John Leguizamo to Take Part in Upcoming CBS Special “Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event”

John Leguizamo is helping to honor this year’s coronavirus pandemic warriors…

The 56-year-old Colombian actor and stand-up comedian will take part in CBS’ upcoming special Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event. 

John Leguizamo

Leguizamo is among a roster of new additions to the special that includes José Andrés, Arturo Castro, John Leguizamo, George Lopez, Isabela Merced, Rita Moreno, Ana Navarro, Freddy Rodriguez and Wilmer Valderrama.

 

The event will be produced and hosted by Eva Longoria. Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan are also set to co-host.

 

The star-studded lineup will join the show, created by Henry R. Muñoz III and directed by Ron de Moraes, to celebrate Latinx culture while also shedding light on those in the community that have been heavily impacted by the novel coronavirus pandemic and those who play an essential role in fighting COVID-19.

Apart from the array of Latinx voices speaking at the event, the event will also feature musical performances, comedy pieces and docu-shorts aimed to spread awareness on the Latinx experience.

 

The special follows Longoria’s recent launch of a lifestyle site for the Latina community, She Se Puede, that covers fashion, health, culture and voting.

 

Essential Heroes: A Momento Latino Event will broadcast Monday, October 26 from 9:00-10:00pm, ET/PT on the CBS Television Network. Audiences can also stream the event live and on demand on CBS All Access.

Wilmer Valderrama Renews First-Look Deal with CBS Television Studios

Wilmer Valderrama still has the (first) look…

The 40-year-old Colombian/Venezuelan American actor and NCIS co-star has renewed his first-look deal with CBS Television Studios, the studio behind the popular CBS drama series.

Wilmer Valderrama 

Valderrama stars as Special Agent Nick Torres on NCIS, which was just renewed for an 18th season. He has been on the show since Season 14, with the first-look producing pact running parallel to his acting deal for the show.

Under the first-look agreement, Valderrama has developed several series projects for CBS Television Studios through his WV Entertainment banner, including Hipster Death Rattle, a dark comedy based on the book by Richie Narvaez, with writer Rafael Agustin and Corinne Brinkerhoff; as well as the previously announced, The Turners, a half-hour single-camera autobiographical family doctors comedy from writer Naomi Ekperigin at ABC with Two Shakes Entertainment co-producing; and Patriots From the Barrio, a WWII drama about a Mexican-American unit, based on the book by Dave Gutierrez, from writer John Covarrubias.

Valderrama previously created and produced the MTV series Yo Momma, also serving as the host for all three seasons, in addition to producing other MTV series like Punk’dBlowin’ Up and Trippin’.

On the film side, Valderrama most recently was featured in Blast Beat, a coming of age drama that premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival. He voiced the first Latino Prince Charming in the 2018 animated feature film Charming. Valderrama also voiced the main character of Disney’s popular animated children’s show Handy Manny, which introduced preschoolers to Spanish. 

Netflix to Release JJ Soria’s Latinx Dramedy “Gentefied” in February

JJ Soriais getting gentefied next month…

Netflix has scheduled the launch of Gentefied, its 10-episode Latinx dramedy starring the 33-year-old Mexican American actor, for February 21.

JJ Soria

The project hails from Marvin Lemusand Linda Yvette Chávez— the duo behind Gente-fied: The Digital Series, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festivalin 2017 — and Macro.

Described as a badass Spanglish series about family, community, brown love and the displacement that disrupts it all, Gentefied follows three Mexican-American cousins and their struggle to chase the American Dream, even while that same dream threatens the things they hold most dear: their neighborhood, their immigrant grandfather and the family taco shop. Set in a rapidly changing Los Angeles, the series will navigate important themes such as identity, class and balancing insta-fame with translating memes for their parents. And it will settle once and for all how to pronounce Latinx, Netflix notes.

In addition to Soria, the series also stars Joaquín CosíoKarrie Martin and Carlos Santos

Executive Producer America Ferrera and Wilmer Valderrama are confirmed to guest star. Ferrera directed two episodes along with co-creator Lemus, Marta CunninghamAurora Guerrero and Andrew Ahn.

