Ana Villafañe to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Night Court,” a Follow-Up to the Classic Legal Series

Ana Villafañe is holding court

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has landed a series regular in NBC’s half-hour pilot Night Court.

Ana Villafañe

The project is a follow-up to the classic legal comedy series headlined and executive produced by The Big Bang TheoryMelissa Rauch, with the original series’ John Larroquette reprising his Emmy-winning role.

Written/executive produced by Dan Rubin based on the original series created by Reinhold Weege, the multi-camera Night Court centers on unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone (Rauch), the daughter of the late Harry Stone, who follows in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette).

Villafañe will play Monica, the court’s assistant district attorney. Type A, superficial and tightly wound. Monica sees the night court as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. She’s above this place and all the people in it, but it’s a good way to get some courtroom experience under her belt. It’s all part of her plan to land a job at one of the big firms. Thirty will be here before she knows it and if she’s not wildly successful by then…well it’s best not to think about it.

Villafañe is recurring on the final season of Younger, which streams on Paramount+.

She has also recurred on two NBC/Universal Television series, drama New Amsterdam and comedy Sunnyside.

On stage, Villafañe originated the role of Gloria Estefan in the Broadway production of On Your Feet and starred throughout the musical’s entire 2014-2017 run, winning the 2015 Theatre World Award for Best Actress.

She later starred as Nina Rosario in the Kennedy Center’s 2018 production of In the Heights and made her off-Broadway debut in MCC’s Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties in 2018. She is a two-time Drama League Award nominee for On Your Feet and Collective Rage.

Macarena Achaga to Star Opposite Andy Garcia in “Father of the Bride” Reboot

Macarena Achaga is hearing wedding bells…

The 29-year-old Argentine-Mexican model, actress and singer is set to join Andy Garcia in the Father of the Bride reboot, which Gaz Alazraki will direct.

Macarena Achaga,

The film will revolve around a Cuban-American family, based on a script from Matt Lopez.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film. While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy film and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

Achaga will be playing the stepmother to the groom. Gloria Estefan is set to play Garcia’s wife, with Adria Arjona tapped to play the bride-to-be. Diego Boneta is on board to play the groom.

Dede Garner and Jeremy Kleiner will produce for Plan B Entertainment. Garcia and Paul Perez will executive produce.

Achaga stars in Netflix’s international hit series, Luis Miguel, playing Luis’ daughter, Michelle. She also can be seen starring in popular Mexican series such as Amar a MuerteJuliantina and El Candidto.

Maurice Benard Earns Eighth Career Daytime Emmy Awards Nod

Maurice Benard is hoping for a third golden statuette…

The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences has revealed the nominees for the 48th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, with the 58-year-old Salvadorian/Nicaraguan American actor and soap opera star earning a nod.

Maurice Benard

It’s Benard’s eight Daytime Emmy nomination for portraying manic depressive mobster kingpin Sonny Corinthos on ABC’s General Hospital, a role he’s portrayed since August 1993.

This year, Benard is nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor, a category he won in 2003 and 2019.

This year’s Daytime Emmys will be presented on June 25 in primetime on CBS and Paramount+.

George DelHoyo has also picked up a nod…

The 67-year-old Uruguayan actor is nominated in the Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series category for his portrayal of Orpheus on NBC’s Days of Our Lives.

Gloria Estefan has earned her first Daytime Emmy nomination…

The 63-year-old Cuban Grammy-winning singer, actress and television host is up for Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host alongside her daughter Emily Estefan and niece Lili Estefan for their work on Facebook Watch’s Red Table Talk: The Estefans.

Here’s the full list of awards for the main Daytime categories, which are presented to individuals and programs broadcast between 2 a.m.-6 p.m., along with certain categories featuring digital and syndicated programming.

