Genesis Rodriguez to Star on Season Three of Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy”

Genesis Rodriguez is flying high

The 33-year-old Cuban-Venezuelan actress has joined the cast of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy.

Genesis Rodriguez

The end of the second season ofthe series left viewers with the introduction of an alternate 2019, which included a very alive Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) and someone who seemed to be Ben (Justin H. Min). And there were also five people — including a floating cube that dubbed themselves – the Sparrow Academy.

This new mysterious group of kids aren’t necessarily doppelgangers to the original Umbrella Academy, but they might as well be.

In addition to Rodriguez, the actors who will make up the Sparrow Academy, which was formed by Hargreeves in this alternate 2019 include Min, Justin CornwellBritne OldfordCazzie DavidJake Epstein and destined-for-greatness actor known as “Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube.”

They’ll join Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Ritu Arya and Adam Godley who are set to reprise their roles. Production on the 10-episode third season is set to begin in February in Toronto.

The Umbrella Academy is created for television by Steve Blackman who is showrunner and serves as executive producer alongside Jeff F. King, Keith Goldberg, Mike Richardson and Jesse McKeown. Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, who created the original comic of which The Umbrella Academy is based, are co-executive producers. The series is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Netflix.

The Sparrow Academy

Here are the full character descriptions for the Sparrow Academy characters:

JUSTIN CORNWELL will play MARCUS, Sparrow #1. A charming, chiseled, colossus. Honest, virtuous, and demanding, Marcus keeps the family together. Graceful but lethal, calculated but compassionate, he is as smart as he is strong. Marcus is disciplined, rational and in control. He oozes confidence and leadership without ever having to raise his
voice.

JUSTIN H. MIN will play BEN, Sparrow #2. This is not the sweet Ben we know and love. This Ben is a Machiavellian tactician, wrapped up in a pretty boy body with a rumbling inner-squid. Vicious, pragmatic, and hyper-vigilant— Ben is determined to gain his status as the leader at all costs.

BRITNE OLDFORD will play FEI, Sparrow #3. Fei sees the world in a special way. She comes across as a misanthrope who would rather be alone than spend even a second with you. But truth be told, Fei wishes she had a friend. Most of the time, Fei is the smartest person in the room and willing to work things out. But if you cross her there’s no looking back because Fei won’t stop until the job is done.

JAKE EPSTEIN will play ALPHONSO, Sparrow #4. Years of crime-fighting have left his face and body with countless visual reminders of his battles. To compensate, Alphonso is armed with a caustic and biting sense of humor. The only thing he likes better than verbally battering anyone foolish enough to get in his face, is a good pizza and a six-pack of beer.

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ will play SLOANE, Sparrow #5. A romantic and a dreamer who feels a higher cosmic calling leaving her eager to see the world and experience a life beyond her upbringing. But obligations to her family keep Sloane tethered to the Academy, as does her fear of crossing the family line. But Sloane has plans… and one day she might just be brave enough to act on them.

CAZZIE DAVID will play JAYME, Sparrow #6. Jayme is a loner hidden under a hoodie. She doesn’t say much because she doesn’t have to. Jayme has a fear-inducing snarl. Catch a glimpse of it, and you’ll run across the street to avoid what follows. Smart and sharp as a knife, she spends most of her time hanging with Alphonso, her only friend.

EXISTENTIAL DREAD INDUCING PSYKRONIUM CUBE will play CHRISTOPHER, Sparrow #7. Christopher is a telekinetic cube of unknown origin. He can turn the room freezing cold and induce paralyzing fear. He acts as the Sparrows’ consulted oracle who hands out incredible advice and serves as the family mediator. Trustworthy, loyal, and is treated by the Sparrows like any other sibling, Christopher is a force to be reckoned with.

Rodriguez’s previous credits include The Fugitive and Big Hero 6.

Peacock to Launch “Punky Brewster” Reboot, Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Next Month

Things are brew(ster)ing for Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Peacock has announced the premiere date for its next continuation of a beloved classic sitcom, Punky Brewster, starring the 44-year-old part-Puerto Rican actor.

Freddie Prinze, Jr., Punky Brewster

The Punky Brewster reboot will premiere on February 25 on the streamer.

All 10 episodes of the series will drop at once, following Punky (Soleil Moon Frye). Once a bright young girl being raised by a foster dad in the 1980s series, Punky is now a single mother of three trying to get her life bak on track.

