Melissa Fumero to Help Announce Primetime Emmy Nominations

Melissa Fumero is reporting for Primetime duty…

The 39-year-old Cuban American actress will team up with JB Smoove to announce the Primetime Emmy nominations on July 12, according to the Television Academy.

Melissa FumeroFumero and Smoove will appear in Blockbusterthe upcoming Netflix comedy set at the last remaining Blockbuster Video outlet.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine alum Fumero stars alongside Randall Park, and Curb Your Enthusiasm’s Smoove is set to recur.

Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Chairman and CEO Frank Scherma will join the duo for the announcement, which will be livestreamed at Emmys.com.

Fumero starred as Officer Amy Santiago on all eight seasons of the NBC/Fox sitcom Brooklyn Nine-Nine, opposite Andy Samberg, sharing a 2015 SAG Awards nomination for its ensemble.

Her credits also include Gossip Girl and Diary of a Future Presidentalong with voice roles on M.O.D.O.K. and Elena of AvalorShe also appeared in more than 200 episodes of the long-running ABC soap One Life to Live from 2005-11.

“It’s been another exceptional year of television with an abundance of remarkable programs and performances,” Scherma said in a statement. “We are thrilled to have JB and Melissa on board to help us celebrate the extraordinary shows, producers, storytellers and talent that continue to shape and elevate our dynamic medium.”

The 74th annual Primetime Emmys Awards will air Monday, September 12, on NBC. Peacock will stream the ceremony live for the first time.

Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz Extends Overall Deal with Sony Pictures Television

Brigitte Muñoz-Liebowitz is staying with Sony…

The half-Colombian American television producer, director and writer has extended her overall deal with Sony Pictures Television.

Brigitte Muñoz-LiebowitzMuñoz-Liebowitz is the executive producer and showrunner of Gordita Chronicles, the coming-of-age HBO Max comedy series, which premiered this past week.

Under the new multi-year pact, Muñoz-Liebowitz will continue to develop scripted comedy series across cable and streaming, as well as run Gordita Chronicles if the series, which is drawing solid early reviews, is renewed for a second season.

Muñoz-Liebowitz already has a number of projects in the works, including Birthright, which she is co-writing with Lindsay Golder.

Created by Claudia Forestieri, Gordita Chronicles is set in 1980s Miami and tells the story of the Castellis who move from the Dominican Republic in pursuit of the American dream.

In shepherding Gordita Chronicles, which Muñoz-Liebowitz executive produces alongside Forestieri as well as Josh Berman, Jennifer Robinson and Chris King of SPT-based Osprey Productions, Eva Longoria, who directed the pilot, and Zoe Saldana, Mariel Saldana and Cisely Saldana for Cinestar Pictures, she draws on her personal experience.

Muñoz-Liebowitz, who grew up in Santa Clarita, CA, is the daughter of a Colombian immigrant mother who came to the US when she was 12, and a New York Jew father. Raised by her mom, dad and her Colombian grandmother, who only spoke Spanish, in a predominantly white neighborhood, “I was one of the brownest people in my class and the only person with two Zs and a tilde in their name, and I had very much a feeling of being the weirdo outsider,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said. “A lot of the things I really connected to when I read the original script were those feelings, and I also really saw my own family in the story of the Castellis and Gordita Chronicles, so many of the stories my mom had told me about when she came to the United States were some of the same exact stories in the show.”

With a Florida immigrant family pursuing the American dream at the center and a story told through the eyes of a school-age child, Gordita Chronicles draws parallels to ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat. Besides the Castellis coming straight from their country of origin vs. Washington DC where the Huangs moved from with their U.S.-born children, “our tone is slightly different,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said. “We tried to, not speaking about content necessarily, but we really tried to go for a different sort of comedy style, which is a bit more cinematic, referencing a lot of the movies that we grew up watching in the 80s that we looked at and were aspiring to when we thought of the American dream, the John Hughes movies and Chris Columbus films.”

Those include 16 Candles, Pretty In Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, as well as Home Alone, which came out a few years later.

“The pacing also is quite a bit slower,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said, adding that Season 1 chronicles the family’s first few months in the new country.

Muñoz-Liebowitz says she’s always wanted to be a TV writer ever since she was a child. With an educator mother and a small business owner father, she didn’t have any connections in the business, so “I had to figure it all out for myself,” she sad.

She finished USC with a degree in screenwriting but then switched gears by going to graduate school at Columbia University for producing.

“I discovered after going to USC that at that time, the kinds of stories that I wanted to tell were not attractive to studios because they were stories about people of color, that my that kind of humor wasn’t really à la mode.”

She worked briefly as a line producer and a production manager in New York in indie film and commercials while taking comedy classes. Her first television job was as a script coordinator under Jonah Nolan and Greg Plageman on the pilot for Person Of Interest and then she became a writers assistant on the series, moving to Los Angeles.

“So I actually learned about TV writing from drama writers on a sci-fi procedural,” Muñoz-Liebowitz said.

During her time on the series, Muñoz-Liebowitz kept applying to the NBC Writers On the Verge program while taking classes at the Groundlings and Improv Olympic West. She got into the NBC program on her third try. Her first job out of that was on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which led to a string of writing gigs on TBS’ People of Earth, NBC’s Abby’s, Disney+’s Diary of a Future President, HBO Max’s Love Life, and the Sony TV-produced One Day At a Time, on which she served as a Co-Executive Producer.

