Naya Rivera Makes One of Her Final Appearances on New Season of Netflix’s “Sugar Rush,” Out Now

It’s a sweet rush for the late Naya Rivera.

In what’s believed to be her final television appearance, the late half-Puerto Rican actress/singer and Glee star will be featured in an episode of Season 3 of Netflix’s baking competition reality series Sugar Rush, released this Friday.

Naya Rivera

Back in February, Rivera filmed a guest-judge appearance on Sugar Rush in Los Angeles, sitting alongside the show’s host Hunter March and professional chef judges Candace Nelson and Adriano Zumbo.

It was the last thing she filmed before the coronavirus-related Hollywood production shutdown, which is now in its fifth month.

Netflix on June 24 announced a July 31 premiere date for the new season of Sugar Rush, branded Extra Sweet.

Sugar Rush: Naya Rivera

A couple of weeks later, Rivera disappeared while swimming with her son in Lake Piru, north of Los Angeles. Her body was recovered July 13 and laid to rest July 24. She was 33.

Following Rivera’s death, Netflix was faced with the dilemma of what to do with the footage of her. After careful consideration in consultation with Rivera’s manager Gladys Gonzalez, who has been working closely with the actress’ family following Rivera’s death, a decision was made to move forward and release the episode as planned.

The episode is dedicated to Rivera, with an on-screen note honoring the actress appearing before the opening credits.

Sugar Rush is produced by Magical Elves.

Naya Rivera’s Final Heroic Act Revealed

Naya Rivera is being hailed as a hero…

The late part-Puerto Rican actress and Glee star used the last of her strength to save her 4-year-old son before she died, Ventura County Sheriff Bill Ayub said Monday.

Naya Rivera

“She mustered enough energy to get her son back onto the boat, but not enough to save herself,” he said.

A body discovered Monday morning at Lake Piru has been identified as the Rivera, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office said during a news conference.

Riveraand her son rented a pontoon boat at Lake Piru Wednesday. The child told rescuers he and his mother had gone into the water to swim, but she didn’t get back on the boat. He told investigators he then looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water, Ayub said.

Her son was found asleep on the rental pontoon boat after it was overdue for return. One life jacket was found on the boat and the boy was wearing another.

Rivera, who was 33 at the time of her passing, was presumed dead after she went missing Wednesday.

Her body was found floating in the northeast area of the lake where the water is between 35 and 60 feet deep Monday, after a six-day search. Ayub said investigators are “confident” the body found was Rivera, but the body is still being taken to Ventura County Coroner’s Office, where it will be identified through dental records.

Ayub said the sheriff’s department has been “in direct contact” with Rivera’s family.

“Her family has been at the lake everyday holding out hope and communicating with our investigators,” Ayub said.

The actress is best known for her role as Santana Lopez on Fox’s musical dramedy Glee. She appeared in nearly every episode of the beloved musical-comedy-drama, which ended in 2015.

Members of the show’s cast took to social media to mourn their costar, sharing their condolences to Rivera’s family.

“How can you convey all your love and respect for someone in one post?” Chris Colfer, who played Kurt on Glee, wrote on his Instagramin a lengthy, emotional caption of a picture of him and Rivera. “How can you summarize a decade of friendship and laughter with words alone? If you were friends with Naya Rivera, you simply can’t.”

“Rest sweet, Naya,” Jane Lynch, who played Coach Sue Sylvester on the show, tweeted. “What a force you were. Love and peace to your family.

Rivera was also on the CBS sitcom The Royal Family and in the comedy film The Master of Disguise. More recently, she starred in the Step Up television series, based on the movie franchise.

Lea Michele to Star in ABC’s Holiday Movie “Same Time, Next Christmas”

Lea Micheleis getting into the Christmasspirit…

The 32-year-old part-Spanish actress is set to star in ABC’s special holiday movie Same Time, Next Christmasfrom Freeform Studios, which is slated to air in December 2019.

Lea Michele

In the movie, the Glee alum will play the lead role of Olivia Henderson, a young woman who met her childhood sweetheart during her family’s annual Christmas visit to Hawaii. After being separated by distance and years, the two reunite at the same Hawaii resort years later and the old chemistry between them flares up anew – but circumstances conspire to keep them apart.

“This holiday season holds special importance to me as I get to celebrate both my role in this film and my first-ever holiday album,” said Michele. “I’m honored to return to ABC with this movie event, and I am excited to share the holidays with everyone.”

