Eva Longoria Named to Television Academy Foundation’s Board of Directors

Eva Longoria is joining the board…

The 46-year-old Mexican American actress, activist and former Desperate Housewives star has been appointed to the board of directors at the Television Academy Foundation.

 

Eva LongoriaThe foundation’s programs include an annual internship program, a media faculty conference and the College Television Awards in addition to its extensive archive of oral histories of TV legends, The Interviews.

Longoria will work alongside foundation chair Cris Abrego and the board to further the group’s work promoting inclusion in the TV industry and providing educational and professional development programs for students with diverse backgrounds.

“We are thrilled to welcome two exceedingly accomplished, inspiring and engaged trailblazers to the foundation’s board,” Abrego said in a release announcing the appointments. “As leaders in their respective fields, their expertise and thought leadership will help drive the Foundation’s initiatives and champion the advancement of aspiring professionals from underrepresented communities to ensure a more inclusive, next-generation television talent pool.”

Longoria has been has been leading the charge of diverse and female representation in the industry since her role on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, both in front of the camera and via her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, which recently teamed up with ViacomCBS’ Entertainment & Youth Group for their First Time Directors program highlighting BIPOC and women filmmakers to produce 50 films across the group’s portfolio of networks and streaming services.

Eva Longoria to Direct & Executive Produce HBO Max’s “The Gordita Chronicles” Pilot

Eva Longoria has lined up her next directorial project…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress/producer will direct and executive produce The Gordita Chronicles pilot at HBO Max.

Eva Longoria

The single-camera family comedy hails from Josh Berman’s Osprey ProductionsZoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, and Sony Pictures Television, where Berman’s Osprey Prods is under a deal.

Written by Claudia Forestier, The Gordita Chronicles centers on a willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican who struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American Dream.

Brigitte Munoz Liebowitz serves as executive producer and showrunner. Longoria executive produces via her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce for Cinestar Pictures.

Sony Pictures Television is the studio.

Longoria will be making her film directorial debut with Searchlight’s Flamin’ Hot, an inspiring biopic about the janitor turned executive who created the flaming hot Cheetos snack. She’ll also direct the workplace comedy 24/7 and star alongside Kerry Washington for Universal and direct the action comedy Spa Day for Sony.

The former Desperate Housewives star made her television directing debut on Devious Maids in 2014. Her television producing/directing credits also include ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Versus, and episodes of Black-ish, The Mick and Telenovela.

Longoria made her pilot directing debut with the CW’s Glorious.

 

Eva Longoria to Star in the Anthology Feature “Women’s Stories”

Eva Longoria is telling stories

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress has joined the all-star cast of the anthology feature Women’s Stories, whose segments will be directed by filmmakers including Catherine Hardwicke.

Eva Longoria

Longoria joins a roster of cast additions that includes Cara DelevingneMargherita BuyMarcia Gay Harden, Leonor Varela and Jacqueline Fernandez.

The film will be comprised of six segments directed by female directors from different parts of the world, shot in Italy, India and the U.S. They will range in genre from drama to comedy, docu-drama to animation. The cast will be all female.

The first four segments have been mapped out: Unspoken will be directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi (Me, Myself & Her) and star decorated Italian actress Margherita Buy (My Mother), the seven-time David di Donatello award-winner; Lagonegro will be directed by Lucia Puenzo (La Jauria) and star Desperate Housewives and Overboard actress Longoria; Elbows Deep will be directed by Twilight filmmaker Hardwicke and star model and actress Delevingne (Suicide Squad), Oscar-winner Marcia Gay Harden (Pollock) and Jasmine Luv (Starter Pack); and Sharing A Ride will be directed by Leena Yadav (Three Cards) and feature Bollywood star Jacqueline Fernandez and transgender model Anjali Lama.

Producing are Iervolino Entertainment (Waiting For The Barbarians) and non-profit production company We Do It Together, which campaigns for gender equality.

