Tanya Saracho Signs Development Deal with UCP

Things are developing nicely for Tanya Saracho

The Mexican screenwriterand Vida creator has signed a development deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Tanya Saracho

As part of the deal, Saracho will develop and create original content for television, as well as podcasts via the studio’s UCP Audio extension. She’ll also establish a lab and incubator program for Latinx voices.

“To say that I’m immensely enthusiastic about this union is not enough. This partnership with UCP is a vital opportunity to keep amplifying the voices and stories that matter to me – those brown, queer narratives which have been missing from the landscape, and which are so important to tell,” said Saracho.

 “I’m also elated and looking forward to establishing a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify and empower intersectional Latinx voices,” Saracho added. “And on a personal level, it is greatly gratifying to find a home where I already feel so seen and supported.”

Saracho most recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Starz’s critically-acclaimed Vida, which aired its third and final season this spring. The series featured all Latinx directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut last year. The series had an all-Latinx writers room for seasons one and two, and in season three, the room was composed of all Latina writers.

Vida won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and was also honored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition with the 2019 Impact Award. The series won the Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and made its season two premiere as an Official Selection of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Tanya came on the scene like a comet with such a strong point of view and a drive to tell culturally diverse stories that push boundaries and open our imaginations. Oh, the places we will go with Tanya’s deep curiosity, experience, commitment, enthusiasm, joy and fervor to tell the diverse stories we haven’t explored on television yet. We are such fans of her work on Vida and are thrilled to partner with her,” said Dawn Olmstead, president, UCP.

“One of our goals at Universal Studio Group is to provide access through on the job training and opportunities to empower the next generation of culturally diverse storytellers. Tanya’s program fully embodies that intention and we look forward to supporting her as she mentors aspiring Latinx writers,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman, Universal Studio Group. “This is the first of many programs we will be backing across our three studios.”

Saracho was recently honored by the LGBTQ California Legislative Caucus as their 2020 Pride Month Honoree. She received the Rising Star Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards, and was awarded the New Voice Award by Final Draft.

She’s the founder of Teatro Luna, the first all-Latina theatre company in the country, as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists).

Saracho’s other television writing/producing credits include Devious Maids, Looking and How to Get Away with Murder.

Dania Ramirez to Star in Netflix’s DC Vertigo Comic-Based Series “Sweet Tooth”

Dania Ramirez has landed a Sweet role…

The 40-year-old Dominican actress and Devious Maids star will star in Sweet ToothNetflix’s new drama series based on the DC Vertigo comic.

Dania Ramirez

Ramirez will be part of the series’ core cast of series regulars, which includes Christian ConveryNonso Anozie and Adeel AkhtarWill Forte has a recurring role, while James Brolin serves as the series’ narrator.

The eight-episode Sweet Tooth follows the adventures of Gus (Convery) — part deer, part boy — who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event. He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins.

Ramirez will reportedly play Aimee, a pioneer in the middle of dystopic America, a lone scavenger in an abandoned city, rebuilding a sustainable habitat and giving orphaned hybrids a home.

The project hails from Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s Team DowneyJim MickleBeth Schwartz and Warner Bros. Television.

Along with fellow new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop, Sweet Tooth was among of a handful of Hollywood television series and movies to be granted border exemptions by the New Zealand government several weeks ago, a crucial step for any overseas production to be able to film in the country, which has largely eradicated COVID-19.

The tentative plan is for the cast to travel to New Zealand in August, where they’ll self-isolate for two weeks ahead of a potential September 7 start of production, according to Deadline.com. 

Ramirez can currently be seen as one of the leads in the first season of Kevin Williamson’s CBS All Access anthology drama series Tell Me a Story, airing on the CW

She previously starred on Marc Cherry’s Lifetime series Devious  Maids and had major roles on ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Heroes

Carolina Rivera Signs Deals with Verve and Netflix

Carolina Rivera has a new deal…

The Mexican screenwriter and producer has signed with Verve and entered an overall deal at Netflix.

Carolina Rivera

Under the Netflix agreement, Rivera will serve as the executive producer of the television series Madre Solo Hay Dos, which she created.

Rivera is the co-executive producer of the CW’s sci-fi drama Roswell: New Mexicowhich recently wrapped. 

She also worked on Jane the Virgin

Marc Cherry’s production company purchased Rivera’s “Ellas son… la alegría del hogar,”which was originally created for Televisa. The series was the basis for Cherry’s Lifetime series Devious Maids, starring Roselyn Sanchez.