Same Time, Next Christmas adds to Michele’s Yuletide repertoire as she’ll be releasing her first Christmas album this coming holiday.

Stephen Herekis set to direct and Karen Bloch Morseis writing.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Signs New Multi-Year Deal with Warner Bros. Television

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasahas landed a major deal…

The 44-year-old Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer who is currently the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and the key creative force behind Warner Bros. Television’s growing Archie comics-based TV universe, has signed a massive new multi-year overall deal with the studio. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

No details are being disclosed but the pact is said to be for five years, and it’s in the high eight figures. 

Under the agreement, Aguirre-Sacasa will develop, write, and produce new series through his banner, Muckle Man Productions, while also continuing as executive producer/showrunner on WBTV series Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,as well as pilot Katy Keene, co-developed with Michael Grassi.

Shortly after he was named Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics in 2014, Aguirre-Sacasa teamed with WBTV-based Berlanti Prods. to bring the Archie characters to television. He is the developer/executive producer behind Riverdale, which has been a major hit for the CWand Netflix, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which quickly established itself as a breakout for Netflix, and the co-developer/executive producer on the Riverdale spinoff pilot Katy Keene, which has been garnering solid early buzz at the CW.

Before becoming Archie Comics COO, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote two of the company’s best-selling horror series: Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. He previously worked for Marvel Comics, scripting the adventures of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, and the Fantastic Four.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s TV series writing-producing credits include Fox’s GleeHBO’s Looking and Big Love, as well as a stint on WBTV/Berlanti Prods.’ Supergirl.

Aguirre-Sacasa is an accomplished screenwriter and playwright. He penned the feature remakes of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, as well as the musical adaptation of American Psycho, which had runs in London and on Broadway

Aguirre-Sacasa was part of the team that was brought in to overhaul Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. This summer, Pasadena Playhouse will produce his prep school thriller, Good Boys and True, and he wrote the book to the Broadway-bound Magic Mike the musical, with Brian Yorkey (lyrics) and Tom Kitt(music).

Naya Rivera’s YouTube Drama Series “Step Up: High Water” Surges in Viewership

Naya Riverais stepping up her game on the internet…

YouTube and Lionsgate’s hit dance drama series Step Up: High Water, starring the 32-year-old part-Puerto Rican actress and former Glee star, has surged in viewership for its Season 2 premiere. 

Naya Rivera

The first episode of the sophomore season has drawn 11.5 million views in the seven days since its March 20 debut, according to YouTube. Compared with the first episode of Season 1, which drew 1.3 million viewers through seven days following its January 31, 2018 debut, the Season 2 premiere is up 884% over the first season.

Based on the successful film franchise from Lionsgate, Step Up: High Water follows several students at a cut-throat performing arts school in Atlanta. 

Series regulars Rivera, NE-YO, and Faizon Loveare back for Season 2, along with newcomers Ashley GreeneRobin Givensand Jeremy Copeland.

Multi-platinum recording artist and entrepreneur Rick Rossis set to guest star as himself. Todrick Hallwill also make a cameo playing himself. JaQuel Knightwill choreograph episode three as well as make a cameo playing himself.

Step Up: High Water is created and executive produced by showrunner Holly Sorensen (Recovery Road, Make It Or Break It).Adam ShankmanJennifer Gibgotand Meredith Milton, all producers of the original Step Up films, executive produced season one, along with Channing Tatumand Jenna Dewan, who both co-starred in the original Step Up film. All have returned to executive produce for the second season.

Ivonne Coll to Star in The CW’s “Jane the Virgin” Spinoff, “Jane the Novela”

There’s more Jane in Ivonne Coll’s future…

The 71-year-old Puerto Rican actress and Jane the Virgin star has landed a series regular role in Jane the Novelathe CW’s Jane the Virgin spinoff pilot.

Ivonne Coll

The project will be headlined by Jacqueline Grace Lopezand narrated and executive produced by Jane the Virgin star Gina Rodriguez, with Coll providing a little continuity from the original series in front of the camera.

The telenovelaanthology offshoot will also star Remy Hii, Hunter Parrish, Benito Martinez and Holland Roden.

