Danny Trejo to Star in the ABC Comedy Project “Food & Familia,” Inspired By His Life

Danny Trejo is bringing his life to the small screen, so to speak…

The 74-year-old Mexican American actor is  attached to star in an ABC comedy project that boasts Will Smith among its executive producers.

Danny Trejo

Trejo will star in and executive produce Food & Familia, which is currently in development at the network. The multi-camera comedy, is inspired by Trejo’s life. When the matriarch of the family passes away, she leaves her restaurant to her son, Danny (Trejo) – who’s about to get out of prison — and her granddaughter, Michelle, who hates her father for abandoning her. This gift from beyond the grave might heal the father and daughter and get them back together but, it’s gonna be rocky as the two of them work their differences out while trying to operate a restaurant, live together, and become a real family again.

Peter Murrietta will write and executive produce the project. Trejo and Smith will executive produce along with Caleeb Pinkett and James Lassiter of Smith’s Overbrook EntertainmentABC Studios will produce.

Should the project move forward, it would only be Trejo’s second series regular role, with the other being the short-lived George Lopez FX sitcom Saint George. Trejo is also known for his role in the Machete films as well as several other Robert Rodriguez films. His other TV roles include appearances on Sons of Anarchy, Rick & Morty, The Adventures of Puss in Boots, and From Dusk til Dawn: The Series. Trejo also opened his first restaurant, Trejo’s Tacos, in 2016 with multiple locations now open throughout Los Angeles. He also operates Trejo’s Coffee & Donuts and Trejo’s Cantina.

Murrietta most recently worked on the CBS comedy Superior Donuts. His other recent credits include One Day at a TimeLopez, and Cristela. Murrietta also won two Emmy awards for his time on the Disney Channel series Wizards of Waverly Place.

Jacob Vargas to Star on Netflix’s “Mr. Iglesias”

Jacob Vargas is making the grades

The 47-year-old Mexican-American actor has been cast as a series regular opposite Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias in Mr. Iglesias, Netflix’s upcoming comedy series from the comedian and Cristela co-creator/executive producer Kevin Hench.

Jacob Vargas

In the comedy, Iglesias plays Gabe, a good-natured public high school teacher who works at his alma mater. He takes on teaching gifted but misfit kids to not only save them from being “counseled out” by a bully bureaucrat Assistant Principal, but also to help them unlock their full potential. 

Vargas will play Tony Medina, Gabe’s longtime best friend and fellow teacher at the high school.

Iglesias executive produces with Hench.

Vargas is known for his role as Allesandro Montez on Sons of AnarchyHe stars in the feature The Public with Emilio Estevez, which will screen at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival. His recent television credits include Luke Cage and HBO’s Mosaic

Alonzo to Star in ABC’s Drama Pilot “The Gospel of Kevin”

Cristela Alonzo is preaching the gospel

The 38-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian/actress has been cast as the female lead opposite Jason Ritter in ABC’s The Gospel of Kevin, an hourlong drama pilot from ABC Studios.

Cristela Alonzo

Directed by Paul McGuigan, The Gospel of Kevin is a light one-hour about Kevin (Ritter), a down-on-his-luck man who is tasked by God with a mission to save the world. Kevin is a cluelessly self-serving jerk who’s on a dangerous path to despair. After a failed suicide attempt, he’s going home to stay with his widowed twin sister and niece for a time, only to be met with a crisis in the person Yvette (Alonso). Tough-talking but not without compassion, a “source of luminescence” and clearly divine, Yvette is a “warrior for God,” who explains to Kevin that he’s been “tasked with a sacred mission.”

Alonzo, the first Mexican American woman to create, produce, write, and star in her own US network show, has been courted to return to series television for awhile now.

Her 2014 sitcom Cristela was a Cinderella story, with a full pilot shot on a shoestring budget that beat the odds and landed on the ABC schedule, subsequently earning a full-season order. She appears regularly on Conan and The View, in addition to being featured on Comedy Central’s Live at Gotham and Gabriel Iglesias Presents Stand Up Revolution. She most recently can be seen in her comedy special Lower Classy on Netflix.

Fuse Renews Iglesias’ “Fluffy Breaks Even” with New Title and Format

Gabriel Iglesias isn’t blowing his Fuse… deal…

Fuse has greenlighted a third season of the 40-year-old Mexican American comedian and actor’s series with a new title and format, while adding companion digital components.

Gabriel Iglesias

The cable net, which targets a Latino and multicultural 18-34 audience, said that Fluffy Breaks Even will be renamed Fluffy’s Food Adventures for the third season and will return in the summer.