Chiara Tilesi, founder and President of We Do It Together, said of the project: “At We Do It Together, our mission is to enhance and change the image of women in films and media, from object to subject. We are dedicated to telling stories of women, both in front of and behind the camera. That’s why Women Stories is so important to us – we have brought together female directors, from all over the world, who collaborate and share personal stories from their own point of view. We are telling the stories of these heroines and their aspirations: from health workers to mothers, artists and business women, to name a few. We also want to be inclusive and have as many different perspectives as possible, which is why connecting globally is so important to us. Now more than ever, especially after the latest UN policy brief The Impact of Covid-19 On Women, it has emerged that gender inequality is still a very present reality and, unfortunately, we remain far from a solution. Some of the achievements that were made, are at risk of being erased once again. This is why it is so important for us to continue to tell stories about women, by women, but for everyone. Only together can men and women finally change these paradigms.”

Andrea Iervolino, President and founder of Iervolino Entertainment, added: “It gives me tremendous pride to collaborate with such an astounding ensemble, and to help deliver a message larger than the film itself. It’s important for us that this be done on a global scale, which is why we’re shooting, very carefully and safely, in Italy, India and the US.”

The project was initially announced five years ago in different form as Together Now.

Sofia Vergara Teams Up with Robert Rodriguez & Rebecca Rodriguez to Develop Modern Take on “Zorro” with Female Lead

Sofia Vergara isn’t masking her excitement for her latest project…

The 48-year-old Colombian actress has teamed up with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and his writer-director sister Rebecca Rodriguez to develop Zorro, a contemporary take on the classic masked vigilante character with a gender swap, for NBC. 

Sofia Vergara

The project’s creative team includes Vergara’s LatinWe production company, as well as Ben Siverman and Howard T. OwensPropagate. CBS Studios, where Propagate has a deal, will co-produce with Universal Television.

Co-written by the Rodriguezes and to be directed by Rebecca, Zorro centers on Sola Dominguez, an underground artist who fights for social injustice as contemporary version of the mythical Zorro. Her life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.

Propagate set out to develop a television series re-imagining of Zorro with a female protagonist last season as one of the company’s first projects under its first-look deal with CBS Studios. The idea’s first incarnation, written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., also was set up at NBC.

Vergara and Silverman are frequent collaborators; they have teamed to produce together several projects over the past decade while Silverman was at Electus and after he joined Propagate, including the ABC drama series Killer Women.

Vergara received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her starring role on ABC’s Modern Family. Her feature credits include the Warner Bros. buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, which she also produced. Additionally, she executive produced the Spanish version of Desperate Housewives.

Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct The Mask of Zorro and cast Antonio Banderas as the title role before leaving the feature project. In television, he developed and executive produced the series adaptation of his movie From Dusk Till Dawn for his television network El Rey and also executive produced the Spy Kids animated series offshoot for Netflix. He recently directed an episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian

Rebecca Rodriguez’s recent directing credits include episodes of TNT’s Snowpiercer and Showtime’s The Chi.

Cynthia Quiles to Appear on Season Two of CBS All Access’ “Why Women Kill”

It’s a time to slay for Cynthia Quiles

The Latina actress has been cast in the second season of CBS All Access’ series Why Women Kill.

Cynthia Quiles

Quiles, who featured in ABC’s Station 19 and is in NBC’s upcoming comedy Mr. Mayor, joins the series in a recurring capacity.

Allison Tolman and Nick Frost star in the CBS All Access anthology series from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, Imagine Television Studios and CBS Studios.

This season of the dark comedy features a new ensemble cast and storylines set in 1949 that will explore what it means to be beautiful, the hidden truth behind the facades people present to the world, the effects of being ignored and overlooked by society, and finally, the lengths one woman will go in order to finally belong.

Quiles plays Brenda, as beautiful and entitled as her friends and another member of Rita’s exclusive garden club.

The series is produced by Imagine Television Studios and CBS Studios.