Rivera studied screenwriting at the UCLA Extension Writers Program and wrote her first feature Cilantro y Perejil, which went on to win three Ariel Awards— Mexico’s equivalent of the Oscars— for Best Original ScreenplayBest Story and Best Original SongCilantro y Perejil made history in the Mexican film industry as the first Mexican title to be screened at commercial movie theaters throughout the country.

Her writing credits include more than 15 feature films. In 2005, Rivera received the Motion Picture Association Award for Best Hispanic Screenplay for her screenplay Enemigos Íntimos.

In addition, she worked as head writer for the serial telenovela Lucho en Familia and worked on Amor Cautivo. She headed the children’s television development team at Channel 11, Latin America’s largest public television network. While there, she created and served as head writer for Bizbirije and El Divan de Valentina.She has also served as an International Emmy AwardsJuror for Dramatic Series and TV movies.

Dania Ramirez to Star in Sony’s “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle” Sequel

Dania Ramirez is headed for the jungle…

The 39-year-old Dominican actress and former Devious Maidsstar has landed a role in Sony’s sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Junglewhich is being directed and co-written by Jake Kasdan.

Dania Ramirez

Ramirez joins a cast that includes members Dwayne JohnsonJack BlackKevin HartKaren Gillanand Nick Jonas, as well as new additions AwkwafinaDanny DeVitoand Danny Glover

Plot details are being kept under wraps. 

In addition to her lead role on Lifetime’sDevious Maids, Ramirez previously starred on television in ABC’s Once Upon a Timeand NBC’s Heroes.

Her film credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and Premium Rush.

CBS All Access Renews Dania Ramirez’s “Tell Me a Story” for a Second Season

There’s more Story time for Dania Ramirez

CBS All Access has ordered a second season of its psychological thriller drama series Tell Me a Story, starring the 39-year-old Dominican actress and former Devious Maids star.

Dania Ramirez

From Kevin Williamson and Aaron Kaplan’s Kapital Entertainment, the Williamson-helmed series is based on a Spanish format. It takes the world’s most beloved fairy tales and reimagines them as a dark and twisted psychological thriller.

Set in modern-day New York City, the first season of the serialized drama co-stars Billy Magnussen and James Wolk and interweaves “The Three Little Pigs,” “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Hansel and Gretel” into an epic and subversive tale of love, loss, greed, revenge and murder.

The Season 1 cast also includes Danielle Campbell, Dorian Missick, Michael Raymond-James, Davi Santos, Sam Jaeger, Zabryna Guevara with Paul Wesley and Kim Catrall.

It’s unclear which of the actors will return for the second installment of the anthology series.

“The first season of Tell Me a Story turned conventional fairy tales on their heads, interweaving and modernizing three classic stories into a compelling thriller for today’s audiences, in a way only Kevin Williamson can,” said Julie McNamara, EVP Original Content at CBS All Access. “We can’t wait to surprise and entertain viewers with a whole new set of tales next season.”

The first seven episodes of Tell Me a Story’s rookie season are available for streaming on CBS All Access. New episodes are available on demand weekly on Thursdays, exclusively for CBS All Access subscribers. The Season 1 finale will be available on January 3.

Justina Machado to Star in Lifetime’s TV Adaptation of Jane Green’s “Family Pictures”

Justina Machado is sharing her family pictures

Lifetime has cast the 46-year-old Puerto Rican actress in Family Pictures, the movie based on the novel of the same name by internationally best-selling author Jane Green. 

Justina Machado

Machado will co-star in the film alongside Elisabeth Röhm and Matt Passmore.

Family Pictures stars Machado (Netflix’s One Day at a Time) and Röhm (Law & Order) as Maggie, strangers living on opposite coasts, leading very similar lives with husbands that travel for work too much and daughters about to leave the nest. But when their daughters befriend each other on a college tour, they soon discover a shocking secret that threatens to tear both families apart. Passmore’s role was not specified.

Manu Boyer is directing from a script by Ilene Rosenzweig.

Family Pictures is currently in production in Vancouver.

Machado’s credits include Jane the Virgin, Queen of the South, Six Feet Under and Devious Maids.

Eva Longoria to Star in the Live-Action Film Adaptation of Nickelodeon’s “Dora the Explorer”

Eva Longoria is exploring a new role…

The 43-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star has been cast in Paramount Players’ live-action feature of Nickelodeon’s Dora the Explorer.