In the new series, Punky will meet Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a girl in the foster system who reminds her of her younger self. Cherie Johnson reprises her role as Punky’s best friend Cherie, and the series also stars Prinze Jr. as Travis, Punky’s ex-husband; Noah Cottrell as Diego; Oliver De Los Santos as Daniel, and Lauren Lindsey Donzis as Hannah.

Punky Brewster hails from UCP and Universal Television, divisions of Universal Studio Group. It is written and executive produced by Steve and Jim Armogida.

The original Punky Brewster, which aired for four seasons between 1984 and 1988, is available to stream on Peacock already.

Carlos Portugal Developing Thriller Drama “Heirs” for NBC

Carlos Portugal is television’s heir(s) apparent…

NBC has put in development Heirs, a thriller drama from the Daytime Emmy-nominated Latino television writer, director and producer, Davis Entertainment and Universal Television.

Carlos Portugal

Written by Portugal, Heirs is set in Miami Beach’s exclusive Star Island. It revolves around the heirs of a Latin American ex-dictator who face an unexpected dilemma when a young girl is kidnapped from their home on the night of their own daughter’s lavish quinceañera.

Portugal executive produces with Davis Entertainment’s John Davis, Jordan Davis and John Fox. Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, is the studio.

Portugal is also developing his original scripted drama Miss-ng at HBO Max with Macro/UCP, as well as a feature film musical entitled El Beso at Netflix with Lucky Chap and Screen Arcade producing. El Beso is based on the romantic Mexican urban legend around Guanajuato, Mexico’s famous ‘Alley of the Kiss’.

Portugal previously co-created the Hulu series East Los High, on which he also served as a director and executive producer. The show, which earned him a Daytime Emmy nod, was one of Hulu’s first original series and ran for four seasons.

His other credits include Meet the Browns, House of Payne and the feature film East Side Story

Peacock Releases Official Trailer for Mario Lopez’s “Saved by the Bell” Reboot

Bells are ringing for Mario Lopez

Peacock has released the official trailer for the Saved by the Bell reboot, starring the 47-year-old Mexican American actor and television personality.

Mario Lopez

The trailer for the NBC streaming platform’s original title gives Saved by the Bell fans, both new and original, a first look into the updated, quirky world of Bayside High.

The trailer kicks off with Alycia Pascual-Peña’s Aisha and Haskiri Velazquez’s Daisy in a school bus en route to the iconic television high school. But upon their first minutes at Bayside, they realize things are far from what they’re used to. “Why is everybody so rich?” asks Aisha as Mitchell Hoog’s Mac parks his red Corvette.

After getting a glimpse at the new members of the Bayside family, the trailer gives viewers a look at Lopez’s A.C. Slater and Elizabeth Berkley Lauren’s Jessie Spano.

“We all want these new kids to feel welcome. It’s not going to work unless we get to know them,” says Jessie.

Upon feeling alienated from her affluent peers, Daisy confronts the Bayside legacies, calling them out for their limited perspectives.

The trailer sees a return of the go-to grub spot The Max, as well as its quirky staff and regulars. The teaser also shows a collection of parties, performances and cast reunions only a true Bayside Tiger could love.

Saved by the Bell premieres on Peacock on November 25. Tracey Wigfield writes and executive produces alongside executive producers Franco Bario and Peter Engel. Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, produces the series.

Jaime Camil to Star in Still Untitled Apple TV+ Musical Comedy

Jaime Camil has found the Apple (project) of his eye…

Apple TV+ has set a star-studded ensemble cast for its upcoming musical comedy that includes the 47-year-old Mexican actor, singer and television personality.

Jaime Camil

In addition to Camil, the project – which will be led by Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong and executive produced by Lorne MichaelsBroadway Video – will also star Keegan-Michael Key, Alan Cumming, Fred Armisen, Kristin Chenoweth, Aaron Tveit, Dove Cameron, Ariana DeBose, Jane Krakowski and Ann Harada.

Written by Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio, the as-yet untitled comedy series follows a couple on a backpacking trip designed to reinvigorate their relationship when they discover the magical town of Schmigadoon, in which everyone acts as if they’re in a studio musical from the 1940s. They then discover that they can’t leave until they find “true love.”