America Ferrera Joins 200+ in Penning Letter in Solidarity with the U.S. Latino Community in the Trump Era

America Ferrerais speaking up…

The 35-year-old Honduran American actress and former Ugly Betty star is among the A-list celebrities who’ve signed a letter to support the Latino community in light of recent deadly attacks and political targeting.

America Ferrea

Ferrera is among 200 actors, musicians, artists, activists, and labor and civil rights leaders that have signed the letter, which has been published in newspapers including The New York TimesEl Nuevo HeraldLa Opinión and El Diario.

Other top names include Eva LongoriaDiane Guerrero, Alex Martinez Kondracke, Mónica Ramírez and Olga Segura, along with Jennifer LopezGina RodriguezLin-Manuel MirandaCarmen PerezAnthony D. RomeroWilmer ValderramaZoe SaldanaSalma Hayek PinaultRicky MartinRosario DawsonDiego Luna, Dolores Huertaand Sandra Cisneros.

This comes amid a raft of incidents including the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas that left 22 individuals dead and injured 24 others, the sweeping ICE raids that took 680 individuals into custody in Mississippi, the continued separation of families, and the inhumane living conditions of those detained.



“As a Latina, my heart breaks with every attack on our dignity, humanity and lives. And as an American, I fear for the future of my country when our culture and policies lack a basic decency and respect for human life,” said Ferrera. “We all have a responsibility to show up in this moment and demand decency for one another and for our country.”

“We’re facing a moral crisis in our country, and we chose to use this moment to raise our voices, and speak up,” said Longoria. “Integrity starts with looking in the mirror and this letter calls on everyone, not just our community, to choose humanity and decency over hate and violence.”

“This piece is to remind us of our shared humanity,” added Orange Is The New Black star Guerrero. 

“We don’t have to look far to see what family separation and hateful rhetoric is doing to the people in our country. If we do not act, we will be complicit in one of history’s greatest tragedies.”

Mj Rodriguez Wins Best Actress – Television Prize at the Imagen Awards

Mj Rodriguez is celebrating her Imagen

This year’s Imagen Awards were doled out over the weekend, with the 28-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress taking home one of the night’s awards.

MJ Rodriguez

Rodriguez was named Best Actress – Television for her role as Blanca Rodriguez-Evangelista on the FX groundbreaking television drama Pose, which was named Best Primetime Program – Drama alongside CBS’ Magnum P.I.

Pose, created by Ryan MurphyBrad Falchuk and Afro-Latino television writer/producer Steven Canals, features the largest cast of transgender actors to be starring as series regulars in a scripted show. In addition to Rodriguez, the series also stars 23-year-old Dominican actor Angel Bismark Curiel.

Anthony Ramos won the Best Actor – Feature Film prize for his role in Monsters and Men, which was named Best Feature Film, while Isabela Moner was namedBest Actress – Feature Film for her role inInstant Family.

Jon Seda was named Best Actor – Television for his role in Chicago P.D., while Wilmer Valderrama was named Best Supporting Actor – Television
for his role on NCIS.

Rita Moreno was named Best Supporting Actress – Television
for One Day at a Time, while Anthony Gonzalez was named Best Young Actor – Television for HBO’s  Icebox.

Held at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, the Imagen Awards were established in 1985 from a suggestion by veteran television producer Norman Lear to encourage and recognize the positive portrayals of Latinos in media. The winners were judged and selected in 18 categories by an independent panel of entertainment industry executives and Latinx community leaders.

The Imagen Foundation also honored Chairman of Endemol Shine Americasand CEO of Endemol Shine North America’s Cris Abregowith the prestigious Imagen President’s Awardand Luisa Leschinwith the Norman Lear Writer’s Award.

The complete list of winners can be read below.

