Ariana DeBose to Appear on Season Two of AppleTV’s “Fraggle Rock: Back To The Rock”

Ariana DeBose is heading back to the rock

Apple TV+ has renewed its Emmy-winning series Fraggle Rock: Back To The Rock for a second season, with the 31-year-old half-Puerto Rican actress/singer added as a guest star.

Ariana DeBose,DeBose will be joined by Daveed Diggs, who appeared in the Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Night of the Lights holiday special, as well as Brett Goldstein and Catherine O’Hara in guest-starring roles.

Production on Season 2 of the reboot of Jim Henson’s beloved classic Fraggle Rock is underway in Calgary, Canada.

In Season 2, big changes affecting the Rock, the Fraggles, Doozers, and Gorgs will force them to confront their past and celebrate their interdependence, as they move through challenges together with hope, silliness, and brand new songs, all while dancing their cares away…down at Fraggle Rock.

Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock was recently recognized by the Sentinel Awards for outstanding Children’s Programming and is coming off four nominations by the inaugural Children’s & Family Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing Series, and winning for Outstanding Art Direction/Set Decoration/Scenic Design.

The complete first season of Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock and the Fraggle Rock: Back to the Rock Night of the Lights holiday special are now streaming on Apple TV+.

Rafael Casal Lands Major Role in Second Season of Disney+’s Marvel Series “Loki”

Rafael Casal is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe

The 36-year-old part-Spanish and Cuban American actor will appear in a major role in the upcoming second season of Disney+’s Marvel series Loki.

Rafael CasalA representative for Marvel declined to comment on the casting, but word of Casal’s addition started trickling out when a photo from the set of Season 2 leaked online.

It features Casal walking alongside Tom Hiddleston and Owen Wilson, who are back, reprising their roles as anti-hero Loki and Mobius, respectively.

Details about Casal’s character are being kept under wraps; online speculation includes a hypothesis that he could be playing Zaniac.

Following strong reviews and record viewing numbers for the original installment, Loki became the first Marvel series for Disney+ to get a second season.

Loki is set in a Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent world, in which the God of Mischief is a fish-out-of-water when he lands in trouble with the bureaucratic TVA (Time Variance Authority) after absconding with the Tesseract.

Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead are co-directing a majority of the episodes in the new season. Hiddleston and Michael Waldron, who wrote and served as showrunner in Season 1, executive produce. Eric Martin is penning all six episodes.

Casal, along with Daveed Diggs, co-wrote, produced and starred in the 2018 movie Blindspotting.

The two co-created and executive produce Starz’s Blindspotting series spinoff, which debuted earlier this year, with Casal as showrunner and reprising his role from the movie.

The series, which has been renewed for a second season, earned an Indie Spirit Award and Gotham Award nominations for Best New/Breakthrough series.

Casal’s acting credits also include Good Lord Bird, Bad Education and Are You Afraid of the Dark?

Gabriela Lopez to Star in Disney+’s Original Series “The Crossover”

 Gabriela Lopez is reading for a crossover

The 30-year-old half-Peruvian American actress will star in the Disney+ original series The Crossover.

Gabriela LopezLopez is among a roster of new cast additions that includes Darone Okolie, Joel Steingold, Himie Freeman and Johnny Cantley in recurring roles.

Okolie and Freeman will play future versions of the Bell brothers, Lopez will play a future version of ‘Maya’ and Cantley will play a future version of ‘Vondie.’

Steingold will play ‘Basil St. Jean,’ the poised and stylish Vice Principal at Hughes Middle School. He’s friendly and hard-working and offers his support to Crystal (Sabrina Revelle) in any way he can, even though she secured the job he was up for. But is he a friend or a foe?

Based on the best-selling novel by Kwame AlexanderThe Crossover introduces teen brothers Josh and Jordan Bell, widely considered basketball phenoms. Through his lyrical poetry, an adult version of Josh, aka Filthy McNasty, narrates the story of he and his brother’s coming of age, on and off the court, as their former professional basketball player father adjusts to life after basketball, and their mother finally pursues lifelong dreams of her own.