Here’s the full list of nominees:

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
General Hospital (ABC)
The Young and the Restless (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING LIMITED DRAMA SERIES
The Bay (Popstar TV)
Beacon Hill (reelwomensnetwork.com)
A House Divided (UMC)
Studio City (Amazon Prime Video) 

OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW
Family Feud (SYNDICATED)
Jeopardy! (SYNDICATED)
Let’s Make a Deal (CBS)
The Price Is Right (CBS)
Wheel of Fortune (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING LEGAL/COURTROOM PROGRAM
Caught in Providence (SYNDICATED)
Divorce Court (Fox)
Judge Judy (SYNDICATED)
Lauren Lake’s Paternity Court (SYNDICATED)
The People’s Court (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING MORNING SHOW
CBS Sunday Morning (CBS)
Good Morning America (ABC)
Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist (NBC)
Today Show (NBC) 

OUTSTANDING INFORMATIVE TALK SHOW
The 3rd Hour of TODAY (NBC)
GMA3: What You Need to Know (ABC)
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)
Red Table Talk: The Estefans (Facebook Watch)
Tamron Hall (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW
The Drew Barrymore Show (SYNDICATED)
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (SYNDICATED)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED)
Live with Kelly and Ryan (SYNDICATED)
Today Show with Hoda & Jenna (NBC) 

OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT NEWS PROGRAM
Access Hollywood (SYNDICATED)
E!’s Daily Pop (E! Entertainment)
Entertainment Tonight (SYNDICATED)
Extra (SYNDICATED)
Inside Edition (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME SPECIAL EVENT
94th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (NBC)
2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards (IFC)
David Blaine Ascension (YouTube Originals)
Jeopardy!: The Greatest of All Time (SYNDICATED)
Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space (Discovery and Science Channel) 

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME NON-FICTION SPECIAL
Call Your Mother (Comedy Central)
Creators for Change on Girls’ Education with Michelle Obama (YouTube Originals)
I Am Patrick (CBN)
The Manhattan Project – Electronic Field Trip (Digital Release)
Reclamation: The Rise at Standing Rock (vimeo.com)
Red Table Talk: Will Smith’s Red Table Takeover: Resolving Conflict (Facebook Watch)
TIME’s Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon) 

OUTSTANDING DAYTIME PROMOTIONAL ANNOUNCEMENT
The Astronauts / The Astronauts Launch (Nickelodeon)
The Drew Barrymore Show / The Drew Barrymore Show (SYNDICATED)
Good Morning America /Sunshine (ABC)
Jurassic World Camp Cretaceous / Launch Campaign (Netflix)
Kid of the Year / Kid of the Year (Nickelodeon)
Kids’ Choice Awards / 2020 Kids’ Choice Awards (Nickelodeon) 

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Melissa Claire Egan as Chelsea Lawson, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Genie Francis as Laura Collins, General Hospital (ABC)
Nancy Lee Grahn as Alexis Davis, General Hospital (ABC)
Finola Hughes as Anna Devane/Alex Marick, General Hospital (ABC)
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)
Steve Burton as Jason Morgan, General Hospital (ABC)
Thorsten Kaye as Ridge Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Wally Kurth as Justin Kiriakis, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Dominic Zamprogna as Dante Falconeri, General Hospital (ABC)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Marla Adams as Dina Mergeron, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Tamara Braun as Ava Vitali, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Carolyn Hennesy as Diane Miller, General Hospital (ABC)
Briana Henry as Jordan Ashford, General Hospital (ABC)
Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY A SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A DRAMA SERIES
Darin Brooks as Wyatt Spencer, The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Max Gail as Mike Corbin, General Hospital (ABC)
Bryton James as Devon Hamilton, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Jeff Kober as Cyrus Renault, General Hospital (ABC)
James Patrick Stuart as Valentin Cassadine, General Hospital (ABC)

OUTSTANDING YOUNGER PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Tahj Bellow as TJ Ashford, General Hospital (ABC)
Victoria Konefal as Ciara Brady, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Alyvia Alyn Lind as Faith Newman, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
Katelyn MacMullen as Willow Tait, General Hospital (ABC)
Sydney Mikayla as Trina Robinson, General Hospital (ABC)

OUTSTANDING GUEST PERFORMER IN A DRAMA SERIES
Kim Delaney as Jackie Templeton, General Hospital (ABC)
George DelHoyo as Orpheus, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Briana Lane as Brooklynn Ashton, General Hospital (ABC)
Cady McClain as Jennifer Horton-Devereaux, Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Victoria Platt as Dr. Amanda Raynor, Days of Our Lives (NBC) 