Lana Parrilla to Star on CBS All Access’ Anthology Series “Why Women Kill”

Lana Parrilla has landed a kill-er role…

The 43-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress has joined the cast for the second season of CBS All Access’ anthology series Why Women Kill.

Lana Parrilla

Parrilla, who won a Teen Choice Award for her role as The Evil Queen/Regina Mills on ABC’s Once Upon a Time, is part of a roster of new cast additions that includes Queen of the South’s Veronica Falcón, B.K. Cannon, Jordane Christie and Matthew Daddario.

They join previously announced cast members Allison Tolman and Nick Frost in the series that hails from Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry, Imagine Television Studios and CBS Studios.

This season of the dark comedy features a new ensemble cast and storylines set in 1949 that will explore what it means to be beautiful, the hidden truth behind the facades people present to the world, the effects of being ignored and overlooked by society, and finally, the lengths one woman will go in order to finally belong.

Parrilla will play Rita, the sardonic wife to the wealthy and evil Carlo Castillo. As she waits for her elderly husband to die, Rita runs the garden club with an iron fist and spends much of her time engaging in an affair with a younger lover.

Falcón will play Catherine, Carlo Castillo’s spinster daughter. Prim and proper, Catherine detests her father’s gorgeous wife, Rita, and returns to town after a mysterious accident, seeking a way to destroy her.

Parrilla can be seen in David Ayer’s indie thriller The Tax Collector. Her previous credits include Prior Boomtown, Windfall, Swingtown, Miami Medical, Spin City and 24.

Falcón’s credits include starring roles in Queen of the South, an episode of the anthology Room 104 and Perpetual Grace LTD. Most recently, she appeared in Perry Mason and can next be seen in Marvel’s Winter Falcon, as well as the upcoming films Jungle Cruise, the next installment of The Purge franchise, Ted Melfi’s The Starling and Neil Burger’s Voyagers.

“She Se Puede” Digital Lifestyle Community for Latinas Launched by America Ferrera & Group of Powerful Latinas

America Ferrera is galvanizing the influence and power of the country’s Latinas.

The 36-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star has partnered with Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria to launch She Se Puede, a digital lifestyle community created for Latinas.

America Ferrera & Eva Longoria

Ferrera, Longoria and a group of powerful Latinas have high hopes for the new destination for the modern Latina.

“It’s a media platform that … inspires and affirms and informs Latinas on how to leverage our power in a way that transforms our lives, our families and our communities,” says Longoria.

She Se Puede

Inspired by Dolores Huerta’s enduring phrase, “Sí, se puede!” the nonprofit initiative was also founded by experts in the political, entertainment and organizational worlds: Alex Martínez Kondracke, Carmen Perez, Christy Haubegger, Elsa Collins, Jess Morales Rocketto, Mónica Ramírez, Olga Segura, and Stephanie Valencia.

The site will cover fashion, health, culture and politics, an important subject during this election year.

Latinos account for 32 million eligible voters, the country’s largest ethnic voting block. She Se Puede, says Longoria, aims to “build a culture that allows Latinas to see that power, believe in that power and see that full potential released.”

The platform’s launch also comes amid a pandemic in which 34 percent of essential workers are Latino and communities of color have been hit hardest by job losses and lack of health care, as well as a divisive presidential election that sees Joe Biden trailing in the Latino vote in Florida, according to one poll. “We all truly know who’s on the side of Latinos, and it’s definitely not Trump,” she says. “This is the man whose administration is locking kids up in cages, who creates travel bans from countries that are poor, who wanted to sell Puerto Rico and exchange it for Greenland.

She Se Puede is a community where Latinas can find information that addresses our unique needs and supports us to move ourselves, our communities, and our country forward. To learn more, visit shesepuede.org.

Eva Longoria Developing Latinx Family Drama “Chicano,” Based on Richard Vasquez’s Novel, for ABC

Eva Longoria’s hoping to bring the Chicano story and struggle to the small screen.