Daveed Diggs will narrate the series. Stars also include Jalyn Hall as ‘Josh Bell,’ Amir O’Neil as ‘JB Bell,’ Derek Luke as ‘Chuck Bell,’ Skyla I’Lece as ‘Alexis,’ Deja Monique Cruz as ‘Maya’ and Trevor Raine Bush as ‘Vondie.’

The pilot episode was directed by George Tillman, Jr. and was written by Kwame Alexander and Damani Johnson.

The Disney Branded Television series is produced by 20th Television.

Lopez’s previous credits include Rosewood, Casual and The 5th Wave.

Jared Leto to Serve as Presenter at This Year’s SAG Awards

Jared Leto will bring some Italian stylings to this year’s Screen Actors Guild Awards.

The 50-year-old part-Spanish American actor and singer is among the celebrities who’ll introduce clips from their respective movies at the SAG Awards.

Jared LetoLeto and Lady Gaga will introduce their acclaimed film House of Gucci.

Other castmembers from the five nominated film ensembles will be Caitríona Balfe, Jamie Dornan, Jude Hill and Ciarán Hinds from Focus Features’ Belfast; Daniel Durant, Emilia Jones, Troy Kotsur and Marlee Matlin from Apple TV+’s CODA; Cate Blanchett, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyler Perry from Netflix’s Don’t Look Up; Lady Gaga and Leto from MGM/UA’s film; and Aunjanue Ellis, Saniyya Sidney, Demi Singleton and Will Smith from Warner Bros.’ King Richard.

The 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards will take place on Sunday, February 27, and will be simulcast on TNT and TBS from Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.

The show will also, for the first time, be available the following day on HBO Max.

The announcement comes on the heels of news that Hamilton stars Lin-Manuel Miranda, Daveed Diggs and Leslie Odom Jr. will open the ceremony.

Kate Winslet will present the 57th SAG Life Achievement Award to five-time SAG Award and Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren. Additional show presenters include Alexandra Daddario, Rosario Dawson, Ross Butler and Vanessa Hudgens, with more to be announced soon.

In addition to their nominations for outstanding performance by a cast in a motion picture, King Richard‘s Smith and House of Gucci‘s Lady Gaga earned nominations for their leading roles, while Belfast‘s Balfe, CODA‘s Kotsur and House of Gucci‘s Leto were nominated in the supporting categories. Don’t Look Up‘s Blanchett also earned a supporting nom for her role in Fox Searchlight’s Nightmare Alley.

Eiza Gonzalez to Star in Apple TV+’s Climate Change Anthology Drama Series “Extrapolations”

Eiza Gonzalez is taking a look at the effects of climate change

The 31-year-old Mexican actress and singer will be part of Apple TV+’s climate change anthology drama series Extrapolations.

Eiza González

In addition to Gonzalez, other stars set to join the series include Forest WhitakerMarion Cotillard and Tobey Maguire.

The series hails from Scott Z. Burns.

They join the likes of Meryl StreepSienna MillerKit HaringtonTahar RahimMatthew RhysDaveed DiggsGemma ChanDavid Schwimmer and Adarsh Gourav in the project.

The series, currently in production, tells stories of how the upcoming changes to the planet will affect love, faith, work and family on a personal and human scale. Told over a season of eight interconnected episodes, each story in the scripted series will track the worldwide battle for our mutual survival spanning the 21st century.

Whitaker plays small-time investor August Bolo, Cotillard plays art dealer Sylvie Bolo, Maguire plays kelp farmer Nic and Gonzalez plays artist and influencer Elodie.

It comes from Michael Ellenberg’s Media Res with Burns as writer, director and exec producer.

Gonzalez, who starred in Baby Driver, is set to star in Netflix’s The Three Body Problem from the Game of Thrones showrunners.

Starz Orders Second Season of Rafael Casal’s “Blindspotting” Series

Rafael Casal is still blindspotting

Starz has ordered a second season of the 36-year-old part-Spanish and part-Cuban American actor, writer, producer and showrunner’s Blindspotting.

Rafael CasalThe first season of the television spin-off sequel of Casal’s acclaimed film premiered in June.

