Judy Reyes to Star in the Lifetime’s Border Separation Film “Torn From Her Arms”

Judy Reyes is a woman Torn

The 53-year-old Dominican American actress and former Scrubs star will lead the cast of Torn From Her ArmsLifetime’s family border separation film.

Judy Reyes,

Hailing from Ozy Media and Motion Picture Corporation of America, the movie will also star Gloria Reuben.

Fátima Molina and Camila Nuñez also star in the timely film, which, amidst the ongoing crisis at the U.S. border, depicts the harrowing true story of a mother and daughter who must find their way back to each other after being separated.

It’s slated to premiere this fall.

Reyes will play Thelma Garcia, a Texas Immigration lawyer who works tirelessly to reunite the pair, while Reuben plays Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist ProPublica reporter, Ginger Thompson, who broke the story.

Originally covered by Ozy’s reporting arm, Torn From Her Arms marks Ozy’s first foray into scripted programming and an expansion of its television catalog.

Based on a true story, Torn From Her Arms follows Cindy Madrid (Molina) and her six-year-old daughter, Ximena (Nuñez), who fled violence in El Salvador for safety in the U.S., only to be separated at the border as a part of the Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy. Detained in detention centers in different states, Cindy and Ximena endured inhumane living conditions and inadequate medical care, but that was nothing compared to the emotional toll of being apart. Their story would gain national attention when a whistleblower leaked a gut-wrenching audiotape of six-year-old Ximena crying for her mother. The onslaught of media attention incited by Ginger’s story alerted the nation to the cruelties being committed against undocumented immigrant families at the border.
Alan Jonsson Gavica directs from a script written by Tawnya Bhattacharya and Ali Laventhol.

Reyes, who plays “Quiet Ann” on Claws, also appeared on Devious Maids.

Gloria Calderón Kellett Developing “With Love” as First Series Under Overall Production Deal with Amazon Studios

Gloria Calderón Kellett is bringing the Love to Amazon…

The 46-year-old Cuban American television writer/creator’s GloNation Studios and Amazon Studios have set With Love as the first series under Calderón Kellett’s overall deal with the streamer.

Gloria Calderón Kellett

The one-hour romantic dramedy, created and written by the One Day At a Time co-creator, had been fast tracked since the pitch stage with the goal to launch it during the 2021 holiday season.

Additionally, Calderón Kellett has set up three other series projects for development at Amazon Studios through GloNation as part of her deal. The wide-ranging slate includes Shakespeare-themed high-school drama Verona, co-created by Calderón Kellett; Glowing Up, a half-hour adult animation musical series based on the graphic novel Mismatched, a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma; and Dating the Lopez Ladies, a half-hour animated comedy created by Calderón Kellett.

Glowing Up and Dating the Lopez Ladies follow Calderón Kellett’s foray into animation with the well-received special episode of One Day At a Time, which was produced during the COVID-19 pandemic last year. Meanwhile, With Love and Verona mark a return to the hour-long side for Calderón Kellett, who previously worked on Devious Maids and iZombie.

With Love follows the Diaz siblings, Lily and Jorge, who are on a mission to find love and purpose. The Diaz siblings cross paths with seemingly unrelated residents during some of the most heightened days of the year –the holidays.

“I started writing as a way to create characters and stories that represented myself and the community I love,” Calderón Kellett said. “After such a heavy year, there was nothing I wanted more than to see a happy, warm, loving family that looked like mine, celebrating trauma-free and falling in love. So, to be bringing that family to life as my first project with Amazon Studios feels especially personal and is incredibly exciting. I cannot wait to share With Love this holiday season!”

The holiday series is currently in prep, with production set to begin in June. Its pilot episode will be directed and executive produced by Meera Menon.

With Love is a special project and Gloria at her best, creating a world with a vibrant family at its center, hysterical circumstances, and so much heart and soul. We’re so proud of what’s to come of this series and can’t wait for the world to fall in love with it,” said Marc Resteghini, US and Global Head of Development for Amazon Studios.

