Vanessa Rubio Upped to Series Regular on Netflix’s “Cobra Kai”

Vanessa Rubio is stepping things up…

The 37-year-old Colombian-American actress has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming fourth season of Netflix’s Cobra Kai.

Vanessa Rubio 

Starring Ralph Macchio and William Zabka, the Karate Kid sequel series is one of the streamer’s most popular shows.

Rubio has portrayed Carmen Diaz since Season 1, appearing in 16 episodes. Carmen is Miguel’s (Xolo Maridueña) hard-working mother who would do anything to protect her son.

The third season recently premiered in January, hitting No. 1 worldwide on Netflix. The first three seasons of Cobra Kai are now streaming on Netflix with the fourth season production underway in Atlanta.

Cobra Kai takes place over 30 years after the events of the 1984 All Valley Karate Tournament with the continuation of the inescapable conflict between Daniel LaRusso (Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (Zabka).

Cobra Kai is written and executive produced by Josh Heald, Jon Hurwitz and Hayden Schlossberg via their production company, Counterbalance Entertainment. Will Smith, James Lassiter and Caleeb Pinkett executive produce for Westbrook Entertainment along with Susan Ekins in association with Sony Pictures Television. Macchio and Zabka also serve as executive producers.

In addition to Cobra Kai, Rubio recently appeared in the second season of Netflix’s Bonding.

Her other previous TV credits include Netflix’s Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings and Master of None, WGN’s Gone and NBC’s Deception.

Her film work includes How To Be Single, The Hudson Tribes and The Girl is in Trouble.

Albert Ramon Named Chief Meteorologist at WGN America’s “News Nation”

Albert Ramon is movin’ on up…

News Nation, the three-hour prime-time block of live news debuting September 1 on WGN America, has set its on-air talent lineup, with the Latino meteorologist making the grade.

Albert Ramon

Anchoring weeknight broadcasts from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm will be Joe Donlon and Marni Hughes, accompanied by breaking news anchor Rob Nelson and Ramon as the chief meteorologist. 

A Texas native, Ramon previously worked as part of the KVUE Storm Team since October 2009. He has earned the Seal of Approval from both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. He has also received the Texas Associated Press award for Best Weathercast.

Nexstar Media Group, which took control of WGN America after its $4.1 billion acquisition of Tribune Media in 2019, announced plans for the news overhaul several months ago. The company is aiming to leverage its leading station group portfolio as well as the carriage of WGN America in 75 million pay-TV homes to provide an alternative news outlet that it bills as being free of bias. 

News viewership has been surging in 2020 and the fall election is apt to continue the trend. In the years leading up to the Nexstar deal, WGN America’s programming lineup was defined by prestige dramas like Underground and Manhattan.

“Our on-air anchors and reporters, as well as those guiding the off-camera news-gathering process, are

award-winning journalists who understand the importance of being objective,” said Sean Compton,

EVP of WGN America. “They reflect the diversity of our country and will be the backbone of News Nation, as WGN America begins charting a new course in television news, designed for the millions of viewers across the U.S. who want their news to be accurate, fair and without opinion.”

Jennifer Lyons, a former WGN news director in Chicago, is overseeing News Nation as VP of News for WGN America.

Cara Santana to Star in the Indie “Be The Light”

Cara Santana has found her Light

The 33-year-old Latina actress will star in the indie film Be The Light (working title).

Cara Santana

Directed and co-starring Malcolm Goodwin, the story follows Celina (Santana) who, estranged from her father for nine years, discovers that he’s dying from cancer. Celina decides to go home to repair their relationship and fight for her father’s right for proper care. In the process, she reconnects with her old friend Marvin (Goodwin), a former OG who is trying to turn the page and do some good for his community. Through their connection, Celina finds that spark in herself that she had lost, and together they lift her dad and the community around them.

The script was penned by Victor Hawks.

Santana is currently working on the upcoming film Steps, which she wrote and will appear in opposite Jesse Metcalfe, who is also directing.

Her other credits include appearances on Netflix’s The Santa Clarita Diet and WGN’s Salem.

Filming is scheduled to commence this month.

WGN America to Premiere Smollett-Bell’s “Underground” in March

Jurnee Smollett-Bell is heading Underground this coming March.

WGN America will premiere its Underground Railroad thriller Underground, starring the 29-year-old Brazilian American actress, on Wednesday, March 9.

Jurnee Smollett-Bell in Underground

The network has released the first two trailers (see below) for the 10-episode series starring Smollett-Bell as Rosalee.

From creators Misha Green and Joe Pokaski and executive producer John Legend, the series follows a courageous blacksmith who covertly organizes a small group of his fellow slaves and pieces together a daring plan of escape across hundreds of miles to freedom.

The cast also includes Christopher Meloni, Alano Miller, ‎Jessica de Gouw, Marc Blucas, ‎Adina Porter, Mykelti Williamson, ‎Amirah Vann, Johnny Ray Gill, Chris Chalk, Reed Diamond, Theodus Crane, Renwick Scott and Jussie Smollett.

Anthony Hemingway directs and serves as executive producer for the first four episodes.

Underground is produced by Sony Pictures Television and Tribune Studios.