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star has joined forces with Natalie Chaidez and Forest Whitaker to develop the family drama Chicano, inspired by Richard Vasquez’s novel of the same name, for ABC.

Eva Longoria

Written by Chaidez, known for her work on 12 MonkeysHunters and The Sarah Connor Chronicles, the drama is a multi-generational saga about the Sandovals, a Mexican-American family that immigrates to Los Angeles in pursuit of the American Dream.  

It will follow the struggles and triumphs of the Sandoval family from 1920 through present and explores the question of what it means to be American.

Chicano by Richard Vasquez

20th Century Fox Television is the studio on the project, which is being produced in association with Longoria and Ben Spector’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment and Whitaker and Nina Yang Bongiovi’s Significant Productions

ABC has handed the project a script and additional development material plus penalty commitment. Chaidez, Longoria, Spector, Whitaker, Yang Bongiovi serve as executive producers.

It’s the latest ABC project for UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, which is currently under a deal at 20th Century Fox Studios TelevisionThe company previously produced Grand Hotel. 

Development of the project began with one of the executive producers, Doug Pray, working with Sylvia Vasquez, daughter of Chicano author Richard Vasquez, while Chaidez is a third generation Mexican-American whose own family’s immigration journey closely parallels the story told in Chicano.

Chicano is just the first of many projects that we expect from Eva and Ben as we look to ramp up our slate of Latinx programming. As part of our studio family, they are valuable partners in helping us expand our commitment to compelling stories for underrepresented communities,” said Karey Burke, president, ABC Entertainment. “With Forest, Nina, Natalie and Doug also at the helm of this project, we know we have the perfect powerhouse team to bring this Mexican-American family’s story to life and cultivate the next generation of Latinx storytelling.”

Marcus Coloma to Star in ABC’s Comedic Soap Pilot “False Profits”

Marcus Coloma is False-ifying his resume with a soapy new role…

The part-Spanish American actor has landed a series-regular role on ABC’s comedic soap pilot False Profits.

Marcus Coloma

The project is set in the world of cosmetics marketing, from former Code Black writer-producer Kayla Alpert, Jason Reed and ABC Studios.

Written by Alpert, False Profits is described as Desperate Housewives meets Glengarry Glen Ross. It follows a team of down-and-out women in suburban Arizona as they fight their way to the top of the cutthroat world of a multi-level marketing cosmetics business.

Coloma will play Clark Steedler, Lila’s baby-daddy and Hilary’s (Shelley Hennig) ex who has been in and out of her life ever since she got pregnant

Coloma starred in the Beverly Hills Chihuahua films, and his television credits include Major Crimes, South Beach and Lucifer.

ABC Orders Pilot of the Eva Longoria-Produced Drama “Grand Hotel”

It’s a grand old time for Eva Longoria

ABC has ordered a pilor for the soapy drama Grand Hotel based on the Spanish series, from the 42-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star and the hit ABC/ABC Studios dramedy’s writer Brian Tanen.

Eva Longoria

Written by Tanen, Grand Hotel is a soap opera-like drama set against the backdrop of a Miami Beach hotel, centering around the family who owns the business, the staff who run it, and the explosive secrets they hide under the perfect exterior.

Longoria and Ben Spector are executive producing via UnbeliEVAble Entertainment alongside Tanen as well as Oliver Bachert and Christian Gockel of Beta Film, which distributed the original series.

UnveliEVAble, ABC and ABC Studios also developed a Grand Hotel adaptation last season with a different writer.

Televisa USA previously took a stab at an English-language adaptation of the series set in pre-Castro Havana.

Gran Hotel (aka Grand Hotel) was created and produced by Bambu Producciones and ran on Spain’s Antena 3 for three seasons, with its first season reaching a 18.5% share. Dubbed “a Spanish Downton Abbey,” the original series, set in 1905 Spain, has been a top international seller for Beta Films.