Ahead of the rejiggered series’ premiere, Fuse is adding three shortform series for its digital and social platforms, the first being the working-titled Fluffy Off the MenuThe others will be unveiled later.

“Fluffy cannot be contained on just one screen,” Iglesias said. “I can’t wait to unveil what Fuse and I are cooking up for the next season on TV and the new digital series.”

Season 2 of Fluffy Breaks Even reached 4.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen, and featured celebrity guests including NFL coach Ron RiveraCristela alum Carlos Ponce and NASCAR driver Daniel Suarez.

Season 3 will see Iglesias, aka Fluffy, and his eccentric stand-up tour mates Martin Moreno, Rick Gutierrez, Alfred Robles and G Reilly as they visit Harlem, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New Orleans and Nashville for a taste of the locals’ favorite spots.

Meanwhile, Fluffy Off the Menu will see chefs teaching Iglesias how to cook an item off of his or her menu, including bacon-wrapped bacon at BluJean in Harlem and crickets at Guelaguetza in Los Angeles. The additional two digital originals will incorporate fan engagement with Iglesias’ unique and humorous spin. All three will be exclusive to Fuse’s digital platforms, with different versions being created for the network’s social channels.

“We have big plans for Gabriel to expand his reach across platforms as we continue to grow our online and mobile presence,” said Michael Dugan, VP Original Content at Fuse Media. “Our audience couldn’t get enough of Fluffy for the first two seasons of his series, and in 2017, there will be more opportunities than ever for fans to connect with one of the most talented comedians around.”

Fluffy’s Food Adventures and Fluffy Off the Menu are exec produced by Iglesias and co-produced with B-17 Entertainment and Arsonhouse Entertainment.

Canals-Barrera to Star in CMT’s Pilot “His Wives and Daughters”

Maria Canals-Barrera has gone country

The 50-year-old Cuban American actress has booked a series regular role opposite Jane Seymour in CMT’s soapy, comedic pilot His Wives and Daughters.

Maria Canals-Barrera

Created and produced by Dina Chapman and Steve Sessions, the project centers on the eclectic and cunning wives and daughters of larger-than-life country music legend (and infamous womanizer) Eddie Ray Banks (Jeff Kober).

After his estranged family is brought together unexpectedly, tempers flare and old rivalries resurface, setting the stage for startling secrets to emerge as an unforgettable mystery begins to unfold.

Canals-Barrera will play Magdalena Guzman, Eddie’s housekeeper and personal assistant for nearly 30 years. She’s been his loyal confidante through multiple marriages and may know him better than anyone else, and also is hiding a big secret.

The Cristela and Wizards of Waverly Place alumna recently guest-starred on The Big Bang Theory.

Sanchez to Executive Produce English-Language Version of Her Hit Series “Familia En Venta”

Roselyn Sanchez is looking to bring her familia to English-speaking audiences.

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer and Devious Maids star and her actor-husband Eric Winter have teamed to executive produce Familia En Venta, a single-camera half-hour comedy for Fox based on Fox International Channel’s 2014 Colombian series, which starred Sanchez.

Roselyn Sanchez & Eric Winter

Familia En Venta explores conscious uncoupling and marriage through the lens of the divorce of an affluent Hispanic family.

Aaron Serna (Cristela) will write the adaptation, with Ian Gurvitz (The Exes) supervising and serving as showrunner.

The original series, toplined by  Sanchez and Mexican actor-comedian Carlos Espejel, recently was nominated for an International Emmy Award for best comedy series. It aired on MundoFox in the U.S.

Familia En Venta

Following the show’s successful run in South America, Sanchez and Winter approached Fox International Channels about mounting an English-language version in the U.S.

The duo teamed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners, whose head of television Robyn Schwartz will executive produce Familia En Venta with them.

There are no plans for Sanchez to reprise her role as she stars in Lifetime’s Devious Maids, recently renewed for a fourth season.

Iconic TV Sitcom “One Day at a Time” to Get a Latino Makeover

Iconic television series One Day at a Time may be getting a Latino makeover…

Norman Lear, who developed the sitcom, is looking to revive the series with an all Latino cast, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

One Day at a Time

One Day at a Time, which aired on CBS from December 1975 to May 1984, starred Bonnie Franklin as Ann Romano, a divorced mother who moves to Indianapolis with her two teenage daughters, Julie and Barbara Cooper (Mackenzie Phillips, Valerie Bertinelli) to an apartment building in Indianapolis where the family becomes friendly with the super, Schneider (Pat Harrington).