Written/executive-produced by Jane the Virgin writer Valentina Garza, directed/exec produced by Jane the Virgin EP Brad Silberling and executive-produced by Jane the Virgin creator/EP Jennie Snyder UrmanJane the Novela is a soapy, telenovela-inspired anthology series in the tradition of Jane the Virgin, where each season is based on a different fictional novel “written by” Jane Villanueva and narrated by the author herself.

The first installment takes place at the intersection of Napa Valley wine country and the San Francisco art scene and pairs family secrets and sins of the past with twists, tropes and a bloody bottle of red. It centers on Estela (Lopez), an up-and-coming art curator who has spent years playing it safe and coloring within the lines. But a shocking secret changes everything and forces her to live a double life.

Being “in the tradition” of Jane the Virgin, Jane the Novela mirrors the setup of the original series. It too follows a driven, imaginative twentysomething Latina woman (Lopez) who is torn between her boyfriend, Luen (Hii), and Felix (Parrish), a handsome, rich guy. In this case, Luen is head of security while Felix is in the wine business vs. Jane Villanueva’s cop boyfriend Michael and love interest Rafael, a hotel heir.

Hii’s Luen is Estela’s sweet, dependable, long-term boyfriend. When the life he’s planned for himself and Estela is threatened by Felix, Luen will stop at nothing to win back the woman he loves.

Coll will play Camila, Estela’s adoptive mother. Camila would do anything to protect her daughter and the life they have built, even lie to her. On Jane the Virgin, Coll plays Jane’s grandmother and Xo’s mother Alba.

Martinez portrays Raul, the winery’s enigmatic riddler. Nobody knows Napa’s terrain like he does – he specializes in collecting dirt on everyone.

Coll’s other television credits include Switched at BirthTeen WolfGleeEast Los High and Nip/Tuck.

Martinez is known for his portrayal of Los Angeles politician David Aceveda for seven seasons on FXpolice drama The Shield. He had a starring role in John Ridley’s anthology series American Crime Story alongsideFelicity Huffmanand Regina Kingand can next be seen in the upcoming seasons of 13 Reasons WhyThe BlacklistJack Ryan, and the feature film Queen & Slim. 

Blake Jenner to Star in Netflix’s Social Thriller Anthology Drama Series “What/If”

Blake Jenner has landed a new gig…

The 26-year-old Cuban American actor and Glee star has been cast as the male lead in What/If, Netflix’s social thriller anthology drama series starring Renée Zellweger and Jane Levy.

Blake Jenner

From Revenge and Swingtown creator Mike Kelley, the series is written by Kelley, directed by Phillip Noyce and produced by Page Fright, Atlas Entertainment and Compari Entertainment in association with Warner Bros. Television.

What/If explores the ripple effects of what happens when acceptable people start doing unacceptable things. Each season will tackle a different morality tale inspired by culturally consequential source material, and the power of a single fateful decision to change the trajectory of an entire life.

The 10-episode first season focuses on two struggling newlyweds, scientist-entrepreneur Lisa (Levy) and EMT Sean (Jenner), who accept a powerful woman’s (Zellweger) ethically perilous proposition to secure a badly needed financial windfall. All actors have one-year deals.

Jenner first gained acclaim on the second season of The Glee Projectwhich he won, landing him the role of Ryder Lynn onGlee. He also recurred on SupergirlJenner most recently starred in the indie heist film American Animals. His feature credits also include The Edge of Seventeen andEverybody Wants Some!!

This weekend, Jenner finished out a run as Chrisitian to Peter Dinklage’s Cyrano in Goodspeed MusicalsCyranoa new take on the Edmond Rostand classic Cyrano de Bergerac adapted by Erica Schmidt in collaboration with members of indie alternative band The National.

ABC to Release “The Goldbergs” Mixtape, Featuring Six Hayley Orrantia Tracks

Hayley Orrantia is back behind the microphone…

After five seasons on the air, ABC‘s The Goldbergs, starring the 23-year-old part-Mexican American actress/singer, will finally have a soundtrack.

Hayley Orrantia

The Goldbergs “Mixtape” will feature 14 tracks, including five classic ’80s songs that Orrantia, who portrays Erica, has covered, including Cyndi Lauper‘s “True Colors” and Katrina & the Waves‘ “Walking on Sunshine,” performed with AJ Michalka.

The other nine tracks on the album, which is being released by Madison Gate Records, are original songs written specifically for Adam F. Goldberg‘s 1980-something semi-autobiographical comedy and include “Love Ninja,” with Orrantia and Troy Gentile (Barry).

