HBO Max Gives Series Order to Rosario Dawson’s Futuristic Drama “DMZ”

Rosario Dawson is heading to the demilitarized zone

HBO Max has given a series order to Ava DuVernay and Roberto Patino’s DMZ, starring the 41-year-old Puerto Rican and Cuban American actress and activist.

Rosario Dawson

HBO Max ordered four episodes of the limited series, a futuristic drama set amid a second American civil war and based on the DC Comics series.

Production on the series is scheduled to start in 2021.

DMZ stars  Dawson and Benjamin Bratt in the lead roles, alongside Hoon Lee, Freddy Miyares and Jordan Preston Carter.

DMZ is set in the near future, when America is embroiled in a bitter civil war, leaving Manhattan a demilitarized zone (DMZ), destroyed and isolated from the rest of the world. It chronicles the harrowing journey of fearless and fierce medic Alma Ortega (Dawson) to find the son she lost in the evacuation of New York City at the onset of the conflict. Throwing gasoline on the flames of that conflict is Parco Delgado (Bratt), the popular, and deadly, leader of one of the most powerful gangs in the DMZ. He wants to rule this new world and will stop at nothing to secure that outcome.

The drama will examine the stark political and cultural divide in American society, where Alma must contend with the gangs, militias, demagogues and warlords that control this lawless no man’s land. In doing so, she becomes the unlikely source of what everyone there has lost…hope.

Patino, who will write all episodes and showrun the series, wrote the pilot episode, which was directed by DuVernay. Patino and DuVernay serve as executive producers on the series.

DMZ is produced by DuVernay’s ARRAY Filmworks in association with Warner Bros. Television.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this epic to the screen with my boundary-pushing partners at WBTV and HBO Max, a sublime cast led by Rosario and Benjamin, and my partner and friend, the inimitable and ever-inspiring Ava DuVernay,” said Patino. “DMZ offers up an explosive playground which, more than anything else, exalts the resilience of community and the human spirit. I can’t wait to welcome the die-hard fans of the comic books and new viewers alike to this intoxicating, haunting and inspiring world.”

Dawson’s television credits include The Mandalorian, Briarpatch and Jane the Virgin. She’ll soon appear in the upcoming miniseries Dopesick.

Johnathan Fernandez to Star on HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” Series Reimagining

Johnathan Fernandez is ready to spill the tea…

The 46-year-old Colombian and Honduran American actor joined Emily Alyn Lindin Gossip Girl, HBO Max’s upcoming series reimagining of the pop culture phenomenon that made household names of stars like Blake LivelyLeighton Meester, Penn BadgleyChace Crawford and Ed Westwick.

Johnathan Fernandez

Fernandez joins a roster of new cast additions that includes Whitney PeakEli Brown and Jason Gotay.S

The 10-episode series hails from Joshua SafranJosh Schwartzand Stephanie Savage’s Fake EmpireAlloy EntertainmentWarner Bros Televisionand CBS Television Studios.

Like the original series, the new iteration of Gossip Girl, written by Safran, is based on the book by Cecily von Ziegesar. Eight years after the original website went dark, a new generation of New York private school teens are introduced to the social surveillance of Gossip Girl. 

The prestige series will address just how much social media — and the landscape of New York itself — has changed in the intervening years.

No official character descriptions for the quartet are being released. The new series is said to have a similar character dynamic to the original, with Peak, Brown and Lind as the leading trio and Fernandez and Gotay as members of the core ensemble.

Gossip Girlran for six seasons from 2007-2012 on the CW across 121 episodes. Its influence extended beyond television.Fernandez was a series regular on another WBTV series, Fox’s Lethal WeaponFor three seasons, he played the dry-toned medical examiner on the series reboot.  Fernandez will next appear in the Marvel feature Morbiusand the indie Together-ish.

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa Signs New Multi-Year Deal with Warner Bros. Television

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasahas landed a major deal…

The 44-year-old Nicaraguan-American playwright, screenwriter, and comic book writer who is currently the Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics and the key creative force behind Warner Bros. Television’s growing Archie comics-based TV universe, has signed a massive new multi-year overall deal with the studio. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa

No details are being disclosed but the pact is said to be for five years, and it’s in the high eight figures. 

Under the agreement, Aguirre-Sacasa will develop, write, and produce new series through his banner, Muckle Man Productions, while also continuing as executive producer/showrunner on WBTV series Riverdale and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina,as well as pilot Katy Keene, co-developed with Michael Grassi.

Shortly after he was named Chief Creative Officer of Archie Comics in 2014, Aguirre-Sacasa teamed with WBTV-based Berlanti Prods. to bring the Archie characters to television. He is the developer/executive producer behind Riverdale, which has been a major hit for the CWand Netflix, and The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, which quickly established itself as a breakout for Netflix, and the co-developer/executive producer on the Riverdale spinoff pilot Katy Keene, which has been garnering solid early buzz at the CW.

Before becoming Archie Comics COO, Aguirre-Sacasa wrote two of the company’s best-selling horror series: Afterlife With Archie and Chilling Adventures Of Sabrina. He previously worked for Marvel Comics, scripting the adventures of Spider-Man, Nightcrawler, and the Fantastic Four.