Best Feature Film
Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)

Best Director
Reinaldo Marcus Green, Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)

Best Actor – Feature Film
Anthony Ramos, Monsters and Men (NEON/Moviepass Films)

Best Actress – Feature Film
Isabela Moner, Instant Family (Paramount Pictures)

Best Primetime Program – Drama (TIE)
Magnum P.I. (CBS; CBS Television Studios, Universal Television, Perfect Storm Entertainment, Davis Entertainment, 101st Street Productions)
Pose (FX Networks; Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions)

Best Primetime Program – Comedy
One Day at a Time (Netflix; Sony Pictures Television for Netflix)

Best Primetime Program – Specials, Movies & Limited Series
Icebox (HBO; HBO Films in association with Gracie Films and Endeavor Content)

Best Actor – Television 
Jon Seda, Chicago P.D. (NBC; Wolf Entertainment in association with Universal Television)

Best Actress – Television
Mj Rodriguez, Pose (FX Networks; Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions)

Best Supporting Actor – Television
Wilmer Valderrama, NCIS (CBS; CBS Television Studios)

Best Supporting Actress – Television
Rita Moreno, One Day at a Time (Netflix; Sony Pictures Television for Netflix)

Best Young Actor – Television
Anthony Gonzalez, Icebox (HBO; HBO Films in association with Gracie Films and Endeavor Content)

Best Variety or Reality Show
Hip-Hop Houdini (Fuse; 7Beyond)

Best Children’s Programming
The Loud House (Nickelodeon)

Best Documentary – Great Performances
John Leguizamo’s Road to Broadway (PBS; NGL Studios & Diamante Content Production in association with THIRTEEN PRODUCTIONS LLC for WNET & Latino Public Broadcasting)

Best Informational Program
Breaking Big (PBS; Ozy Media)

Best Short-Form Non-Fiction Program
SC Featured – A Dreamer’s Path (ESPN Deportes)

Best On-Air Advertising
Sexism (Orci)

Wilmer Valderrama to Host This Year’s ALMA Awards

Wilmer Valderrama is steppin’ up to the podium…

The 38-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor will host next month’s ALMA Awards, which celebrate Latino achievements in American entertainment and media.

Wilmer Valderrama

In a statement, Valderrama said Latino achievements and contributions need to be spotlighted more than ever at what he called a “critical” time.

The ALMAs — American Latino Media Arts Awards— are back after a three-year hiatus in time for the 50th anniversary of UnidosUS, previously known as the National Council of La Raza.

UnidosUS is the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. In 1995 it created the ALMAsas a way to promote fair, accurate and balanced portrayals of Latinos in the entertainment industry.

Eva Longoriaand Gina Rodriguezwill be among the honorees at the awards show. Rodriguez, star of the CW’s Jane the Virgin, will share the awards spotlight with the show’s cast.

Activists Samantha Fuentesand Jamie Margolinwill also be honored. Fuentes survived the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, and Margolin founded the Zero Hourmovement to address climate change.

The November 4 ALMA ceremony is airing live at 8:00 pm ET on sibling TV channels Fuseand FM.

Former Fifth Harmonymember Ally Brooke Hernandezand singer Amara La Negrawill perform.

Fuse Mediamade a multi-year agreement to become the exclusive multiplatform media home of the ALMAs.

Wilmer Valderrama Signs First-Look Deal with CBS Television Studios

Wilmer Valderrama has a new deal…

The 38-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor’s production company, WV Entertainment, has signed a two-year first-look deal with CBS Television Studios.

Wilmer Valderrama  

WV Entertainment’s first-look agreement is for scripted and unscripted projects, with a strong emphasis on diversity.

“As someone who immigrated to the United States at 14 years old, I am immensely passionate about this opportunity to create engaging and culturally relevant projects with CBS Television Studios,” says Valderrama.

Valderrama’s production company has produced several projects, including The Hollywood Puppet Show, Handy Manny for Playhouse Disney, and Douglas Family Gold for Oxygen.

On the feature side he produced and is voicing the upcoming animated film Charming alongside John H. Williams, producer of the Shrek franchise.

Valderrama’s philanthropic endeavors include Harness, a group he launched recently with America Ferrera and Ryan Piers Williams, which is dedicated to connecting communities through conversation to inspire action and power change. Valderrama also serves on the board of Voto Latino and is co-chair of their artist coalition. He is also the spokesperson for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and is the founder of their Ready 2 Lead program, which educates and empowers Latino youth.