OUTSTANDING CULINARY HOST
Valerie Bertinelli, Valerie’s Home Cooking (Food Network)
Giada De Laurentiis, Giada at Home 2.0 (Food Network)
Edward Delling-Williams, Paris Bistro Cooking with Edward Delling-Williams (Recipe TV)
Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa: Cook Like a Pro (Food Network)
Sophia Roe, Counter Space (Vice TV)
Michael Symon, Symon’s Dinners Cooking Out (Food Network)

OUTSTANDING GAME SHOW HOST
Wayne Brady, Let’s Make a Deal (CBS)
Steve Harvey, Family Feud (SYNDICATED)
Alfonso Ribeiro, Catch 21 (Game Show Network)
Pat Sajak, Wheel of Fortune (SYNDICATED)
Alex Trebek, Jeopardy! (SYNDICATED)

OUTSTANDING INFORMATIVE TALK SHOW HOST
Gloria Estefan, Emily Estefan, Lili Estefan, Red Table Talk: The Estefans (Facebook Watch)
Tamron Hall, Tamron Hall (SYNDICATED)
Taraji P. Henson, Tracie Jade, Peace of Mind with Taraji (Facebook Watch)
Larry King, Larry King Now (Ora TV)
Rachael Ray, Rachael Ray (SYNDICATED)
Amy Robach, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, TJ Holmes, GMA3: What You Need to Know (ABC)
Jada Pinkett Smith, Willow Smith, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)

OUTSTANDING ENTERTAINMENT TALK SHOW HOST
Drew Barrymore, The Drew Barrymore Show (SYNDICATED)
Kelly Clarkson, The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED)
Sean Evans, Hot Ones (First We Feast – Complex Networks)
Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, Today Show with Hoda & Jenna (NBC)
Kelly Ripa, Ryan Seacrest, Live with Kelly and Ryan (SYNDICATED)

OUTSTANDING WRITING TEAM FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
General Hospital (ABC)
The Young and the Restless (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING DIRECTING TEAM FOR A DRAMA SERIES
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
General Hospital (ABC)
The Young and the Restless (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING MUSIC DIRECTION AND COMPOSITION FOR A DAYTIME PROGRAM
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Endlings (Hulu)
Ghostwriter (Apple TV+)
I Am Patrick (CBN)
The Letter for the King Netflix 

OUTSTANDING ORIGINAL SONG
“Cabana Boy Troy”, The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED
“I Got the Music”, Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
“More Than a Vow”, The Young and the Restless (CBS)
“The Other Side of Hollywood”, Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
“Unsaid Emily”, Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix) 

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DIRECTION FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Endlings (Hulu)
Ghostwriter (Apple TV+)
Studio City (Amazon Prime Video)
Trinkets (Netflix)
The Young and the Restless (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING LIGHTING DIRECTION
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (SYNDICATED)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED)
Odd Squad (PBS)
Sesame Street (HBO)
The Talk (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL TEAM FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS)
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
General Hospital (ABC)
The Young and the Restless (CBS)

OUTSTANDING TECHNICAL TEAM
Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love (Netflix)
CBS This Morning (CBS)
Sesame Street (HBO)
Space Launch Live: America Returns to Space (Discovery and Science Channel)
The Talk (CBS)
Wheel of Fortune (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING MULTIPLE CAMERA EDITING FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Ashley Garcia: Genius in Love (Netflix)
The Gaze (Facebook Watch, YouTube) 

OUTSTANDING SOUND MIXING AND EDITING FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Endlings (Hulu)
Ghostwriter (Apple TV+)
The Letter for the King (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix) 

OUTSTANDING LIVE AND DIRECT-TO-TAPE SOUND MIXING
Family Feud (SYNDICATED)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED)
Let’s Make a Deal (CBS)
Tamron Hall (SYNDICATED)
The View (ABC) 

OUTSTANDING CASTING FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
General Hospital (ABC)
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix) 

OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION/SCENIC DESIGN FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Endlings (Hulu)
Ghostwriter (Apple TV+)
The Letter for the King (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix)
#WASHED (Amazon Prime Video) 

OUTSTANDING ART DIRECTION/SET DECORATION/SCENIC DESIGN
Craftopia (HBO Max)
The Kelly Clarkson Show (SYNDICATED)
The New Legends of Monkey (Netflix)
Odd Squad (PBS)
Weird But True (National Geographic Kids) 

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN/STYLING FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Alexa & Katie (Netflix)
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix) 

OUTSTANDING COSTUME DESIGN/STYLING
The Baby-Sitters Club (Netflix)
The Healing Powers of Dude (Netflix)
Helpsters (Apple TV+)
Odd Squad (PBS) 

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Ghostwriter (Apple TV+)
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
The Letter for the King (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix) 

OUTSTANDING HAIRSTYLING
The Big Fib (Disney+)
The Real (SYNDICATED)
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)
The Talk (CBS)
The Wendy Williams Show (SYNDICATED) 

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP FOR A DRAMA OR DAYTIME FICTION PROGRAM
Dash & Lily (Netflix)
Julie and the Phantoms (Netflix)
The Letter for the King (Netflix)
Trinkets (Netflix)
The Young and the Restless (CBS) 

OUTSTANDING MAKEUP
All That (Nickelodeon)
The Real (SYNDICATED)
Red Table Talk (Facebook Watch)
The Talk (CBS)
The Wendy Williams Show (SYNDICATED)

Henry R. Muñoz III Acquires Funny or Die

Henry R. Muñoz III is preparing for a little funny business…

The 61-year-old Latino designer, activist and philanthropist has acquired early digital video player Funny or Die.

Henry R. Muñoz III

Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, Judd Apatow and Chris Henchy co-founded Funny or Die in 2007. Ferrell and McKay appeared in one of the company’s first breakout clips, The Landlord.

Muñoz bought Funny Or Die from its former stakeholders, a group that included AMC Networks, Turner Entertainment and Sequoia Capital. Ferrell will continue to collaborate creatively with Funny Or Die and serve as an advisor.

Muñoz be sole owner of the Funny Or Die brand, and the acquisition also includes its library, longform slate and social media portfolio of more than 40 million followers.

Financial terms for the transaction were not disclosed.

After the transaction, Muñoz will become chairman of Funny or Die. Mike Farah will continue as CEO. Michele Rosette, who has been the CFO of Funny Or Die since 2016, will remain in her role. Joe Farrell, who oversees Funny Or Die’s longform slate, has been promoted to Chief Creative Officer.

From its roots in short-form, viral video, Funny or Die has evolved into a supplier of series like Brockmire, whose run on IFC ended last year, and this year’s History of Swear Words on Netflix.

Other credits include true crime docuseries For Heaven’s Sake on Paramount + and the Feeding America Comedy Special for NBC.

The pivot followed challenges in recent years as smaller video purveyors have faced daunting economics when reckoning with the forces of tech giants like YouTube and Facebook. Like many digital outlets, Funny or Die had to lay off staff and restructure as it navigated the 2010s.

The arrival of Muñoz will enable the company to deficit-finance certain projects, the company said, promising to reveal more specifics about that strategy at a later date.

A CBS special produced by Funny or Die last fall connected the company with Muñoz and wound up leading to the acquisition. Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event, hosted by Eva Longoria, Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, celebrated America’s diversity with a focus on Latinx culture and highlighted the impact of Covid-19.

Muñoz has operated at high levels in the realms of politics, art, business, public affairs and philanthropy. In addition to his own design practice, he has launched national movements including Momento Latino, TheDream.US and Latino Victory in support of the Latinx community. He is the cofounder of SOMOS US, a healthcare network in New York treating largely immigrant communities. It has been on the front lines during the coronavirus pandemic.

His design firm, Muñoz & Company, is one of the largest and oldest minority-owned design practices in the country. It pioneered an approach to architecture, urban planning, and design that acknowledges the imprint of the Latino community. He also helped with the effort to create a Latino Museum on the Mall in Washington, DC, and is the Finance Chairman Emeritus of the Democratic National Committee, the first openly gay, openly Latino and openly Texan person to hold that position.