Here are details about the three other projects from Calderón Kellett’s GloNation Studios in the works at Amazon:

VERONA
As Shakespeare so famously wrote, all the world’s a stage… and never is that truer than as a teenager, when you are performing for yourself, your peers, your parents, and social media. Verona is an hour-long drama series which takes the classic Shakespearean stories you know and love out of the renaissance and into present-day high school. The highs are still high, the lows are still low, but one thing is certain… high school drama is about to get a lot more poetic. We follow the Del Castillo sisters Nico, Delilah, and Inez as they play out familiar stories interweaved together in fair Verona where we lay our scene.
Created By: Roja Gashtili & Julia Lerman, Kelly Younger and Gloria Calderón Kellett.
Writers / Executive Producers: Roja Gashtili, Julia Lerman

GLOWING UP
Based on the graphic novel Mismatched (a modern-day adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma), Glowing Up is a half-hour adult animation musical series centered on Evan Horowitz, an out and proud Latino/Jew amateur matchmaker and wannabe makeup influencer. Evan is an old-school romantic who dedicates himself to getting true love to trend at his high school in Queens — through singing, dancing, and contoured cheekbones. A big gay musical comedy that focuses on love and celebrates LGBTQIA+ youth.
Writers / Executive Producers: Debby Wolfe & Marcos Luevanos
EPs: Gloria Calderón Kellett and Will Graham (for Field Trip)

DATING THE LOPEZ LADIES
A half-hour animated comedy series following plus-sized powerhouse Ilana Lopez. She’s a 25-year-old artist who runs a wildly successful comic strip about dating called Sharp Curves following the misadventures of her alter-ego Gabby. Gabby becomes all too real and is the devil on Ilana’s shoulder in life as well as on the page. When Ilana’s mother, the 49-year-old glamorous divorcee, Sofia visits, she points out that fictional Gabby has more fun than real-life Ilana. It makes Ilana and her friends energized to start a date club and take their romantic conquests seriously. Inspired by the young people, Sofia decides to join her daughter and friends in date club! Adventures and hilarity ensue.
Creator/Writer/EP: Gloria Calderón Kellett

Calderón Kellett, a leading voice in Latinx storytelling on television, was executive producer/co-showrunner, director and actress on Netflix/Pop’s One Day At A Time, which was universally praised for its authentic and nuanced portrayal of the the Latinx experience.

She began her TV writing career as a staff writer on the CBS comedy series How I Met Your Mother, rising to co-producer and earning an ALMA Award for one of her scripts in 2008. She then worked as a writer-producer on such series as CBS/Sony Television’s Rules of Engagement, Lifetime’s Devious Maids and the CW’s iZombie before taking on One Day at a Time. 

Jesse Garcia to Star in the Eva Longoria-Directed “Flamin’ Hot” Film

It’s a flamin’ hot time for Jesse Garcia.

The 38-year-old Mexican American actor and former Quinceañera star has landed the lead role in Eva Longoria’s feature directorial debut Flamin’ Hot from Searchlight Pictures and Franklin Entertainment.

Jesse Garcia

Garcia will play Richard Montanez, the architect of the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto, while Annie Gonzalez of Gentefied will portray his wife, Judy.

Flamin’ Hot tells the true life story of Richard Montanez, the Frito Lay janitor who took inspiration from his Mexican American heritage to create Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, the snack that disrupted the food industry and became a pop culture phenomenon.

Desperate Housewives actress and Telenovela, Grand Hoteland Devious Maids EP Longoria beat out several directors for the job after impressing Franklin and Searchlight with her authentic approach to the project.

“It has been my biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically,” said Longoria in a statement. “I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican-Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”

Also new to Flamin’ Hot is scribe Linda Yvette Chavez who has come aboard for revisions on the Lewis Colick-penned screenplay. Chavez is the creator of Netflix’s Gentefied and she’s also adapting I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter at the streamer for America Ferrera’s upcoming directorial debut.

Garcia appears in the Searchlight Pictures title Under the Same Moon, alongside Kate del Castillo and Ferrera. He has been widely recognized for his role in the highly acclaimed Quinceañera winner of the Audience Award and the Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. For his performance as Carlos, Garcia was nominated and won the prestigious ALMA Award (American Latino Media Arts) as Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture in 2007. Garcia can also be seen in The Avengers.

Gonzalez is a Chicana actress and East Los Angeles native. She grew up singing with the band Quetzal, (which has been a noted force in the Chicano movement), was one of the original dancers on Jamm X Kids for the WB and has been appearing on TV since the age of 10. She is most known for her roles in Gentefied, Vida, Shameless, and Legion. She was recently cast in the ABC pilot, Bucktown starring opposite Jane Lynch and Nicole Richie. Gonzalez also has a YouTube page with videos dedicated to her thoughts on spirituality, self-love, peace, positivity and living life as a Latina.

Roselyn Sanchez to Star in Fox’s “Fantasy Island” Reboot

Roselyn Sanchez is livin’ her fantasy…

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actress/singer will star in Fantasy IslandFox’s contemporary reboot of the classic drama series.

Roselyn Sanchez

Sanchez will portay Elena Roarke, a descendant of the original series’ enigmatic Mr. Roarke, in the project, which received a straight-to-series order and will debut on August 10.

