Michael Cuesta to Direct ABC’s Latinx-Themed Drama Pilot “Promised Land”

Michael Cuesta has landed a promising project…

The 57-year-old Latino film and television director has been tapped to direct and executive produce ABC’s drama pilot Promised Land..

Michael Cuesta

Written by Matt LopezPromised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

The cast includes John Ortiz as Joe Sandoval, patriarch of the Sandoval family, Cecilia Suárez as Lettie Sandoval, matriarch of the Sandoval family, Augusto Aguilera as Mateo Sandoval, the hardworking, highly capable general manager of the Heritage Vineyard and stepson to patriarch Joe Sandoval, Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, the youngest daughter of the Sandoval family, Christina Ochoa as Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals, as well as Andres Velez as Carlos Rincón, a young immigrant who comes to the Heritage Vineyard in search of a better life.

Lopez executive produces with Cuesta and Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group. ABC Signature is the studio.

Cuesta also is one of the directors, working with Barry Levinson, on Dopesick, Hulu’s upcoming eight-episode limited series written by Danny Strong, based on Beth Macy’s bestselling book, from The Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefield and Touchstone Television.

He most recently served as executive producer and director, including on the pilot episode, of Homeland, which recently wrapped its eighth and final season on Showtime.

In addition to Homeland, Cuesta directed the pilots for Dexter, Blue Bloods and City on a Hill. His episodic directing credits include Elementary, True Blood and Billions, among others.

Melissa Navia to Star in Paramount+’s New Original Series “Star Trek: Strange New Worlds”

Melissa Navia is ready to trek around the universe…

The Colombian-American actor, writer, and stand-up comedian has joined the cast of Paramount+’s upcoming new original series Star Trek: Strange New Worlds as production officially gets underway in Toronto.

Melissa Navia

Navia joins a cast of series regulars that includes Babs Olusanmokun, Christina Chong, Celia Rose Gooding and Jess Bush.

The series is based on the years Captain Christopher Pike manned the helm of the U.S.S. Enterprise.

Navia and the gang join previously announced cast members Ethan Peck, Anson Mount and Rebecca Romijn, who will be reprising their roles from Season 2 of Star Trek: Discovery.

The Strange New Worlds‘ premiere episode is written by Star Trek: Picard EP Akiva Goldsman from a story the Oscar winner wrote with Alex Kurtzman and fellow EP Jenny Lumet. Goldsman and Henry Alonso Myers serve as co-showrunners, with Goldsman directing the premiere episode.

The series is distributed by ViacomCBS Global Distribution Group.

Navia’s recent television credits include a recurring role on AMC’s Dietland and guest roles on Showtime’s Billions and Homeland.

In March 2020, she made her Off-Broadway debut in the praised Bundle of Sticks at INTAR Theatre.

Elvis Nolasco Joins Cast of OWN’s Coming-of-Age Drama Series “David Makes Man”

Elvis Nolasco is the Man with a plan…

The Dominican actor has joined the ensemble cast of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network’s upcoming coming-of-age drama series David Makes Man, from Oscar-winning Moonlight co-writer Tarell Alvin McCraney.

Elvis Nolasco

David Makes Man centers on David, a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend and relied on by his hardworking mother to find a way out of poverty. He must choose between the streets that raised him or the higher education that may offer him a way out. Set in South Florida, the lyrical drama, inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, explores the inherent trauma sustained in the fight for survival.

In addition to Nolasco, who starred in ABC’s anthology series American Crime, cast additions include Alana Arenas, (L.A. Confidential, Chicago P.D.), while Gillian Williams (The Girlfriend Experience), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (The Quad, Billionsand Randy Gonzalez (Bloodline) are set for recurring roles.

They join previously announced cast Phylicia Rashad, Akili McDowell, Nathaniel Logan McIntyre, Isaiah Johnson, Ade Chike Torbert, Jordan Bolger, Cayden K. Williams and Travis Coles.

Directors joining the hour-long drama for Season 1 include Michael Francis Williams, Kiel Adrian Scott, Daina Reid and Cheryl Dunye.

The series, currently in production in Orlando, Florida, is set for a 2019 premiere on OWN.

Arenas will play Gloria, David’s young, hardworking, single mother who wants better for her children. A now-sober, former drug user, she worries that social services might take her sons away.

Williams will recur as Jessica Kelly, David’s former music teacher who is the mother of his best friend, Seren. Santiago-Hudson is Dr. Bree, a clinical psychiatrist who challenges David to examine the trauma of his past and his hopes for the future. Nolasco will play Tio-Teo, the uncle to David’s strained acquaintance, Raynan. He aims to expand his illegal prescription med operation . . . no matter what the cost. Gonzalez is Mr. Lopez, a teacher of remedial math who believes in David more than David believes in himself.

David Makes Man is produced by Page Fright and Outlier Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.