“The future of comedy and entertainment is in companies that empower talent and creative forces to make content that reflects the cultural identity of our country at this moment in our history,” Muñoz said in the official deal announcement. “Funny Or Die’s own rich history as a place of innovation and as a voice of new generations speaks for itself and our team led by Mike Farah is poised to seize this unique moment. I understand the responsibilities of owning a brand like Funny Or Die and I am excited to work with our team to make sure we have the resources we need to develop funny, original and diverse new content.”

He went on to note the importance of his sole ownership of the company. “I also understand the importance of being one of the very few Latinos in a position like this in the entertainment industry and I will do my best to make my community, our industry and our country proud as we move forward,” he added. Diversity and inclusion will be more central to the company’s mission moving forward, he noted.

Farah said Muñoz’s “unique background in social activism and business” makes him the “perfect person to guide FOD into the future.” He added, “The company is in great hands with Henry, and he’s brought a new sense of purpose to our mission to empower original, authentic creators in comedy and beyond.”

Gloria Estefan to Host This Year’s Kennedy Center Honors

Gloria Estefan is returning with Honors

The 63-year-old Cuban Grammy-winning singer-songwriter and actress will host the 43rd Annual Kennedy Center Honors in June.

Gloria Estefan

It’ll be her second time hosting the event, following her previous stint as emcee in 2018.

The event will be broadcast on CBS on Sunday, June 6, 8:00 pm ET/PT, and will available to stream live and on demand on the CBS app and Paramount+.

Estefan received a Kennedy Center Honors in 2017.

This year’s previously announced recipients are Dick Van Dyke, Debbie Allen, Joan Baez, Garth Brooks and violinist Midori.

CBS has broadcast the event every year since it’s debut 43 years ago.

Traditionally held in early December, last year’s Kennedy Center Honors special was postponed until May 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Isabela Merced to Star in Warner Bros.’ Remake of “Father of the Bride”

Isabela Merced is joining the wedding party…

The 19-year-old Peruvian American actress/singer, who starred in Dora and the Lost City of Gold, will star opposite Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan in Warner Bros.‘ remake of Father of the Bride.

Isabela Merced

Gaz Alazraki, who helmed Club de Cuervos, is directing the feature, which goes before cameras in May.

Like previous iterations of Bride, which includes a Spencer Tracy-fronted 1950 movie and the Steve Martin-starring 1991 feature, the latest remake will center on the father of a soon-to-be bride coming to terms with his daughter’s nuptials.

The latest take, however, will be told through the relationships in a big, sprawling Cuban American family.

Merced will play the sister of the bride, who is being played by Adria Arjona. Garcia is the father.

Matt Lopez wrote the script for the update.

In addition to starring in Dora, in which she toplined as the globe-trotting adventuress, Merced co-starred with Mark Wahlberg in Instant Family, was part of the ensemble for Netflix’s Let It Snow, and appeared with Benicio Del Toro in Sicario: Day of the Soldado.

She next voice-stars in DreamWorks Animation’s Spirit Untamed and will be protected by Jason Momoa in action-thriller Sweet Girl. Both are due to be released this summer.

Merced is signed to Republic Records.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Animated Musical Film “Vivo” Headed to Netflix

Lin-Manuel Miranda is getting animated once again…

Netflix has picked up the streaming rights to Vivo, an animated movie that boasts new music from the 41-year-old Broadway star, actor, lyricist/composer and Hamilton creator.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

The family friendly film was initially scheduled to be released in theaters on June 4. But Sony Pictures, the studio that originally backed Vivo, has instead offloaded the project to Netflix. It’s unclear when it will debut on the streaming service.

Sony Pictures will retain all rights in China, along with home entertainment and linear television rights everywhere else, following periods of exclusivity on Netflix.

Netflix recently signed a lucrative deal with Sony, which gives the streamer exclusive U.S. rights to the studio’s theatrical releases in the first pay TV window.

