Isabella Gomez to Star on Comedy Pilot Reboot of ABC’s 1980s Sitcom “Head of the Class”

Isabella Gomez is moving up to the head of the class

The 22-year-old Colombian-American actress and One Day at a Time has been cast as the lead of HBO Max’s multi-camera comedy pilot Head of the Class, a reboot of the popular 1980s ABC sitcom.

Isabella Gomez

Gomez’s casting reveals a gender swap in the follow-up as the lead in the original series was played by Howard Hesseman.

HBO Max in May ordered a pilot and five additional scripts for Head of the Class, which hails from American Vandal writers Amy Pocha and Seth CohenBill Lawrence and his Doozer Productions; and Warner Bros. Television, which produced the original series.

Written by Pocha and Cohen, based on the original series created by Rich Eustis and Michael Elias, the reimagined Head of the Class revolves around a group of overachieving high school students who meet their greatest challenge — a first-time teacher, Alicia Adams (Gomez), who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life.

Gomez’s Alicia Adams is a whip-smart, funny, blunt high school teacher we all wish we had. A former GPA junkie, Alicia thought she had the world all figured out when she was in school. Teaching for the first time, Alicia’s is figuring out what she really wants in life.

Created by Eustis and Elias, Head of the Class ran on ABC from 1986-91. It followed a group of gifted students at the fictional Millard Fillmore High School in Manhattan and their history teacher Charlie Moore (Hesseman).

Gomez most recently played Elena Alvarez on the acclaimed multi-camera comedy One Day at a Time. The series was on Netflix for three seasons before it was canceled and moved to PopTV for Season 4. The ViacomCBS cable network on Tuesday revealed that it has canceled the comedyOne Day at a Time studio Sony Pictures Television is currently trying to find a new home for the show. It’s considered a long shot, but if it happens and if Head of the Class is picked up to series, Gomez can do both shows.

Gomez’s previous credits also include Shatterproof Films’ Dembanger, Disney Channel’s Big Hero 6: The Series, Netflix’s A Cinderella Story: Christmas Wish and ABC’s Modern Family.

AFI to Honor Rita Moreno During This Year’s Virtual AFI Fest

Rita Moreno is ready to talk shop as part of a special night…

The 88-year-old Puerto Rican Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress will be honored during this year’s virtual AFI Fest, which will take place from October 15-22.

Rita Moreno

Moreno, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will be honored alongside Sofia CoppolaKirby Dick and Mira Nair, with each taking par t in an evening of conversation celebrating their careers.

“Artists of this caliber are essential players in our global culture,” said Bob Gazzale, AFI President & CEO. “To honor each of them – and all of them – at AFI FEST will prove a symphony of talent at a time the world needs it most.”

Moreno’s career began with a Broadway debut at 13 years old. Since then she has won all four of the most prestigious awards in show business – an Oscar, a Tony, two Emmys, and a Grammy – as well as a Peabody Award and a Kennedy Center Honor. Moreno has also been recognized with the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President George W. Bush and the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

Moreno received an Honorary Degree from the AFI Conservatory in 2016.

Moreno is starring in Steven Spielberg’s remake of West Side Story, which will debut in theaters in December of 2021. She currently stars on the remake of Norman Lear’s classic sitcom, One Day at a Time. 

Justina Machado to Compete on ABC’s Upcoming Season of “Dancing With The Stars”

Justina Machado’s ready to paso doble her way into your hearts…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress, who currently stars on PopTV’s One Day at a Time, will compete on ABC’s Dancing With The Stars this season.

Justina Machado

Machado will compete against Tiger King’s Carole Baskin, rapper Nelly, Selling Sunset’s Chrishell Stause and NBA legend Charles Oakley among others for the coveted DTWS mirrorball trophy.

The ABC celebrity ballroom dancing competition series, based on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, will premiere on September 14 with new host Tyra Banks.

This season’s other competirors include Monica Aldama, star of Netflix’s Cheer, Disney Channel actress Skai Jackson, The Real’s Jeannie Mai, Catfish’s Nev Schulman, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, Super Bowl champion Vernon Davis, Anne Heche, Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean, and The Bachelor’s Kaitlyn Bristowe.

This season’s professional dancers include Brandon Armstrong, Alan Bersten, Sharna Burgess, Cheryl Burke, Artem Chigvintsev, Val Chmerkovskiy, Sasha Farber, Jenna Johnson, Daniella Karagach, Keo Motsepe, Peta Murgatroyd, Pasha Pashkov, Gleb Savchenko, Emma Slater and Britt Stewart.

In addition to hosting, Banks will also serve as an executive producer this season. She replaces Tom Bergeron and Erin Andrews as the show’s host in season 29.

One of the challenges for this season is to ensure that the production adheres to COVID-19 protocols, a trickier move for a dance competition format than many other productions. Details of the health and safety protocols and other format refreshes are expected imminently.

Leiomy Maldonado to Take Part in ATX Television Festival’s First-Ever Virtual Event, “ATX TV….From The Couch!”

Leiomy Maldonado is bringing something legendary to this year’s virtual edition of the ATX Television Festival.

The festival’s first ever virtual version, titled “ATX TV….From The Couch!,” will feature a special panel “Extravaganza” with the cast of HBO Max’s new reality voguing competition, Legemdary, including the 33-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, instructor, model and ballroom dancer, aka “Wonder Woman of Vogue.”

Leiomy Maldonado

Maldonado serves as a judge on the new reality competition series, alongside Megan Thee StallionJameela Jamil and Law Roach.

Peacock will present a Psych panel with creators Steve Franks and Chris Henze, as well as cast members James RodayDulé HillKirsten Nelson, Maggie Lawson and Corbin Bernsen ahead of the premiere of Peacock’s second Psych movie, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.

Other panels include a conversation with PopTV’s One Day at a Time including showrunner/executive producer/director/actor Gloria Calderón Kellett as well as cast members Justina MachadoRita Moreno, and Isabella Gomez

They’ll join viewers for an informal brunch conversation discussing the June 16 animated special, “The Politics Episode.”

There will also be a table read with the executive producers and cast of Search Party ahead of its debut on HBO Max.

The festival will feature the marquee panel conversation with the cast and creatives of HBO‘s reboot of Perry MasonAudiences will get a first look at the new gritty drama ahead of its June 21 premiere date. 

Hulu will also bring their original series Little Fires Everywhere to the fest with a special panel featuring the shows producers and writers.

FX Networks will present a Justified reunion with the show’sbehind the scenes team and stars Timothy Olyphant and Joelle Carter.

The fest will highlight the ways women support one another in television with a special “Torchlighters” panel, led by Pacesetter principal and executive producer Jessica Rhoades (Dirty John: The Betty Broderick StorySharp ObjectsUtopia) creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Marti Noxon (Sharp ObjectsDietlandTo the Bone), creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Tanya Saracho (Vida), Francesca Orsi (Executive Vice President and Head of Drama at HBO), writer Lindsey Villarreal (Vida) and writer Erika L Johnson (The VillageThe Good Lord Bird), with additional panelists to be announced soon.

ATX’s previously announced programming includes panels for ScrubsCougar TownThe Bold Type, Nancy Drew, New AmsterdamP-Valley and more. The ATX Television Festival will stream for free on ATX’s official YouTube channel, with an option for viewers to donate to fundraising efforts for​ Direct Relief and​ The Actors Fund ​in an effort to benefit those affected by COVID-19.

The event will take place June 5-7. Click here for the complete schedule.