The project hails from writer-producers Liz Craft and Sarah Fain as well as Sony Pictures Television and its Gemstone Studios label, which co-produce with Fox Entertainment.

Fantasy Island is set at a luxury resort, where literally any fantasy requested by guests is fulfilled, although they rarely turn out as expected.

The resort is run by Elena Roarke (Sanchez) who set aside her own ambitions, and even the love of her life, to uphold her family’s legacy. Sophisticated, insightful and always charming, Elena’s calm exterior masks the challenges of the responsibilities she has assumed as steward of this mysterious island.

Sanchez joins previously cast series regular Kiara Barnes and heavily recurring John Gabriel Rodriquez. The reboot is keeping the semi-anthological format of the original Fantasy Island with three main characters played by Sanchez, Barnes and Rodriquez, who live/work on the island and new guests arriving in every episode.

The original 1977 series, created by Gene Levitt and executive produced by Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg, starred Ricardo Montalbán as Mr. Roarke and Hervé Villechaize as his assistant Tattoo as they grant guests so-called “fantasies” on the island for a price.

The original Fantasy Island series and the 1998 reboot starring Malcolm McDowell as Mr. Roarke, will begin streaming on Fox Entertainment’s free-streaming platform, Tubi, on May 1.

On the new series, alongside Sanchez’s Elena Roarke, Barnes plays Ruby Okoro, a young woman with an old soul who arrives on Fantasy Island with a terminal illness, and is given a new lease on life there; Rodriquez plays pilot Javier, who also is the head of island transportation and a jack of all trades. There is no direct version of the Tattoo character in the reboot.

The Fantasy Island reimagining, written and executive produced by Craft and Fain, delves into the “what if” questions that keep us awake at night. Each episode will tell emotional, provocative stories about people who walk in with a desire but end up reborn to themselves through the magical realism of Fantasy Island.

Sanchez, whose major English-language television credits include lead roles in Without a Trace, Devious Maids and Grand Hotel, has been nominated for an ALMA Award six times, winning in 2008 for Without a Trace.

Eva Longoria to Direct & Executive Produce HBO Max’s “The Gordita Chronicles” Pilot

Eva Longoria has lined up her next directorial project…

The 45-year-old Mexican American actress/producer will direct and executive produce The Gordita Chronicles pilot at HBO Max.

Eva Longoria

The single-camera family comedy hails from Josh Berman’s Osprey ProductionsZoe Saldana’s Cinestar Pictures, and Sony Pictures Television, where Berman’s Osprey Prods is under a deal.

Written by Claudia Forestier, The Gordita Chronicles centers on a willful, chubby, 12-year-old Dominican who struggles to fit into hedonistic 1980s Miami as her family pursues the American Dream.

Brigitte Munoz Liebowitz serves as executive producer and showrunner. Longoria executive produces via her UnbeliEVAble Entertainment. Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana executive produce for Cinestar Pictures.

Sony Pictures Television is the studio.

Longoria will be making her film directorial debut with Searchlight’s Flamin’ Hot, an inspiring biopic about the janitor turned executive who created the flaming hot Cheetos snack. She’ll also direct the workplace comedy 24/7 and star alongside Kerry Washington for Universal and direct the action comedy Spa Day for Sony.

The former Desperate Housewives star made her television directing debut on Devious Maids in 2014. Her television producing/directing credits also include ESPN 30 for 30 documentary Versus, and episodes of Black-ish, The Mick and Telenovela.

Longoria made her pilot directing debut with the CW’s Glorious.

 

Roselyn Sánchez Cast in Peacock’s Upcoming Dramedy Series “Armas De Mujer”

Roselyn Sánchez is armed and ready…

The 47-year-old Puerto Rican actress, singer/songwriter and producer has been cast in Peacock’s upcoming dramedy series Armas De Mujer.

Roselyn Sanchez

Sanchez, who starred in Devious Maids and Grand Hotel, joins a roster of newcomers that includes Sylvia Sáenz and Jeimy Osorio. 

They join previously announced Kate del Castillo in the series set for premiere later this year.

Armas De Mujer hails from the team behind Telmundo’s hit La Reina del Sur, which stars del Castillo.

Created by José Luis Acosta, in Armas De Mujer, four women suffer their worst nightmare after the police arrest their husbands for being linked to the same criminal organization. Accustomed to a life of abundance, they will now need to join forces in the most unusual manner.

del Castillo stars as Ángela, the wife of the cartel’s accountant and the fortuitous leader of the group of women who have gone from being care-free wives living in luxurious homes, to using all the weapons at their disposal just to survive.