In addition, Netflix has a first-look deal with Sony’s offerings. However, the pact doesn’t commence until 2022 so it doesn’t include the sale of Vivo.

Vivo was directed by The Croods filmmaker Kirk DeMicco and co-directed by Brandon Jeffords. Quiara Alegría Hudes, who wrote the book for Miranda’s In The Heights, has co-written the screenplay with DeMicco.

The animated musical adventure follows a unique kinkajou (a.k.a. a rainforest “honey bear,” voiced by Miranda), who spends his days playing music to the crowds in a lively Havana square with his beloved owner Andrés. Though they may not speak the same language, Vivo and Andrés are the perfect duo through their common love of music. But when tragedy strikes shortly after Andrés receives a letter from the famous Marta Sandoval (Gloria Estefan), inviting her old partner to her farewell concert in Miami with the hope of reconnecting, it’s up to Vivo to deliver a message that Andrés never could: A love letter to Marta, written long ago, in the form of a song. Yet in order to get to the distant shores of Miami, Vivo will need to accept the help of Gabi (newcomer Ynairaly Simo) — an energetic teen who bounces to the beat of her own offbeat drum. The voice cast also includes Zoe Saldana, Brian Tyree Henry and Nicole Byer.

“Bringing Vivo to life has been an incredible artistic journey. I couldn’t ask for better creative partners than Kirk, Quiara, Alex and the entire team at Sony Animation,” Miranda said. “I’m so excited Vivo will have a home at Netflix, where kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the film’s songs and adventures again and again.”

Vivo isn’t the first movie musical from Miranda that skipped theaters in favor of streaming. The live-recorded version of Hamilton was supposed to play on the big screen, but instead debuted on Disney+ last July.

Gloria Estefan to Star in “Father of the Bride” Reboot

Gloria Estefan is circling the mother of a role…

The 63-year-old Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress and businesswoman is in talks to star opposite Andy Garcia in Warner Bros. and Plan B’s Cuban-American reboot of the Father of the Bride films.

Gloria Estefan

Directed by Gaz Alazraki, the film is being penned by Matt Lopez. Estefan would play Garcia’s wife, with Adria Arjona tapped to play the bride-to-be.

The film will tell the story of a father coming to grips with his daughter’s upcoming wedding through the prism of multiple relationships within a big, sprawling Cuban-American family. It will be more of a rom-com than previous versions of film. While this will mark the third iteration of the story, sources say this will be more in the vein of the original Spencer Tracy film and not the Steve Martin franchise from the 1990s.

WB execs thought it was a long shot that Estefan would be interested, but between Lopez’s script and Garcia’s and Alazraki’s involvement, the opportunity for Estefan was simply too hard to pass up.

“A resounding YES was my answer to the invitation to join my good friend, the incredibly talented Andy Garcia, for this new and wonderfully warm and funny incarnation of the classic, Father of the Bride! I’ve been a fan of director Gaz Alazraki since I saw his record-breaking comedy Nosotros Los Nobles and can’t wait to experience how he brings this amazing script by Matt Lopez to life,” Estefan said.

Estefan’s music has people running to the dance floor for decades going all the way back to when she was the lead singer of Miami Sound Machine and “Conga” hit the airwaves in 1985. Since then her musical library could rival any singer in the world, and Hollywood has been no stranger to using her music in dozens of movies. Estefan has rarely made the jump to the big screen herself, with this only being the third time she has acted in a movie. She made her acting debut opposite Meryl Streep in 1999’s Music of the Heartalso providing the Oscar-nominated song of the same title. Most recently she appeared in Kenny Ortega’s A Change of Heart.

Roadside Attractions Acquires North American Rights to Rita Moreno’s Documentary “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It”

Rita Moreno is ready to bring her life story to America…

Roadside Attractions has acquired North American distribution rights to the 2021 Sundance Film Festival documentary Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided To Go For It, about the 89-year-old Latina living legend.

Rita MorenoA release is planned for June 18.

Roadside’s deal excludes the television license to PBSAmerican Masters, which will present the exclusive U.S. broadcast premiere of the doc after it hits theaters.

