, directed by Leos Carax and starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard.

Mendoza’s other credits include Michael Winterbottom’s futuristic thriller Code 46, Miramax’s The Great Raid and, on television, ABC’s production of South Pacific, ITV’s McDonald & Dodds, CBS’ Blue Bloods and in upcoming episodes of Amazon Prime’s Jack Ryan.

On stage, additional credits include Miss Saigon, Spiderman: Turn Off The Dark and Ghost.

CBS Releases First Look at Mel Rodriguez’s “CSI” Sequel, “CSI: Vegas”

Mel Rodriguez is seeking the truth…

CBS had released the first-look teaser for CSI: Vegas, the sequel to the the mothership CSI series, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, starring the 48-year-old Latino actor.

Mel Rodriguez

The sequel features returning CSI stars William Petersen, Jorja Fox and Wallace Langham, who are joined by new series regulars Paula Newsome, Matt Lauria, Rodriguez and Mandeep Dhillon.

CSI: Vegas opens a new chapter in Las Vegas, the city where it all began. Facing an existential threat that could bring down the Crime Lab, a brilliant team of forensic investigators must welcome back old friends and deploy new techniques to preserve and serve justice in Sin City.

CSI: Vegas hails from writer Jason Tracey, CBS Studios and Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

The sequel premieres on Wednesday, October 6 at 10/9c on CBS.

Justino Diaz Among This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors Recipients

It’s an Honors of a lifetime for Justino Diaz.

The 81-year-old Puerto Rican operatic bass-baritone is among the recipients of the Kennedy Center’s Kennedy Center Honors this year, as the organization plans to return the ceremony to its traditional time and format in December.

Justino Diaz

In 1963, Díaz won an annual contest held at the Metropolitan Opera of New York, becoming the first Puerto Rican to obtain such an honor and as a consequence, made his Metropolitan debut in October 1963 in Verdi‘s Rigoletto as Monterone.

Diaz’s big roles throughout his career were in the operas of Mozart, taking on the title role of Figaro in Le Nozze di Figaro a total of 27 times in his Met career.

He was also a renowned Scarpia and Iago in his time. He was famously picked by Franco Zeffirelli to take on the villain in his film version of Verdi’s final tragic masterwork; Scarpia was the last role he sang on the Met stage.

In addition to Diaz, the recipients for the December 5 event will be singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell, actress and singer Bette MidlerSaturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, and Motown Record founder and producer Berry Gordy.

CBS will broadcast the 44th annual ceremony, and it will be live streamed on Paramount+ and available on demand.

The Kennedy Center Honors traditionally takes place in the first weekend of December, with events at the White House and the State Department preceding the ceremony at the Kennedy Center Opera House. But because of Covid-19, the most recent honors were postponed until May this year, with the ceremony spread out over several days with a mix of indoor and outdoor events, some in person and some pre-taped. Instead of a White House reception, President Joe Biden had a smaller gathering of the honorees.

In a statement, Kennedy Center president Deborah Rutter said, “After the challenges and heartbreak of the last many months, and as we celebrate 50 years of the Kennedy Center, I dare add that we are prepared to throw ‘the party to end all parties’ in D.C. on Dec. 5th, feting these extraordinary people and welcoming audiences back to our campus.”

Al Madrigal Signs Multi-Year Overall Deal with CBS Studios

Al Madrigal is lookin’ to develop new projects for CBS Studios

The 50-year-old half-Mexican American comedian, writer, actor and producer has signed a multi-year overall deal with the studio to develop new series for broadcast, cable and streaming services.

Al Madrigal

Madrigal is currently co-writing, producing, and starring in Guerrillas, a CBS Studios-produced single-camera comedy from Madrigal and Jenny Snyder Urman’s Sutton Street Productions in development at ABC. The series revolves around a lonely efficiency expert (Madrigal) for an oil company who gets kidnapped in South America and ends up working for a disorganized group of guerrilla soldiers to earn back his freedom.

“We are delighted to make our relationship with Al official,” said Kate Adler, EVP Comedy Development, CBS Studios. “We have been fans of his comedy for years. Al is an extraordinary talent both behind and in front of the camera. We are convinced there is nothing he can’t do…aside from speak proficient Spanish. He tells us he’s working on that.”

Madrigal is one of today’s most successful comedians, credited with breaking down barriers for Latinos in the industry and crossing over to become a writer, producer and entrepreneur.

Madrigal and fellow comedian, Bill Burr, co-founded All Things Comedy (ATC) Over the past five years, ATC has created a digital video platform, original podcasts, production company, comedy record label, television and feature distribution, and a social media consultancy and branded content agency. It’s currently the leading comedy podcast network featuring shows hosted by some of the industry’s top comedians and has over 15 million listeners and 50+ shows.