The series centers on Ashley, played by Jasmine Cephas Jones, who was nipping at the heels of a middle class life in Oakland until Miles, her partner of 12 years and father of their son, is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and humorous existential crisis when she’s forced to move in with Miles’ mother and half-sister.

Casal, who created the series with Daveed Diggs, plays Miles in addition to serving as showrunner.

Benjamin Earl TurnerAtticus WoodwardJaylen Barron, Candace Nicholas-Lippman, and Helen Hunt also star.

Casal also exec produces alongside Diggs.

“The award-worthy artistry and creativity that Rafael, Daveed and the entire Blindspotting team poured into the series took the comedy genre to a new level and I can’t wait to see what they have in store for season two,” said Jeffrey Hirsch, President and CEO at Starz. “The series deservedly garnered critical acclaim and is a wonderful example of our programming mandate focused on unique, authentic stories by, about and for women and underrepresented audiences.”

“We are overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for season one and have been hard at work for the last few months crafting the next chapter of this Bay story. We are so excited to bring the next season to life with the incredible artistry of our cast and crew, and our partners Starz and Lionsgate. They done fucked around and gave us more runway, so welcome back to the ordeal,” added Casal and Diggs.

Robert Beltran to Reprise “Star Trek: Voyager” Role on Paramount+’s New Series “Star Trek: Prodigy”

Robert Beltran is heading back to space…

The 67-year-old Mexican-American actor has joined the voice cast of the new animated series Star Trek: Prodigy, which premieres on October 28 on Paramount+.

Robert Beltran

Beltran will reprise his Star Trek: Voyager role as Captain Chakotay on the new series, which will also includes Daveed Diggs, Jameela Jamil and Jason Alexander as part of the voice cast.

The series, produced by Nickelodeon and CBS StudiosEye Animation Productions, showcased a first-look clip from the series at New York Comic Con. It features a hologram of iconic Captain Kathryn Janeway (voiced by Kate Mulgrew).

The series will debut with a one-hour episode titled Lost & FoundIn it, a group of lawless teens, exiled on a mining colony outside Federation space, discover a derelict Starfleet ship. Dal must gather an unlikely crew for their newfound ship if they are going to escape Tars Lamora, but the Diviner and his daughter Gwyn have other plans.

Developed by Emmy Award winners Kevin and Dan Hageman, the CG-animated series is the first Star Trek series aimed at younger audiences, and will follow a motley crew of young aliens who must figure out how to work together while navigating a greater galaxy in search of a better future. These six young outcasts know nothing about the ship they have commandeered – a first in the history of the “Star Trek” franchise – but over the course of their adventures together, they will each be introduced to Starfleet and the ideals it represents.

Lin-Manuel Miranda Among Artists Offering Civic Lessons in Netflix’s Animated Series “We the People”

Lin-Manuel Miranda is giving a civics lesson…

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer and playwright, the mastermind behind the Tony Award-winning musical Hamilton, lends his voice to the new animated Netflix series We the People.

Lin-Manuel Miranda 

Created by Chris Nee and produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, the 10-part series provides a range of civics lessons through three-minute music videos on topics that include the Bill of Rights, immigration and the courts.

In addition to Miranda, the series also features award-winning artists H.E.R., Brandi CarlisleBebe Rexha and others.

Miranda took on the topic of “The Three Branches of Government” episode, writing and performing the song “Checks and Balances,” alongside Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Daveed Diggs, Brittany Howard and Robert Lopez.

With its light hip-hop bear, the catchy number explains the checks and balances of the United States government.

Meanwhile, Jorge R. Gutierrez directs the immigration-themed episode, which features the track “American Citizen,” performed by Bebe Rexha.

The 46-year-old Mexican animator, painter, writer, voice actor, and production designer helms Rexha’s pop message that lets everyone know from the second they are born, they are an “American Citizen.”

The episode is full of visual treats showing how the country is one built from a nation of immigrants, as animated versions of Sofia Vergara, Steven Chen, Anousheh Ansari and Padma Lakshmi are all featured to illustrate the point.