As first reported by TV Insider, the potential series would be produced by Sony Pictures Television, whose T.A.T. Communications and Embassy Television produced the original.

The new comedy would be an English-language remake and be a co-production of SPT and Televisa USA. No deals are currently in place and the project is in the early stage of discussion.

The series was hailed for its portrayal of a divorced woman and its ability to tackle series issues including feminism.

Lear produced the series, which was created by Whitney Blake and Allan Manings, a husband-and-wife duo who based the show on the former’s life as a single mother raising her daughter — actress Meredith Baxter.

Sony previously attempted a Spanish-language take on One Day at a Time with Telemundo in the 1990s. Lear has also considered putting a new spin on All in the Family as well.

Plans for a Latino-focused One Day at a Time revival come as more and more broadcast networks are focused on creating diverse programming that better reflects society. ABC has found success with Latino family comedy Cristela as well as Black-ish and its upcoming Asian-American half hour Fresh Off the Boat is already generating positive reviews.

Iglesias to Host “Funniest Commercials of the Year” Special on Spike

Gabriel Iglesias has landed the funniest gig…

The 38-year-old Mexican American comedian/actor is set to host Funniest Commercials of the Year.

Gabriel Iglesias

The annual show, now in its tenth year, will continue to focus on spotlighting the most laugh-inducing ads from the U.S. and around the world.

Iglesias, who currently stars on ABC‘s Cristela, is hosting the show for the first time.

“One of the big changes [for ads] is that now, with the Internet and all kinds of different platforms, commercials have gotten longer,” creator Robert Dalrymple told The Hollywood Reporter. “Companies make commercials just for the Internet now.”

However, Dalrymple, whose job it is to hunt down the most amusing spots, pointed out that the appeal of a memorable ad remains the same as always. “It still comes down to, commercials are great self-contained stories, like mini movies,” he said, explaining their enduring appeal.

Among the commercials that made the cut for this year’s top ten include Doritos‘ consumer-made “Time Machine” that aired during the Super Bowl, and an ad from State Farm‘s Hans and Franz campaign with quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

This year is the first time that the special airs on Spike, and Dalrymple credits the network’s execs for suggesting Iglesias to front the show. “He personalizes everything,” Dalrymple said of Iglesias, pointing out that the comic is able to use his gift for voices to uniquely comment on the footage.

Funniest Commercials of the Year airs Thursday, Dec. 18, at 10:00 pm ET on Spike.

Ponce Added to the Main Cast of ABC’s “Cristela”

Carlos Ponce could be returning to English-language television in a hot project at ABC..

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor and telenovela star has joined the cast of ABC’s semi-autobiographical comedy project Cristela.

Carlos Ponce

Co-created by rising stand-up comedian Cristela Alonzo, the series centers on Cristela (Alonzo), an American Latina straddling two cultures while not fully belonging to either.

No word yet on Ponce’s character in Cristela, which received a green light last month on what the network described as a “proof of concept” for the project.

In addition to Alonzo and Ponce, the main cast will also include Terri Hoyos, Roxana Ortega and Andrew Leeds. Meanwhile, newcomer Sarah Halford has landed a recurring role in the project.

Ponce’s English-language television credits include Hollywood Heights, Lipstick Jungle and 7th Heaven.

Alonzo’s Semi-Autobiographical Comedy Project “Cristela” Still Alive at ABC

Cristela Alonzo’s television dreams are still alive…

The Mexican American actress and stand-up comic’s semi-autobiographical comedy Cristela still has a shot at ABC with a potential Fall 2014 premiere date.

Cristela Alonzo

The network, which originally bought the 20th TV-backed comedy in August, has given the green light on what it describes as a “proof of concept” for the project, which has acquired many fans among ABC’s top leaders.

On the recently released breakdown for Cristela, it’s listed as a pilot presentation with John Pasquin directing a cast of 10, led by Alonzo.

The show, co-written by Alonzo and Kevin Hench, tells the story of Cristela (Alonzo), an American Latina straddling two cultures while not fully belonging to either.

Cristela, in her sixth year of law school and living rent-free with her sister and brother-in-law, hopes to land a prestigious law firm internship as her mother badgers her about getting a real job, her brother-in-law encourages her to move out and her sister runs low on patience.

20th Century Fox Television is producing the project, with Alonzo executive producing.

Alonzo, originally from the South Texas, has appeared on Conan, Live At Gotham and Last Comic Standing.