Sánchez portrays Sofía, the tough wife to the cartel’s assassin. Sáenz plays Viri, wife to one of the top chiefs in the hierarchy of the cartel. Osorio is Esme, the independent and courageous wife to the head of the cartel’s assassins.

Armas De Mujer is produced by Telemundo Global Studios. The series is directed by Enrique Begné and Claudia Pedraza.

Edy Ganem to Star in the Indie Action Thriller “Free Dead or Alive”

Edy Ganem’s schedule is Free-ing up…

The 37-year-old Mexican-Lebanese actress will star opposite Seth Michaels and 50-year-old Venezuelan actress and model Patricia Velasquez in Free Dead or Alive, an indie action thriller written, produced and directed by Erik Bernard.

Edy Ganem

The film follows Eva (Ganem), a beautiful strong-willed young woman who enters a journey to escape her mother’s (Velasquez) arranged marriage to the region’s most dangerous cartel. Her defiance sets off a chain of events that threatens her life. Surviving will require the skills of Dragon (Michaels), a coyote that can protect her during her quest throughout the dangerous world of cross-border cartels who are the law of the lands.

Robert LaSardo, Robert Avellanet, Jonathan Joss, and Al Coronel will co-star. Courtney LeMarco will serve as executive producer.

Ganem’s previous credits include Devious Maids, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, CSI: Crime Scene InvestigationThe Cleveland Show and Rob. 

Velasquez’s previous credits include The Mummy, Saint Bernard and The Curse of La Llorona.

Gloria Calderón Kellett Appointed to Television Academy’s Executive Committee

Gloria Calderón Kellett is joining the Television Academy’s executive committee…

The 45-year-old Latina television writer, creator and One Day at a Time executive producer is among the six new appointees to organization’s executive committee, as chosen by the organization’s chairman and CEO, Frank Scherma.

Gloria Calderón Kellett

Calderón Kellett is joined by Issa Rae, Rob Mills, Anonymous Content’s Dawn Olmstead, Amazon StudiosVernon Sanders and Apple TV PlusZack Van Amburg.

“We are thrilled to be able to leverage the collective expertise of this talented group of Television innovators as we navigate this extraordinary time in the history of our industry,” Scherma said. “Their leadership provides invaluable insight that will allow the Academy to play an integral role in shaping the evolution of the medium.”

The six appointees will work closely with the Television Academy’s officers and board of governors to develop and guide the direction of the Academy for the 2021 term, the organization said.

Here’s more on Scherma’s new executive committee members:

Gloria Calderón Kellett: Executive producer, co-creator, co-showrunner, director and actress on One Day at a Time. Other credits as a writer/producer include Devious Maids, Rules of Engagement and How I Met Your Mother. She also directed episodes of Mr. Iglesias, Merry Happy Whatever, United We Fall and the Mad About You revival; and recently sold her first feature film, We Were There Too.

Robert Mills: Senior vice president, alternative series, specials and late-night programming, ABC Entertainment. Mills oversees development, current production and specials for ABC, with shows such as “American Idol,” “Shark Tank,” “The Bachelor” franchise, “Dancing with the Stars” and “America’s Funniest Home Videos.” He also handles late-night talk show “Jimmy Kimmel Live” and the “Fun & Games” programming block.

 

Dawn Olmstead: Recently named CEO and partner of Anonymous Content. Prior to that, she served as president of Universal Content Productions, overseeing all creative and business operations of scripted and non-scripted content for the studio.

Issa Rae: Actress, writer and producer. She created and stars in HBO’s “Insecure,” for which she has received multiple Emmy and Golden Globe nominations. Rae’s film credits include “The Hate U Give,” “The Lovebirds” and “Coastal Elites.”

Vernon Sanders: Co-Head of Television at Amazon Studios. Sanders oversees scripted and unscripted original programming produced for Prime Video and IMDb TV alongside Albert Cheng, including “Fleabag,” “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” “Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan” and “The Boys.” Prior to Amazon, Sanders served as executive vice president, current programming for NBC.

Zack Van Amburg: Chief content officer and head of worldwide video for Apple TV Plus. Van Amburg oversees all aspects of strategy for video programming globally including the launch of the platform. Prior to Apple, he served as president of Sony Pictures Television.

Meanwhile also elected to the Academy’s board of governors as representatives on the executive committee for the 2021 term: Eva Basler, daytime programming; Kim Coleman, casting directors; Nicole Marostica, public relations; and Lois Vossen, documentary programming.