Key will play Josh, Melissa’s (Strong) long term, pragmatic partner, and the last person who wants to be stuck in this magical town. Cumming is Mayor Menlove, the welcoming mayor of the town with a secret (and a song) in his heart. Armisen plays Reverend Layton, the mild-mannered religious leader of the town. Chenoweth is Mildred Layton, Reverend Layton’s morally superior wife who is in everybody’s business. Tveit plays Danny Bailey, the town bad boy who is trouble with a capital T, especially once he sets his sights on Melissa. Cameron is Betsy, the farmers daughter who instantly falls for Josh. DeBose portrays Emma Tate, a more modern woman and the town’s teacher, she struggles to fit into the town’s strict mold. Camil plays Doc Lopez, the handsome town doctor with an icy heart. Krakowski plays The Countess, a stunning and sophisticated woman determined to marry Doc Lopez. Harada is Florence Menlove, the oblivious and dutiful wife of Mayor Menlove.

Paul will serve as showrunner, and will write all of the original music. Barry Sonnenfeld will direct.

The series hails from Broadway Video and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Camil earned two Teen Choice Awards for his scene-stealing role on Jane the Virgin.

Peacock to Debut Mario Lopez’s “Saved By The Bell” Reboot in November

Mario Lopez is being Saved this November…

Peacock has announced plans to launch the reboot of Saved By The Bell, starring the 46-year-old Mexican American actor, on November 25.

Saved By The Bell

The Saved By the Bell reboot follows California Governor Zack Morris (Mark-Paul Gosselaar) who gets into trouble for the state’s many underfunded high schools and proposes they send affected students to California’s highest-performing schools. Thus enter the iconic Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the overprivileged Bayside kids a much-needed dose of reality.

Lopez will reprise his role as A.C. Slater, while Elizabeth Berkley will also reprise her role from the original series.

Also rounding out the reboot cast are Josie Totah, Dexter Darden, Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Alycia Pascual-Pena and Belmont Cameli.

Tracey Wigfield serves as writer and executive producer for the series, alongside executive producer Franco Bario. Peter Engel also serves as executive producer.

Saved By the Bell is produced by Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Tanya Saracho Signs Development Deal with UCP

Things are developing nicely for Tanya Saracho

The Mexican screenwriterand Vida creator has signed a development deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Tanya Saracho

As part of the deal, Saracho will develop and create original content for television, as well as podcasts via the studio’s UCP Audio extension. She’ll also establish a lab and incubator program for Latinx voices.

“To say that I’m immensely enthusiastic about this union is not enough. This partnership with UCP is a vital opportunity to keep amplifying the voices and stories that matter to me – those brown, queer narratives which have been missing from the landscape, and which are so important to tell,” said Saracho.

 “I’m also elated and looking forward to establishing a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify and empower intersectional Latinx voices,” Saracho added. “And on a personal level, it is greatly gratifying to find a home where I already feel so seen and supported.”

Saracho most recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Starz’s critically-acclaimed Vida, which aired its third and final season this spring. The series featured all Latinx directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut last year. The series had an all-Latinx writers room for seasons one and two, and in season three, the room was composed of all Latina writers.

Vida won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and was also honored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition with the 2019 Impact Award. The series won the Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and made its season two premiere as an Official Selection of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Tanya came on the scene like a comet with such a strong point of view and a drive to tell culturally diverse stories that push boundaries and open our imaginations. Oh, the places we will go with Tanya’s deep curiosity, experience, commitment, enthusiasm, joy and fervor to tell the diverse stories we haven’t explored on television yet. We are such fans of her work on Vida and are thrilled to partner with her,” said Dawn Olmstead, president, UCP.

“One of our goals at Universal Studio Group is to provide access through on the job training and opportunities to empower the next generation of culturally diverse storytellers. Tanya’s program fully embodies that intention and we look forward to supporting her as she mentors aspiring Latinx writers,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman, Universal Studio Group. “This is the first of many programs we will be backing across our three studios.”

Saracho was recently honored by the LGBTQ California Legislative Caucus as their 2020 Pride Month Honoree. She received the Rising Star Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards, and was awarded the New Voice Award by Final Draft.

She’s the founder of Teatro Luna, the first all-Latina theatre company in the country, as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists).

Saracho’s other television writing/producing credits include Devious Maids, Looking and How to Get Away with Murder.