We the People premiered on Sunday, July 4 on Netflix.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Freestyle Love Supreme” Returning to Broadway in October

Lin-Manuel Miranda is bringing the (freestyle) Love to Great White Way…

Freestyle Love Supreme, the improvisational rap musical revue co-created by the 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, songwriter, rapper, producer, and playwright, is returning to Broadway’s Booth Theatre for a strictly limited three-month engagement in October, producers announced today.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

“If live theater is coming back, so is FLS,” said Miranda, who co-created the show with Thomas Kail and Anthony Veneziale. “Our most important collaborator is the audience, and we can’t wait to get back in the Booth.”

The limited engagement begins Thursday, October 7, and runs through Sunday, January 2, 2022.

“We are thrilled to be back on Broadway and part of this theatrical community we love so much,” said Kail, who directs. “The immediacy of our show, with its content driven by audience suggestion, makes it one of the rare shows that can speak to whatever is happening in the moment.”

The production’s core performers will include Andrew Bancroft AKA Jelly Donut, Tarik Davis AKA Tardis Hardaway, Aneesa Folds AKA Young Nees, Arthur Lewis AKA Arthur the Geniuses, Kaila Mullady AKA Kaiser Rözé, Chris Sullivan AKA Shockwave and Anthony Veneziale AKA Two-Touch.

As with the original 2019-2020 Broadway production, the revival will include spontaneous, unannounced special guests which “may include” Miranda, Christopher Jackson, Daveed Diggs, James Monroe Iglehart, Wayne Brady, Ashley Pérez Flanagan, Bill Sherman, Utkarsh Ambudkar and others.

Hamilton creator Miranda has been much in the spotlight lately, with the film adaptation of his In The Heights opening last week, his feature directorial debut tick, tick… Boom! arriving this Fall and his partly-owned The Drama Bookshop bookstore opening earlier this month in Manhattan’s theater district.

Prior to its purchase by Miranda, Kail and producers Jeffrey Seller and James L. Nederlander, the Book Shop, in a nearby location, had long been theater district institution and gathering place but was threatened with closure by rising rents and financial difficulties. Miranda, Kail and Veneziale began writing Freestyle Love Supreme more than 17 years ago in the basement of the old Book Shop, a history chronicled in the 2020 documentary We Are Freestyle Love Supreme.

Freestyle Love Supreme is produced on Broadway by Kail, Miranda, Jenny and Jon Steingart, and Jill Furman.

Rosie Perez Appears in WarnerMedia’s COVID-19 Vaccine PSAs

Rosie Perez is helping to raise awareness about the COVD-19 vaccine…

WarnerMedia is debuting a number of coronavirus vaccine PSAs featuring stars from their series, including the 56-year-old Puerto Rican actress, choreographer and community activist.

Rosie Perez

The public service announcements were created in partnership with the Ad Council, in support of their ongoing COVID-19 Vaccine Education campaigns.

The “It’s Up To You” campaign will air across all WarnerMedia and AT&T-owned cable, digital, streaming and social platforms starting next week.

Meanwhile, the Ad Council will be sharing the PSAs across their own network of distribution platforms.

The PSAs were written and directed by the internal creative team at Warner Media’s 10th Street Studios, which previously created the “Mask Up America” campaign.

In support of COVID-19 safety precautions, each of the campaign’s videos, which include Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Daveed Diggs, was produced remotely.

“WarnerMedia is proud to work with the Ad Council to continue to grow awareness and drive vaccine adoption,” said Dennis Williams, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility, WarnerMedia. “Having Sanjay, Rosie, and Daveed help us create and build a conversation around getting vaccinated will not only inspire action, but also save lives.”

“We continue to be so grateful to the WarnerMedia team for their commitment to educating Americans on protecting themselves and their families from COVID-19,” added Heidi Arthur, Chief Campaign Development Officer, Ad Council. “We know that many Americans have questions about the vaccine, and are so thankful to Sanjay, Rosie, and Daveed for helping educate and inspire Americans to get the answers to their questions so they can make an informed choice about vaccination for themselves and for their families.”