Eva Longoria

Longoria is set to portray Elena, Dora’s mother.

The James Bobin-directed movie hits theaters on August 2, 2019 and is already in production over in Australia with castmembers Isabela Moner (as Dora), Eugenio Derbez, Micke Moreno, Nicholas Coombe, Madeleine Madden, Adriana Barraza, and Temuera Morrison.

In the movie, the young explorer takes on high school, and with her new pack of friends as well as her sidekick the monkey Boots and her cousin Diego, leads them on a Goonies-esque quest to save her parents and solve the impossible mystery behind a lost Inca civilization.

Longoria recently starred in LD Entertainment’s Dog Days and Pantelion/MGM’s Overboard.

Longoria, via her production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment, is executive producing the ABC drama series Grand Hotel scheduled for a midseason release as well as the recently announced series Ambassador which received a big put pilot commitment from ABC. She was also the EP on Lifetime’s Devious Maids and NBC comedy Telenovela in which she also starred.

ABC Picks Up Roselyn Sanchez’s “Grand Hotel” to Series

Life is Grand for Roselyn Sanchez

ABC has picked up the drama Grand Hotel, starring the 45-year-old Puerto Rican actress and former Devious Maids star, to series.

Roselyn Sanchez

Executive produced by Eva Longoria, the series also stars Mexican actor and Oscar nominee Demian Bichir.

Based on the Spanish series Gran Hotel, the bold, provocative drama is set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach. Charismatic Santiago Mendoza owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi, and their adult children enjoy the spoils of success. The hotel’s loyal staff round out a contemporary, fresh take on an upstairs/downstairs story. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.

In addition to Bichir as Santiago Mendoza and Sanchez as Gigi Mendoza, the series also stars Denyse Tontz, Bryan Craig, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Lincoln Younes, Shalim Ortiz, Anne Winters, Chris Warren, Feliz Ramirez and Justina Adorno.

Ken Olin directed the pilot, with the series being produced by ABC Studios.

Ana Ortiz to Star in ABC’s Action-Comedy Pilot “Whiskey Cavalier”

Ana Ortiz is getting a little cavalier

The 47-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress and former Ugly Betty and Devious Maids star has been cast opposite Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan in Whiskey Cavalier, ABC’s hourlong action-dramedy pilot from Bill Lawrence, Dave Hemingson and Warner Bros. Television.

Ana Ortiz 

Written by Hemingson, Whiskey Cavalier, from WBTV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer Prods., follows the adventures of FBI agent Will Chase (codename: Whiskey Cavalier) — played by Foley — who, following an emotional break-up, is assigned to work with quick, cunning and completely fearless CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: Fiery Tribune) — played by Cohan. Together, they lead an interagency team of spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.

Ortiz will play Susan Sampson. Based out of the FBI’s New York office, Dr. Susan Sampson is the FBI’s top behavioral scientist — and Will’s (Foley) best friend. However, that doesn’t stop her from developing a fast friendship with Will’s rival (and future partner), Frankie (Cohan).

This marks Ortiz’s return to ABC where she co-starred on popular dramedy Ugly Betty for its four-season run and also starred in Devious Maids, which was developed and piloted by ABC before landing a series order at Lifetime.

Tanya Saracho Partnering with Big Beach for New Latinx Series, “Brujas”

It’s the witching hour for Tanya Saracho

The Mexican playwright and television writer will serve as the showrunner for a new series titled Brujas, a show in development via Big Beach.

Tanya Saracho

The series will follow four Afro-Caribbean/Latinx women in Chicago and series explore the relationships and community born out of the growing identification with the Bruja movement.

Brujas marks the continuing collaboration between Saracho and Big Beach. The new show will use the brujería counter-culture as a foundation. The brujería culture is a means for Latinx feminists to reconnect with their heritage through music, style, nightlife, and art. It’s a powerful return to indigenous practices and a reclamation of feminine strength. It’s also a headline-grabbing movement reflected from coast to coast by artists from Princess Nokia with her single “Brujas” to Beyonce’s opus of female empowerment, “Lemonade.”

Saracho is writing the series and will serve as executive producer alongside Big Beach’s Robin Schwartz, Peter Saraf, and Marc Turtletaub.

Saracho has written for Lifetime’s Devious Maids, HBO’s Girls and Looking, and ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder.

She was previously named Best New Playwright by Chicago Magazine, one of the 9 national “Luminarios” by Café Magazine and given the first “Revolucionario” award in theater by the National Museum of Mexican Art.