John Gabriel Rodriquez is livin’ a sweet, sweet fantasy…
The Latino actor has been cast in a recurring role on Fantasy Island, Fox’s contemporary version of the classic drama series that has a straight-to-series order to air this summer.
The project hails from writer-producers Liz Craft and Sarah Fain, as well as Sony Pictures Television and its Gemstone Studios label, which co-produce with Fox Entertainment.
The reboot is keeping the semi-anthological format of the original Fantasy Island with three main characters, one played by Rodriquez, who live/work on the island and new guests arriving in every episode.
The original series, created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, starred Ricardo Montalbán as the mysterious Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant Tattoo as they grant guests so-called “fantasies” on the island for a price.
The new Fantasy Island will be run by Elena Roarke, a direct descendant of Mr. Roarke.
Rodriquez will play the rugged, handsome and charismatic Javier, Fantasy Island’s head of transport — a pilot, mechanic and jack of all trades. While the island provides Javier refuge, as with everything else it offers, it may come at the price of a reckoning.
There is no direct version of the Tattoo character in the reboot.
The Fantasy Island reimagining, written and executive produced by Craft and Fain, delves into the “what if” questions that keep us awake at night. Each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who walk in with a desire but end up reborn to themselves through the magical realism of Fantasy Island.
Rodriquez, who has done guest starring/recurring stints on NCIS, Young and Hungry, The Fostersand Rosewood, was a series regular in the NBC pilot Miranda’s Rights.
The 40-year-old Colombian/Venezuelan American actor and NCIS co-star has renewed his first-look deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind the popular CBS drama series.
Valderrama stars as Special Agent Nick Torres on NCIS, which was just renewed for an 18th season. He has been on the show since Season 14, with the first-look producing pact running parallel to his acting deal for the show.
Under the first-look agreement, Valderrama has developed several series projects for CBS Television Studios through his WV Entertainment banner, including Hipster Death Rattle, a dark comedy based on the book by Richie Narvaez, with writer Rafael Agustin and Corinne Brinkerhoff; as well as the previously announced, The Turners, a half-hour single-camera autobiographical family doctors comedy from writer Naomi Ekperigin at ABC with Two Shakes Entertainment co-producing; and Patriots From the Barrio, a WWII drama about a Mexican-American unit, based on the book by Dave Gutierrez, from writer John Covarrubias.
Valderrama previously created and produced the MTV series Yo Momma, also serving as the host for all three seasons, in addition to producing other MTV series like Punk’d, Blowin’ Up and Trippin’.
On the film side, Valderrama most recently was featured in Blast Beat, a coming of age drama that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. He voiced the first Latino Prince Charming in the 2018 animated feature film Charming. Valderrama also voiced the main character of Disney’s popular animated children’s show Handy Manny, which introduced preschoolers to Spanish.
The 64-year-old Mexican American actress has been cast as a series regular opposite David Oyelowo in The President is Missing, Showtime’s drama series adaptation of the novel by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson.
Hailing from Christopher McQuarrieand Anthony Peckham, The President is Missing centers on a powerless and politically aimless vice president (Oyelowo) who unexpectedly becomes president halfway into his administration’s first term, despite his every wish to the contrary. He walks right into a secret, world-threatening crisis, both inside and outside the White House. Attacked by friends and enemies alike, with scandal and conspiracy swirling around him, he is confronted with a terrible choice: keep his head down, toe the party line and survive, or act on his stubborn, late-developing conscience and take a stand.
Gallego will play Mrs. Aceves, Martin’s executive assistant, a position of influence. She is sweet but also an extremely patient adversary.
The project is based on the book by Clinton and Patterson, which was the No. 1 novel of 2018 and has sold more than 2.3 million copies in North America alone.
Peckham is writing the adaptation.
Gallego’s television credits include Shooter, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, NCIS, The Middle, Shameless and Grey’s Anatomy,among others.
Her film work includes Erin Brockovich, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Anger Management and Mr. Deeds.
This year’s Imagen Awards were doled out over the weekend, with the 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress taking home one of the night’s awards.
Rodriguez was named Best Actress – Television for her role as Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista on the FX groundbreaking television drama Pose, which was named Best Primetime Program – Drama alongside CBS’ Magnum P.I.
Pose, created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Afro-Latino television writer/producer Steven Canals, features the largest cast of transgender actors to be starring as series regulars in a scripted show. In addition to Rodriguez, the series also stars 23-year-old Dominican actor Angel Bismark Curiel.
Anthony Ramos won the Best Actor – Feature Film prize for his role in Monsters and Men, which was named Best Feature Film, while Isabela Moner was namedBest Actress – Feature Film for her role inInstant Family.
Jon Seda was named Best Actor – Television for his role in Chicago P.D., while Wilmer Valderrama was named Best Supporting Actor – Television for his role on NCIS.