In addition to Moreno, others featured in the Mariem Pérez Riera-directed doc include George Chakiris, Héctor Elizondo, Gloria Estefan, Tom Fontana, Morgan Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Whoopi Goldberg, Norman Lear, Eva Longoria, Justina Machado, Terrence McNally, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Karen Olivo.

The film covers Moreno’s 70-year-plus career rise and struggles, from her beginnings in poverty on a Puerto Rican farm to becoming a rare EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscars, Tony Awards) winner.

She’s the first Latina actress to win an Oscar (for her role as Anita in 1961’s West Side Story). Despite the win, studios continued to offer Moreno lesser roles as stereotypical ethnic minorities, ignoring her proven talent.

“Roadside Attractions, I’m so pleased for your commitment to my story and especially for making it available to a broader audience. Curtain Up!,” Moreno commented.

“Stars like Rita are few and far between, her showbiz story and personal remembrances resonate for a large, diverse audience, and the heights she continues to achieve are a true crowd pleasing uplift after the year we’ve all had,” said Roadside co-presidents Howard Cohen and Eric d’Arbeloff.

“Rita is an incredible inspiration to so many, hers is a success story for all women who feel alone as they struggle to assert themselves with courage and bravery against heavy odds,” offered director Pérez Riera. “We are so thrilled to bring Rita to theaters for audiences to spend time with a woman who, when speaking about herself, speaks to and for a lot of us.”

“There were only a small group of distributors we hoped would take notice at Sundance. Roadside was at the top of that list,” said film’s producer, ACT III’s Brent Miller and EP Norman Lear. “We think we’re in great hands with Howard and Eric at the helm and couldn’t be more excited for the world to know the Rita we now know and love.”

American Masters Pictures and Act III Productions in association with Artemis Rising and Maramar Films are producers.

Becky G Joins United Nations Human Rights “We All Rise” Campaign on International Women’s Day

Becky G is commemorating International Women’s Day in a big way…

The 24-year-old Mexican American bilingual rapper/singer has joined the United Nations Human Rights on International Women’s Day (March 8) for the “We All Rise” campaign for gender equality during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Becky G

Becky G appears in the campaign alongside Celine Dion, Cher, Cyndi Lauper and many most stars.

The artists — joined by activist/tennis legend Billie Jean King, TV personality Padma Lakshmi, actors Renée Elise Goldsberry and Terry Crews, WNBA champ Sue Bird and singer/songwriter Amanda Shires — have partnered with the UN to select the 2021 We All Rise female empowerment anthem “Together We Are Stronger.”

The soaring song features KT Tunstall, Lolo, Devyn Lorea and Nikki Vianna, and was written by written by Morgan Dorr, Greg Hansen and Lorea, with production by the Highland Park Collective.

We All Rise aims to reach more than 150 million with its first effort, described in a release as a “celebrity-driven social media campaign promoting gender equality as a fundamental human right essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.” The coalition of celebrities and advocates participating in the effort also includes LeAnn Rimes, Dionne Warwick, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Liv Warfield, Blair Underwood, Gloria Estefan, Naomi Campbell, Bridget Moynihan, and Debbie Allen.

“Gender equality is one of the fundamental values of the United Nations and lies at the very heart of human rights,” said Veronica Birga, chief of the Women’s Rights and Gender Section of United Nations Human Rights in a statement. “That is why we are the global partner of WE ALL RISE, an exciting new initiative committed to promoting, protecting, and advancing the human rights of all women and girls around the world. Because gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, it is essential to achieving a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.”

The effort is one of many across the music world on Monday to celebrate International Women’s Day, including a playlist curated by BLACKPINK‘s Rosé and a remake of “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan and Idina Menzel, among other efforts.

“Gender equality and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women are fundamental human rights and core values of the United Nations,” added Trish Golden, president of We All Rise. “Together with our Global Partner, United Nations Human Rights, We All Rise is dedicated to promoting gender equality around the world and the human rights of women and girls, in all their diversity. When we support women’s rights, We All Rise together.”

The video for the inspiring “Together We Are Stronger” features images of women from around the world marching for equality and securing a future for girls and young women where they can achieve their goals.