Jorge Diaz to Star in Pilot for HBO Max’s “Head of the Class” Sitcom Reboot

Jorge Diaz is moving to the head of the class

The 37-year-old Mexican American actor has joined the cast of HBO Max’s multi-camera comedy pilot Head of the Class, a reboot of the popular 1980s ABC sitcom.

Jorge Diaz

Diaz joins a roster of new additions to the cast that includes Dior Goodjohn, Brandon Severs, Adrian Matthew Escalona and Christa Miller.

They join previously announced Isabella Gomez, Gavin Lewis and Jolie Hoang-Rappaport in the reboot which hails from American Vandal writers Amy Pocha and Seth Cohen, Bill 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 teacher Alicia Adams (Gomez), who wants them to focus less on grades and more on experiencing life.

Diaz plays Elliot Olsen, a goofy English teacher who loves his job and is genuine to a fault. Goodjohn is Robyn Rook. Stem queen turned Twitch streamer, Robyn’s the defacto leader of the class – though she’d never admit it. Severs will portray Terrell Smith, is a year-round athlete, who is uber-positive and all about team mentality. Escalona is Miles Mendelson, the shy, introverted, overthinking coder, who’d rather spend time with computers than people. Miller recurs as Principal Maris, an intimidating, tough love boss that always puts the students first.

Diaz has appeared on a number of hit comedies including the CW’s Jane The Virgin, NBC’s The Good Place and Netflix’s Arrested Development. He also starred as SPC Israel Garza in Nat Geo’s Critics Choice-nominated Iraq war drama, The Long Road HomeOn the film side, Diaz portrayed Hector Estrella in Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, earning a nomination for an Imagen Foundation Award for his performance.

Escalona was first discovered in 2018, when a video of him singing “She Used To Be Mine” from the Broadway musical Waitress went viral with almost 4 million views and counting. He went on to be invited by Waitress writer and composer Sara Bareilles to make a guest appearance during her tour stop in Pittsburgh, near his home town. Head of the Class is Escalona’s first major TV role.

FX Renews Harvey Guillén’s “What We Do In The Shadows” for a Third Season

Harvey Guillén will be seeing his shadow(s) for longer…

FX has ordered a third season of What We Do In The Shadows, starringthe 30-year-old Latino actor, producer and writer.

Harvey Guillen

The cable network ordered a third run of the show ahead of the  June 10 finale of its second season. FX said that the second season, which is averaging 3.2M total viewers across linear and digital platforms, including FX on Hulu, through its first six episodes, was up 25% on season one.

In addition to Guillen, the mockumentary series, which is based on Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s 2014 feature film, stars Matt BerryKayvan NovakNatasia Demetriou and Mark Proksch.

It follows the lives of four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years in the New York borough of Staten Island.

This group includes Nandor The Relentless (Novak), a great warrior and conqueror from the Ottoman Empire, British vampire Laszlo (Berry), a bit of a rogue and a dandy and a fop and Nadja (Demetriou), his lover, a wise seductress. Then there’s Guillermo (Guillén), Nandor’s familiar, who wants nothing more than to be made a real vampire just like his master, Colin Robinson (Proksch), an energy vampire and day-walker of sorts – he feasts on humans, but not on their blood.

The second season also featured a guest spot from Star Wars Mark Hamill as a vampire searching for Laszlo, who owed him money.

“We’re incredibly happy that critics and audiences are all in on Shadows,”Nick Grad, President, Original Programming, FX Entertainment said. “Week in and week out, the producers, writers and our amazing cast continue to make one of the funniest and best comedy series on TV.”

Guillen previously appeared on television in Huge, Eye CandyThe Magicians and The Good Place.