On television, Madrigal is best known as the Senior Latino Correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, a series regular and writer on Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here, and served as a writer, actor, and producer on the CBS show, Broke.

Madrigal’s film credits include his standout role as Dan the assistant basketball coach in The Way Back, with co-star Ben Affleck for Warner Bros. Madrigal has also been seen in Night School, alongside Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, and next year, he will play Agent Rodriquez in Sony’s Morbius, alongside Jared Leto.

Madrigal’s stand-up career took-off when he won a jury award for best stand-up comedian at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival. He went on to sign a talent holding deal with CBS, which led to his special, Comedy Central Presents. Madrigal went on to complete his first one hour special, Why Is the Rabbit Crying?. The special premiered on Comedy Central and was named one of the top 10 comedy specials of 2013 by both Westword and The Village Voice. In 2017, his critically acclaimed one-hour special, Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy premiered on Showtime.

“I’m excited to continue to collaborate with David, Kate, Alec, Sean and everyone at CBS Studios to write and produce stories that have largely been absent from television,” said Madrigal. “I’m of course talking about overweight white guys married to women way out of their league.”

“General Hospital” Star Maurice Benard Wins Third Career Daytime Emmy Award

Maurice Benard may need a larger trophy case…

The 58-year-old Salvadorian and Nicaraguan American soap opera star and author picked up one of the top prizes at the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, which were handed out in a ceremony hosted by The Talk’s Sheryl Underwood.

Maurice Benard

Benard took home the award for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his iconic role as Sonny Corinthos on ABC’s General Hospital.

It’s the third win in the category for Benard, who was born Mauricio Jose Morales. He previously won the prize for his work on GH in 2003 and 2019.

The show, which aired live in the East on CBS and Paramount+ but delayed in the West, also paid tribute to a trio of television legends who left us during the past year: Regis PhilbinAlex Trebek and Larry King.

The Daytime Children’s Programming and Animation Emmy Awards will be presented in a stand-alone streaming show July 17, and the Daytime Lifestyle Programming Emmy Awards follow the next day. Nominations for both will be revealed om Monday.

Here’s the full list of winners at the 48th Daytime Emmys:

WINNERS

Outstanding Drama Series
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Jacqueline MacInnes Wood as Steffy Forrester
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)

Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actor in a Drama Series
Maurice Benard as Sonny Corinthos
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host
Larry King
Larry King Now (Ora TV)

Outstanding Entertainment News Program
Entertainment Tonight (Syndicated)

Outstanding Daytime Non-Fiction Special
Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama (YouTube Originals)

Outstanding Writing Team for a Drama Series
The Young and the Restless (CBS)

Outstanding Game Show Host
Alex Trebek
Jeopardy! (Syndicated)

Outstanding Limited Drama Series
Studio City (Amazon Prime Video)

Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series
Cady McClain as Jennifer Horton-Devereaux
Days of Our Lives (NBC)

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show Host
Kelly Clarkson
The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated)

Outstanding Directing Team for a Drama Series
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program
The People’s Court (Syndicated)

Outstanding Younger Performer in a Drama Series
Victoria Konefal as Ciara Brady
Days of Our Lives (NBC)

Outstanding Culinary Host
Ina Garten
Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro (Food Network)

Outstanding Morning Show
CBS Sunday Morning (CBS)

Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show
The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated)

Outstanding Daytime Special Event
Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space (Discovery and Science Channel)

Outstanding Game Show
Jeopardy! (Syndicated)

Outstanding Informative Talk Show
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
Max Gail as Mike Corbin
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Marla Adams as Dina Mergeron
The Young and the Restless (CBS)

Outstanding Makeup
The Real (Syndicated)

Outstanding Makeup for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
Dash & Lily (Netflix)

Outstanding Hairstyling
The Real (Syndicated)

Outstanding Hairstyling for a  Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
The Letter for the King (Netflix)

Outstanding Costume Design/Styling
The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)

Outstanding Costume Design/Styling for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)

Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design
Odd Squad (PBS)

Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
Endlings (Hulu)

Outstanding Casting for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Live and Direct-To-Tape Sound Mixing
The Kelly Clarkson Show (Syndicated)

Outstanding Sound Mixing And Editing for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
The Letter for the King (Netflix)

Outstanding Multiple Camera Editing for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)

Outstanding Technical Team
Sesame Street (HBO)

Outstanding Technical Team for a Drama Or Daytime Fiction Program
General Hospital (ABC)

Outstanding Lighting Direction
Odd Squad (PBS)

Outstanding Lighting Direction for a Drama or Daytime Fiction Program
Studio City (Amazon Prime Video)

Outstanding Original Song
“Unsaid Emily”
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)

Outstanding Music Direction and Composition for a Daytime Program
The Letter for the King (Netflix)

Outstanding Daytime Promotional Announcement
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous / Launch Campaign (Netflix)