Cris Abrego, Chairman of the Americas, Banijay, and President and CEO, Endemol Shine Holdings, who was recently elected to serve a two-year term as the Television Academy foundation chair, will also serve on the Television Academy’s executive committee.

Tanya Saracho Signs Development Deal with UCP

Things are developing nicely for Tanya Saracho

The Mexican screenwriterand Vida creator has signed a development deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Tanya Saracho

As part of the deal, Saracho will develop and create original content for television, as well as podcasts via the studio’s UCP Audio extension. She’ll also establish a lab and incubator program for Latinx voices.

“To say that I’m immensely enthusiastic about this union is not enough. This partnership with UCP is a vital opportunity to keep amplifying the voices and stories that matter to me – those brown, queer narratives which have been missing from the landscape, and which are so important to tell,” said Saracho.

 “I’m also elated and looking forward to establishing a lab and incubator program aimed to nurture, amplify and empower intersectional Latinx voices,” Saracho added. “And on a personal level, it is greatly gratifying to find a home where I already feel so seen and supported.”

Saracho most recently served as creator, showrunner, and executive producer of Starz’s critically-acclaimed Vida, which aired its third and final season this spring. The series featured all Latinx directors in season one, and all Latina directors in seasons two and three, including Saracho, who made her television directorial debut last year. The series had an all-Latinx writers room for seasons one and two, and in season three, the room was composed of all Latina writers.

Vida won the GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series and was also honored by the National Hispanic Media Coalition with the 2019 Impact Award. The series won the Audience Award at the 2018 SXSW Film Festival and made its season two premiere as an Official Selection of the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

“Tanya came on the scene like a comet with such a strong point of view and a drive to tell culturally diverse stories that push boundaries and open our imaginations. Oh, the places we will go with Tanya’s deep curiosity, experience, commitment, enthusiasm, joy and fervor to tell the diverse stories we haven’t explored on television yet. We are such fans of her work on Vida and are thrilled to partner with her,” said Dawn Olmstead, president, UCP.

“One of our goals at Universal Studio Group is to provide access through on the job training and opportunities to empower the next generation of culturally diverse storytellers. Tanya’s program fully embodies that intention and we look forward to supporting her as she mentors aspiring Latinx writers,” said Bonnie Hammer, chairman, Universal Studio Group. “This is the first of many programs we will be backing across our three studios.”

Saracho was recently honored by the LGBTQ California Legislative Caucus as their 2020 Pride Month Honoree. She received the Rising Star Award at the Outfest Legacy Awards, and was awarded the New Voice Award by Final Draft.

She’s the founder of Teatro Luna, the first all-Latina theatre company in the country, as well as the founder of ALTA (Alliance of Latino Theatre Artists).

Saracho’s other television writing/producing credits include Devious Maids, Looking and How to Get Away with Murder.

Dania Ramirez to Star in Netflix’s DC Vertigo Comic-Based Series “Sweet Tooth”

Dania Ramirez has landed a Sweet role…

The 40-year-old Dominican actress and Devious Maids star will star in Sweet ToothNetflix’s new drama series based on the DC Vertigo comic.

Dania Ramirez

Ramirez will be part of the series’ core cast of series regulars, which includes Christian ConveryNonso Anozie and Adeel AkhtarWill Forte has a recurring role, while James Brolin serves as the series’ narrator.

The eight-episode Sweet Tooth follows the adventures of Gus (Convery) — part deer, part boy — who leaves his home in the forest to find the outside world ravaged by a cataclysmic event. He joins a ragtag family of humans and animal-children hybrids like himself in search of answers about this new world and the mystery behind his hybrid origins.

Ramirez will reportedly play Aimee, a pioneer in the middle of dystopic America, a lone scavenger in an abandoned city, rebuilding a sustainable habitat and giving orphaned hybrids a home.

The project hails from Robert Downey Jr. and Susan Downey’s Team DowneyJim MickleBeth Schwartz and Warner Bros. Television.

Along with fellow new Netflix series Cowboy Bebop, Sweet Tooth was among of a handful of Hollywood television series and movies to be granted border exemptions by the New Zealand government several weeks ago, a crucial step for any overseas production to be able to film in the country, which has largely eradicated COVID-19.

The tentative plan is for the cast to travel to New Zealand in August, where they’ll self-isolate for two weeks ahead of a potential September 7 start of production, according to Deadline.com. 

Ramirez can currently be seen as one of the leads in the first season of Kevin Williamson’s CBS All Access anthology drama series Tell Me a Story, airing on the CW

She previously starred on Marc Cherry’s Lifetime series Devious  Maids and had major roles on ABC’s Once Upon a Time and NBC’s Heroes