Aguirre-Sacasa’s TV series writing-producing credits include Fox’s GleeHBO’s Looking and Big Love, as well as a stint on WBTV/Berlanti Prods.’ Supergirl.

Aguirre-Sacasa is an accomplished screenwriter and playwright. He penned the feature remakes of Carrie and The Town That Dreaded Sundown, as well as the musical adaptation of American Psycho, which had runs in London and on Broadway

Aguirre-Sacasa was part of the team that was brought in to overhaul Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark. This summer, Pasadena Playhouse will produce his prep school thriller, Good Boys and True, and he wrote the book to the Broadway-bound Magic Mike the musical, with Brian Yorkey (lyrics) and Tom Kitt(music).

Jessica Meraz Lands Major Recurring Role on The CW’s “Supergirl”

Jessica Meraz has landed a superrole…

The half-Mexican American actress has landed a major recurring role on The CW’s drama Supergirl. 

Jessica Meraz

Meraz will portray Menagerie/Pamela Ferrer, an iconic DC villain and a member of Manchester Black’s “Elite.” Menagerie is a jewel thief who doesn’t mind hurting people.

The DC/Berlanti Prods.drama Supergirl, from Warner Bros. Television, is now in its fourth season on the CW. The series is headed into the network’s annual DC crossover, which kicks off on Sunday.

The casting marks Meraz’s return to WBTV whose cable division produced Major Crimes for TNT. Meraz was a series regular on the final season of The Closer spinoff.

Meraz recently appeared on stage at the Pasadena Playhouse in the Jason Alexander-directed Native Gardens. She is currently recurring on Tacoma FD for TruTV and has also been working on Blue Ribbon Content’s Splash Damage, a VR experiment currently in development.

Ana Ortiz to Star in ABC’s Action-Comedy Pilot “Whiskey Cavalier”

Ana Ortiz is getting a little cavalier

The 47-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress and former Ugly Betty and Devious Maids star has been cast opposite Scott Foley and Lauren Cohan in Whiskey Cavalier, ABC’s hourlong action-dramedy pilot from Bill Lawrence, Dave Hemingson and Warner Bros. Television.

Ana Ortiz 

Written by Hemingson, Whiskey Cavalier, from WBTV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer Prods., follows the adventures of FBI agent Will Chase (codename: Whiskey Cavalier) — played by Foley — who, following an emotional break-up, is assigned to work with quick, cunning and completely fearless CIA operative Francesca “Frankie” Trowbridge (codename: Fiery Tribune) — played by Cohan. Together, they lead an interagency team of spies who periodically save the world (and each other) while navigating the rocky roads of friendship, romance and office politics.

Ortiz will play Susan Sampson. Based out of the FBI’s New York office, Dr. Susan Sampson is the FBI’s top behavioral scientist — and Will’s (Foley) best friend. However, that doesn’t stop her from developing a fast friendship with Will’s rival (and future partner), Frankie (Cohan).

This marks Ortiz’s return to ABC where she co-starred on popular dramedy Ugly Betty for its four-season run and also starred in Devious Maids, which was developed and piloted by ABC before landing a series order at Lifetime.

J.W. Cortes to Appear at Pop Culture Event “DC in D.C.”

J.W. Cortes is invading The District

Warner Bros. Television GroupDC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment are joining forces for DC in D.C., a pop culture Martin Luther King weekend event that merges the worlds of entertainment and public service in Washington, D.C.

J.W. Cortes

DC in D.C. brings together stars, including the Puerto Rican Marine-combat-veteran-turned-actor and Gotham star, as well as producers from WBTV’s DC TV series, including Arrow, The Flash, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Gotham, Supergirl and Freedom Fighters: The Ray, with DC comic book writers and artists, along with invited guests from politics, government service, business academia and more.

The event, which takes place Friday, January 12 and Saturday, January 13, will explore the intersection of comic books, culture, entertainment and enlightenment through a series of panel discussions open to the public.

Events will take place both days at the Newseum, and will culminate with the world premiere screening of the upcoming DC series Black Lightning in the Warner Bros. Theater at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

A party will follow at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

In addition to Cortes, participants include Black Lightning stars Cress Williams, China Anne McClain, Nafessa Williams, Christine Adams, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Damon Gupton and James Remar — along with executive producers Salim Akil & Mara Brock Akil; along with executive producers Greg Berlanti and Sarah Schechter, plus TV series stars Caity Lotz (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), Candice Patton (The Flash), Danielle Panabaker (The Flash), Russell Tovey (Freedom Fighters: The Ray) and others to be announced.

More information can be found at http://www.DCinDC2018.com.

Garcia Swisher Lands Lead Role in CBS Comedy Pilot

JoAnna Garcia Swisher is heading back to television…

The 35-year-old half-Cuban American actress has been cast as the female lead opposite Tommy Johnagin in CBS’ untitled CBS comedy pilot inspired by the comedian’s life.

JoAnna Garcia Swisher

The pilot, from writers Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, WBTV and Bill Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer, stars Johnagin as Tommy, a stand-up comic raising a family in a small Midwestern town.

Garcia Swisher plays Michelle, an accomplished pediatrician married to Tommy, with whom she has a daughter, Ashley.

Garcia Swisher’s previous television credits include Better With You amd Once Upon A Time.