Rita Moreno was named Best Supporting Actress – Television for One Day at a Time, while Anthony Gonzalez was named Best Young Actor – Television for HBO’s Icebox.
Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Imagen Awards were established in 1985 from a suggestion by veteran television producer Norman Lear to encourage and recognize the positive portrayals of Latinos in media. The winners were judged and selected in 18 categories by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latinx community leaders.
The Imagen Foundation also honored Chairman of Endemol Shine Americasand CEO of Endemol Shine North America’s Cris Abregowith the prestigious Imagen President’s Awardand Luisa Leschinwith the Norman Lear Writer’s Award.
The complete list of winners can be read below.
Best Feature Film Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)
Best Director Reinaldo Marcus Green, Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)
Best Actor – Feature Film Anthony Ramos, Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)
Best Actress – Feature Film Isabela Moner, Instant Family (Paramount Pictures)
Best Primetime Program – Drama (TIE) Magnum P.I. (CBS; CBS Television Studios, Universal Television, Perfect Storm Entertainment, Davis Entertainment, 101st Street Productions) Pose (FX Networks; Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions)
Best Primetime Program – Comedy One Day at a Time (Netflix; Sony Pictures Television for Netflix)
Best Primetime Program – Specials, Movies & Limited Series Icebox (HBO; HBO Films in association with Gracie Films and Endeavor Content)
Best Actor – Television Jon Seda, Chicago P.D. (NBC; Wolf Entertainment in association with Universal Television)
Best Actress – Television Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX Networks; Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions)
Best Supporting Actor – Television Wilmer Valderrama, NCIS (CBS; CBS Television Studios)
Best Supporting Actress – Television Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (Netflix; Sony Pictures Television for Netflix)
Best Young Actor – Television Anthony Gonzalez, Icebox (HBO; HBO Films in association with Gracie Films and Endeavor Content)
Best Variety or Reality Show Hip-Hop Houdini (Fuse; 7Beyond)
Best Children’s Programming The Loud House (Nickelodeon)
Best Documentary – Great Performances John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway (PBS; NGL Studios & Diamante Content Production in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET & Latino Public Broadcasting)
Best Informational Program Breaking Big (PBS; Ozy Media)
Best Short-Form Non-Fiction Program SC Featured – A Dreamer’s Path (ESPN Deportes)
Bayardo De Murguia is prettystoked for his new project.
Netflix has given a 10-episode order to Tiny Pretty Things, an hour-long drama series starring the Mexican American actor.
Based on the book by Sona Charaipotraand Dhonielle Clayton, the project hails from writer Michael MacLennan, Insurrection Media, Mojo Filmsand Peacock Alley.
Written by MacLennan based on the book, Tiny Pretty Things is set in the world of an elite ballet academy and charts the rise and fall of young adults who live far from their homes, each standing on the verge of greatness or ruin. As Chicago’s only elite dance school, the Archer School of Ballet serves as the company school for the city’s renowned professional company: City Works Ballet. The Archer School is an oasis for an array of dancers: rich and poor, from north and south, and a range of backgrounds. Yet they all share a rare talent and passion for dance, a loyal sense of community… and when it comes to their dreams, no Plan B.
In addition to De Murguia, the series also stars Lauren Holly, Kylie Jefferson, Casimere Jollette, Daniela Norman, Brennan Clost, Michael Hsu Rosen, Damon J. Gillespie, Barton Cowperthwaite, Tory Trowbridge and Jess Salgueiro.
Insurrection had optioned the book through its strategic relationship with the publisher HarperCollinsand spent a year developing the project before taking it to Netflix.
De Murguia portrays Ramon, a lean god with a deep baritone, Ramon is a former bad-boy dancer turned visionary choreographer. He’s not big on criticism, especially from students, which produces friction within the Archer School of Ballet and with his girlfriend and muse of the moment, Delia.
Salgueiro plays Isabel, a cop with a dancer’s ram-rod discipline from two tours of duty in Afghanistan before she traded in one uniform for another. With her ambition and keen moral compass, she’s uniquely qualified to search for the truth of what happened during a mysterious accident at the Academy.
Shooting is currently underway in Toronto for a 2020 premiere.
De Murguia’s previous credits include appearances on television inShooter,NCIS,Matadorand Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
The 38-year-old Chilean actress and singer and her fellow former NCIS cast member Michael Weatherlyare reuniting to executive produce MIA, a new detective drama in the works at CBS.
The network has put in development the hour-long MIA, from writer/executive producer Shepard Boucher (Upload), and CBS Television Studios.
Written by Boucher, in MIA, when a newly minted homicide detective is assigned to an experienced, by-the-book partner to solve cases in Miami, she struggles to keep the personal entanglements of her final undercover assignment from jeopardizing her future.