Leiomy Maldonado to Serve as a Judge on HBO Max’s Voguing Competition Series “Legendary”

Leiomy Maldonado is legendary

The 32-year-old transgender Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, instructor, model, activist, and ballroom dancer, known as the “Wonder Woman of Vogue,” will serve as a judge on HBO Max’s upcoming voguing competition series Legendary

Leiomy Maldonado

The Good Place’sJameela Jamilwill serve as the host and a judge alongside Maldonado, Megan Thee Stallion and Law Roach. They’ll be joined by a weekly rotating guest judge, with commentary by DJ MikeQand Dashaun Wesley, who’ll emcee with Jamil.

In the 10-episode Legendary, from Scout Productions, divas will battle on voguing teams called “houses,” with the chance to win a cash prize in ballsy fashion and dance challenges to ultimately achieve “Legendary” status. 

Voguing is a competitive style of modern dance featuring over-the-top fashion and choreography based on poses struck by models on a catwalk. 

Legendary will feature 10 voguing “houses,” each comprised of five performers and a leader – the house “parent.” The teams rotate in a round-robin format, and each episode documents a themed ball from start to finish.

The competition show isset to launch on WarnerMedia’s upcoming streaming service, which debuts in spring 2020.

Maldonado was a member of the dance troupe “Vogue Evolution,” which was featured on America’s Best Dance Crew. She has worked with artists like Willow Smith, Icona Pop, and CocoRosie. She’s also a choreographer for the ballroom scenes in FX’s Pose.

Nicolas Cantu to Star in AMC’s New “The Walking Dead” Series

Nicolas Cantu is a Dead man walking

The 15-year-old Latino actor has been cast in the upcoming third series in The Walking Dead franchise on ABC.

Nicolas Cantu

Cantu, who will portray Elton, will star opposite Nico TortorellaAnnet Mahendru(Huck) and Aliyah Royale(Iris)  Alexa Mansour(Hope) and Hal Cumpston(Silas) in the series.

The untitled third series will focus on the first generation to come of age in the apocalypse as we know it. Some will become heroes. Some will become villains. In the end, all of them will be changed forever.

Produced and distributed by AMC Studios, the series will premiere on AMC in spring 2020. Jordan Vogt-Roberts will direct the series co-created by Scott Gimple and The Walking Dead veteran writer and producer Matt Negrete, who will serve as the series’ showrunner.Cantu’s previous credits include voice work on The Amazing World of Gumball and Sofia the  First,as well as appearances onRaven’s HomeThe Good Place and Bizaardvark.

Diana Maria Riva to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Sunnyside”

Diana Maria Riva is looking at the sunnyside of life…

The 49-year-old Dominican American actress has been cast opposite Kal Penn in NBC’s comedy pilot Sunnyside (formerly Untitled Kal Penn/Matt Murray).

Riva joins a cast that includes Kiran Deol, Moses Storm, Samba Schutte, Poppy Liu, Joel Kim Booster and Tudor Petrut.

Co-written by Penn and Matt MurraySunnyside is named after the neighborhood in the historically diverse Queens borough of New York where the show is set. It centers on former New York City Councilman Garrett Shah (Penn), who finds his calling when faced with seven recent immigrants — five of them played by immigrant actors — in need of his help and in search of the American Dream.

The single-camera comedy is being executive produced by Penn, writer-producer Murray, The Good Place creator/executive producer Michael Schur and Universal Television.

The seven recent immigrants are Jin Hao, played by South Korea-born Booster; Mallory, played by UK-born Deol; Mei Lin, played by China-born Liu; Drzen, played by Romania-born Petrut; Hakim, played by Africa-born Schutte; Griselda, played by Riva, a first generation Dominican; and Brady, played by Storm.

Directing the pilot is another immigrant, Oz Rodriguez. The ensemble was put together by casting director Allison Jones who also has worked with Schur on his other shows, Parks and Recreation, Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Good Place

Riva was last seen in the CBS sitcom Man with a Plan and NBC’s Telenovela. She’ll next appear in the Netflix series Dead to Me and the Appledrama series Morning Show.