HBO Releases Trailer for Santiago-Hudson’s Telepic “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

It’s a first look at Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Immortal project…

HBO has released a first look at its upcoming telepic The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring the 60-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor and featuring Oprah Winfrey in a rare starring turn.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

It’s the true story of the African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line after many other such efforts failed — and without her permission or knowledge.

Told through the eyes of Henrietta Lacks’ daughter, Deborah (Winfrey), the HBO Films project chronicles her search, with the help of journalist Rebecca Skloot (Rose Byrne), to learn about the mother she never knew and understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented breakthroughs that changed the face of medicine forever. When the sheepishly smiling writer tells Deborah that she wants to pen a book about her mom’s experience, Deborah looks her up and down, then says, “Hope I don’t regret this.”

In addition to Winfrey, Byrne and Santiago-Hudson, the telepic also stars Renée Elise Goldsberry, Rocky Carroll, Kyanna Simone Simpson, Courtney B. Vance, Leslie UggamsReg E. CatheyReed Birney and Melvin Van Peebles.

The film hails from writer-director George C. Wolfe, based on Skloot’s 2010 book.

It premieres at 8:00 pm ET on April 22 on HBO.

Santiago-Hudson to Star in HBO Films’ “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks”

Ruben Santiago-Hudson is preparing for a new Life

The 59-year-old half-Puerto Rican actor has joined the cast of HBO FilmsThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, starring Oprah Winfrey. 

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

The telepic tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks (Renée Elise Goldsberry), an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.

Santiago-Hudson will portray Dr. Pattillo, a doctor and professor of gynecology who facilitated Rebecca’s (Rose Byrne) communication with the Lacks family.

George C. Wolfe is writer-director of Harpo Films’ The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, which is exec produced by Winfrey.

Longoria to Produce Interracial Comedy Project for ABC

Eva Longoria is proving to be the hardest working Latina television producer…

The 40-year-old Mexican American actress/producer’s production company UnbeliEVAble Entertainment has set a half-hour project at ABC with veteran comedy writer Bobby Bowman.

Eva Longoria

The untitled interracial family comedy centers on an ambitious and meticulous Latino chef who runs a cafe with his unpredictable white father-in-law.

Bowman will executive produce the project alongside UnbeliEVAble’s Longoria and Ben Spector.

Universal Television Studios, where the company is based, is the studio.

This marks the return to ABC for the former Desperate Housewives star Longoria and Family Tools creator Bowman.

Last year, ABC and ABC Studios developed a half-hour comedy as a starring vehicle for Longoria before she committed to NBC’s Hot & Bothered, formerly called Telenovela. That series, which UnbeliEVAble produces with Universal Television, debuts in midseason.

In addition to Hot & Bothered, UnbeliEVAble has Bonita & Mechelle in development at NBC, as well as projects at HBO Films and NBC International.

Longoria Producing Comedy Project “Bonita & Mechelle” for NBC

Eva Longoria is expanding her presence at the Peacock Network

The 40-year-old Mexican American actress, producer, director, activist and businesswoman has partnered with Will Packer – known for producing movies featuring African American characters –for Bonita & Mechelle, a multi-camera comedy for NBC.

Eva Longoria

The project centers on two women, one Hispanic and one African American. The women find themselves living together while conquering the ups and downs of single life and parenting.

Written by Kriss Turner TownerBonita & Mechelle hails from Will Packer Prods. and Longoria’s UnbeliEVAble Entertainment.

Universal Television, where both companies are under deals, is the studio. Towner executive produces with Packer and UnbeliEVAble’s Longoria and Ben Spector.

Longoria is producing two series with Latino protagonists, Devious Maids, which was just renewed for a fourth season, and NBC’s upcoming Hot & Bothered, in which she stars.

In addition to Bonita & Mechelle, UnbeliEVAble Entertainment has a comedy penned by Hot and Bothered writer-producer Rob Sudduth set at NBC, as well as projects in development at HBO Films and NBC International.

Ariza Cast in HBO Films’ “Confirmation,” Starring Kerry Washington

Kristen Ariza is getting confirmed

The part-Hispanic actress has been added to the cast of HBO FilmsConfirmation, starring Kerry Washington.

Kristen Ariza

Ariza joins Kimberly Elise and Malcolm Gets in the film, which details the Supreme Court hearings for Clarence Thomas (Wendell Pierce) that were rocked by testimony by Oklahoma law professor Anita Hill (Washington).

The hearings brought the country to a standstill and forever changed the way we think about sexual harassment, victims’ rights and modern race relations.

Ariza will play Judy Smith, the White House press liaison.

Interestingly, it’s a reunion of sorts for Washington and the Smith character. Smith is the founder, CEO and president of the crisis-management firm Smith & Co., the inspiration behind Washington’s ABC drama series Scandal. Smith was Special Assistant and Deputy Press Secretary to President George H.W. Bush and reportedly was instrumental in guiding his administration through the controversies surrounding the Thomas nomination.

Ariza’s credits include appearances on Parks and Recreation, Scorpion and Castle.