Boucher executive produces with Weatherly and de Pablo. CBS Television Studios, where Weatherly via his Solar Drive Productionshas been under an overall deal, is the studio.
Weatherly, who currently stars in the title role in Bull, which is going into its third season on CBS, played lead Tony DiNozzo on the first 13 seasons of NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
de Pablo joined Weatherly in Seasons 3-11 as Ziva David.
The 55-year-old Puerto Rican actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming tenth season of CBS’NCIS: Los Angeles.
Morales will play Deputy Director Gaines. Smart, authoritative, polished and trustworthy, Gaines accompanies a special prosecutor from the Department of Defense who is investigating the NCIS office and its employees. He is there to protect his people and advise them on how to navigate the prosecutor’s interviews. The character will be introduced in a late October episode.
“Following the rescue mission in Mexico from last season’s finale and this season’s premiere, our NCIS: Los Angelesteam will face challenging repercussions but they will have a new ally in the Deputy Director,” said executive producer R. Scott Gemmill. “We are thrilled that the talented Esai Morales has signed on to this recurring role.”
Starring Chris O’Donnell, LL Cool J, Linda Hunt, Daniela Ruah, Eric Christian Olsen, Barrett Foa, Renée Felice Smith and Nia Long, NCIS: Los Angelesis produced by CBS Television Studios and executive produced by Gemmill, John P. Kousakis and Frank Military.
Morales, who rose to acclaim in the 1987 biopic La Bamba,was most recently seen in a major arc on Netflix’s Ozark and as a recurring on Nat Geo’s Mars. On the big screen, Morales’ credits include Sony Pictures’ Superfly.
Season 10 of NCIS: Los Angelespremieres Sunday, September 30 at 9 PM on CBS.
The 37-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor/producer and former That ’70s Show star and his WV Entertainment have acquired film and television rights to Patriots from the Barrio, Dave Gutierrez’s 2014 book that delves into the history of a segregated U.S. Army combat unit comprised entirely of Mexican Americans from South Texas that was part of the first division to set foot in Europe in World War II.
Gutierrez’s book came about while he was researching a relative, Ramon G. Gutierrez, who during the war was captured and escaped twice, both times able to make it back across Allied lines. He later received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, and the Soviet Union gave him the Order of the Patriotic War. His Company E in the 36th Division fought in Italy at San Pietro in the Liri Valley, and in 1944 was nearly wiped out in the Battle of Ripaldo River, one of the U.S. Army’s biggest losses of WWII.
“During Hispanic Heritage Month, this story is especially timely, and I’m honored as a proud Latin American to amplify the courage and contributions of these incredible men,” Valderrama said.
Valderrama, who joined as a regular on CBS’ NCIS last year, also has the animated film Charmingcoming next year on which his WV Entertainment serves as a producer.
The half-Mexican American actress has been cast as a series regular on the upcoming sixth season of TNT’s hit drama series Major Crimes from Warner Bros. TV.
Meraz will play Det. Camila Paige, who’s still recovering financially from having to raise all five of her younger siblings after the death of her parents in a car accident almost fifteen years ago. A favorite of Chief Mason (Leonard Roberts), she made a name for herself inside Criminal Intelligence before her transfer to Missing Persons. She has a personal relationship with Lt. Provenza (G.W. Bailey) from before her time on the LAPD.
Meanwhile, Lourdes Benedicto has landed a recurring role on the series.
The 42-year-old part-Spanish American actress will recur as Sara Garza, the wife of a prominent surgeon, his office manager, and mother to their missing fifteen-year-old son who tries to maintain her sanity in the face of kidnapping, murder and her husband’s health problems.
Meraz and Benedicto join an ensemble cast that includes Mary McDonnell, Tony Denison, Michael Paul Chan, Phillip P. Keene and Raymond Cruz.
Meraz played Natalie Ortiz on Freeform’s Chasing Life and also appeared on Baby Daddy.
Benedicto’s recent credits include Pure Genius and NCIS.
The 42-year-old Cuban American actor will star opposite Anna Paquin in ABC’s drama pilot Broken.
Written by Meaghan Oppenheimer, the project follows the personal and professional life of Gemma (Paquin), a ruthless divorce attorney in Dallas whose life begins to unravel when her emotionally damaged, love-addicted sister (Charity Wakefield) resurfaces, triggering self-destructive tendencies and exposing long-hidden family secrets.
Murciano, who most starred as Marco Diaz on Netflix’s Bloodline, will play Peter, Gemma’s (Paquin) childhood friend-turned-nemesis after she represented his ex-wife in his divorce. Peter comes from a similarly rough upbringing as Gemma, but through hard work has become a successful doctor.
Murciano, best known for starring on CBS’ mystery drama Without a Trace, has also appeared onPower, 666 Park Avenue, NCISand Medium.