In 2013, Valderrama was honored with an ALMA Award for Outstanding Social Activism.

Wilmer Valderrama Acquires Rights to Dave Gutierrez’s WWII Book “Patriots from the Barrio”

It’s a Patriots mission for Wilmer Valderrama

The 37-year-old Colombian and Venezuelan American actor/producer and former That ’70s Show star and his WV Entertainment have acquired film and television rights to Patriots from the Barrio, Dave Gutierrez’s 2014 book that delves into the history of a segregated U.S. Army combat unit comprised entirely of Mexican Americans from South Texas that was part of the first division to set foot in Europe in World War II.

Wilmer Valderrama

Gutierrez’s book came about while he was researching a relative, Ramon G. Gutierrez, who during the war was captured and escaped twice, both times able to make it back across Allied lines. He later received the Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, and the Soviet Union gave him the Order of the Patriotic War. His Company E in the 36th Division fought in Italy at San Pietro in the Liri Valley, and in 1944 was nearly wiped out in the Battle of Ripaldo River, one of the U.S. Army’s biggest losses of WWII.

“During Hispanic Heritage Month, this story is especially timely, and I’m honored as a proud Latin American to amplify the courage and contributions of these incredible men,” Valderrama said.

Valderrama, who joined as a regular on CBSNCIS last year, also has the animated film Charming coming next year on which his WV Entertainment serves as a producer.

Maldonado & Her Pentatonix Groupmates to Salute the Bee Gees at Grammy Tribute

Kirsitie Maldonado will be experiencing disco fever…

The 24-year-old half-Mexican and part-Spanish American singer and her fellow Pentatonix members will be helping commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack next month.

Pentatonix

Maldonado’s a capella group will perform at Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees, which will premiere April 16 on CBS.

The event, led by the Recording Academy, AEG Ehrlich Ventures and CBS, will focus on improving music life and culture through the Bee Gees‘ legacy, celebrating the members of the five-time Grammy-winning group and Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipients.

Barry Gibb, the Bee Gees’ co-founder and last surviving member, will make an appearance and perform classic hits from the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack.

In addition to Pentatonix, special tributes from musicians will include performances by Stevie Wonder, Keith Urban, John Legend, Nick Jonas, Tori Kelly, Celine Dion, Little Big Town, Thomas Rhett, Jason Derulo, Kelsea Ballerini, Andra Day, Ed Sheeran, DNCE and many more.

Other guest appearances to add to the lineup are John Travolta, Cynthia Erivo and Wilmer Valderrama.

Pentatonix, who earned a Grammy for their collaboration with country legend Dolly Parton on “Jolene,” recently released their cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” part of the group’s upcoming album.

Maldonado and the gang previously covered Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” performed a Star Wars-themed medley at the American Music Awards, and performed the Oak Ridge Boys’ “Elvira at the CMA Awards.

Dawson Appears in Special #IAmAnImmigrant PSA

Rosario Dawson is embracing her roots…

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican and Afro-Cuban American actress has joined several Hollywood stars in commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month with a new PSA in partnership with Welcome.us.

Rosario Dawson

Dawson appears in the PSA that also features Bobby Cannavale, Lupita Nyong’o, Wilmer Valderrama, Rosie Perez and Harry Shum, Jr.

The #IAmAnImmigrant clip aims to recognize the multiple and vibrant roles immigrants – whether forced or voluntarily – contributed in the creation of the United States.

“You can trace back from trains being built and cities and industries being developed because of different influxes of people who came in,” said Dawson, the daughter of a Puerto Rican and a Cuban immigrant. “It’s incredible to be a part of a culture that’s just still living. What we expect or think about what America is, it’s fluid.”

It’s this fluidity that most excites Kenyan-Mexican Nyong’o about the country. “What I think is so wonderful about America is the fact that it is a society of immigrants,” she said,

Miami-born Colombian-Venezuelan Valderrama agrees, saying “every time we get a chance to say out loud that we are an immigrant, I think it’s important that we embrace that opportunity.”