The Goldbergs, produced by Sony Pictures Television, has featured a number of original songs on the series as Erica has an interest in becoming a singer-songwriter, while Barry has dreams of becoming a famous rapper via his “alter-ego” Big Tasty. Many television shows like Empire, Glee and Nashville have turned to producing soundtracks featuring their original music as a form of earning ancillary revenue.

Orrantia rose to acclaim as a member of Lakoda Rayne, a country-pop girl group assembled by Paula Abdul during the first season of The X Factor. During her teen years, she sang background vocals for Demi Lovato on Disney‘s Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam soundtrack and background vocals for Miley Cyrus on Disney’s Hannah Montana Forever soundtrack.

Here’s a look at the track list:

  1. “Rewind” (The Goldbergs Main Title Theme) — I Fight Dragons
  2. “Love Ninja” — Hayley Orrantia & Troy Gentile
  3. “D&D” — Kurtis Blow
  4. “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” — Hayley Orrantia
  5. “Bad Boy Good Guy” — Troy Gentile
  6. “True Colors” — Hayley Orrantia
  7. “Ferris Wheel” — Troy Gentile
  8. “Tom Sawyer” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  9. “He’s the Man” — Troy Gentile (feat. Hayley Orrantia, AJ Michalka & Sam Lerner)
  10. “Eternal Flame” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  11. “Judah Macabee” — Troy Gentile (feat. Sean Giambrone, Sam Lerner, Noah Munck, Matt Bush)
  12. “Barry Goldberg: A Rap Story” — Anthony Petix
  13. “Walking On Sunshine” — Hayley Orrantia & AJ Michalka
  14. “Dads Just Don’t Care” — Troy Gentile

The Goldbergs “Mixtape is available for pre-order on digital platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, Spotify and more. The Goldbergs album costs $8.99.

Martin to Star in Ryan Murphy’s FX Limited Series “Versace: American Crime Story”

Ricky Martin is bracing for a life of American Crime

The 45-year-old Puerto Rican singer/actor has been cast in Versace: American Crime Story, the third installment in the FX limited series from Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson and Brad Simpson.

Ricky Martin

Martin, who starred on ABC’s General Hospital back in 1994-1995, will co-star opposite Édgar Rarmirez, Penélope Cruz and Darren Criss.

The 10-episode Versace examines the shocking July 1997 assassination of Gianni Versace (Ramirez) on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by sociopath and serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Criss).

Martin will play Versace’s longtime partner Antonio D’Amico; Cruz plays Versace’s sister Donatella.

This is a reunion for Martin and Murphy, who first cast the Latin music superstar in an episode of his Fox series Glee.

Versace, from Fox 21 and FX Productions, is based on the book Vulgar Favors by Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth.

Tom Rob Smith is writing the first two and multiple subsequent episodes, and Murphy, who received an Emmy nomination for directing the opening episode of The People v. O.J. Simpsonwill direct the first hour.

Versace will begin production later this month in Los Angeles and Miami for a 2018 premiere. It will follow the second installment in the franchise, Katrina: American Crime Story.

American Crime Storys core producing team — Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, all Emmy winners for People v O.J. Simpson as Best Limited Series — executive produce Versace alongside Smith.

Martin has sold more than 70 million albums and has done runs on Broadway in Evita and Les Miserables. The “Livin’ la Vida Loca” singer’s most recent 10th studio album, 2015’s A Quien Quiera Escuchar, won Best Latin Pop Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

A dedicated global advocate for tolerance via his Ricky Martin Foundation, Martin can be seen in Las Vegas at his residency at Monte Carlo Resort and Casino.

Morales to Compete on NBC’s “Hollywood Game Night”

It’s game on for Natalie Morales

The 44-year-old Puerto Rican and Brazilian American broadcast journalist, the Today Show West Coast anchor and an NBC News correspondent, will appear on this season of NBC’s Hollywood Game Night.

Natalie Morales

Hosted by Glee star Jane Lynch, this game night show brings regular people face-to-face with celebrities.

In addition to Morales, this season’s famous contestants include Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley from This Is Us, Ben Feldman from Superstore, plus Michael Bolton, NE-YO, Mike Colter, Margaret Cho, Gabby Douglas, Taye Diggs, and RuPaul.

Hollywood Game Night will premiere on Monday, August 7 at 10 pm ET.