One Day At a Time was a wonderful experience because it was, I think, the first really safe space to be able to be myself entirely as a woman Latinx comedy writer, and watching [co-creator/EP] Gloria Calderón Kellett just be herself and push for the show and the content that she wanted was really inspiring.”

Muñoz-Liebowitz’s work on One Day at a TIme also got the attention of Sony TV brass who signed her to her first overall deal in 2020.

“Brigitte was a superstar for us on One Day At A Time and we quickly made a development deal with her to solidify our relationship,” said Glenn Adilman, EVP Comedy Development, Sony Pictures Television. “She did an incredible job running the amazing first season of Gordita Chronicles for HBO Max, where she helped build a very strong room of diverse writers and supported creator Claudia Forestieri’s great vision. We are beyond excited to have Brigitte tell her stories and continue our wonderful relationship together.”

Those stories include Birthright, about a Latinx woman who converts to Judaism for her fiance, then gets dumped at the altar and has to decide, am I still Jewish?

“It’s a comedy about identity and the different spaces we can we can fit into in our lives,” said Muñoz-Liebowitz who produces the project with her co-writer Golder as well as Israeli company MA Productions.

While all of her existing projects in development are comedy, Muñoz-Liebowitz said that she loves watching dramas and is open to revisiting her TV beginnings by tackling a drama under her new deal with Sony TV.

“Sony has been so incredibly supportive of all the projects that I brought to them,” she said. “They’ve been such wonderful creative partners, I’ve just felt like they’ve had my back and supported my vision.”

Charlie Bushnell to Appear on Disney+’s Series “Percy Jackson and the Olympians”

Have Percy on Charlie Bushnell

The 18-year-old half-Latino actor, who made his acting debut on Disney+’s Diary of a Future President, has landed a recurring role on Disney+’s Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

Charlie BushnellBushnell, who will portray Like Castellan, is part of a list of new cast additions that includes Dior Goodjohn and Olivea Morton in the series produced by 20th Television.

They join previously announced leads Walker Scobell — who plays the title role of Percy — Aryan Simhadri and Leah Sava Jeffries.

The series is currently in production in Vancouver.

Based on Rick Riordan’s best-selling book series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians tells the fantastical story of a 12-year-old modern demigod, Percy Jackson (Scobell), who’s just coming to terms with his newfound divine powers when the sky god Zeus accuses him of stealing his master lightning bolt. With help from his friends Grover (Simhadri) and Annabeth (Sava), Percy must embark on an adventure of a lifetime to find it and restore order to Olympus.

Goodjohn’s La Rue, a child of Ares and god of war, is a strong-willed and competitive fighter who doesn’t let much stand in the way of her winning. Intensely loyal to her close friends, she’s intimidating to newcomers and a bully to Percy.

Bushnell’s Luke Castellan is the counselor of the Hermes cabin and the undisputed coolest kid on the block. Luke looks like he’d be more at home with a surfboard than in Greek armor. That doesn’t stop him from being the best swordsman around!

Also recurring in the series are Virginia Kull, Glynn Turman, Jason Mantzoukas, Timm Sharp and Megan Mullally.

Riordan and Jon Steinberg will serve as writers of the pilot, and James Bobin will direct. Steinberg will oversee the series with his producing partner Dan Shotz.

Gina Rodriguez to Star in ABC’s Comedy Pilot “Not Dead Yet”

Gina Rodriguez is stayin’ alive

The 37-year-old Puerto Rican actress and television producer has been cast as the lead in ABC’s single-camera comedy pilot Not Dead Yet.

Gina RodriguezHailing from Casey Johnson and David WindsorMcG and 20th Television, the project is based on Alexandra Potter’s Confessions of a Forty-Something F**k Up.

Published in 2020, broke, newly single and feeling old, Nell Stevens (Rodriguez) – a self-described disaster – works to restart the life and career she left behind 10 years ago. Moving back home to Pasadena – a world where everyone seems to have a better life than she does (kids, careers, happy marriages, etc.) Nell can only afford to share an apartment with a stranger who monitors how much electricity she uses and pesters her about her recycling habits (which lately include a lot of empty White Claws.) A once successful journalist, Nell put her career on hold to help her fiancé get his restaurant off the ground. Following their break up, she takes the only job she can get – writing obituaries – which at first seems like a step backwards but ultimately may be exactly what she needs to move forward.

Johnson and Windsor, who wrote the script, executive produce with Wonderland Sound and Vision’s McG, Mary Viola and Corey Marsh. 20th Television is the studio.

Rodriguez is best known for playing the title role on the hit series Jane The Virgin, for which she won a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Television Series Musical or Comedy. Her upcoming projects include Netflix’s film Awake and Netflix’s miniseries Lost Ollie.

Rodriguez founded I Can and I Will Can Productions, whose mission is to create art and tell stories from those who are traditionally unseen and unheard. The company is behind Diary of a Future Presidentthe series which Rodriguez directed, produced, and appeared in as the future president. It ran on Disney+ for two seasons.

Ilana Peña Teaming Up with Crystal Ferreiro to Develop the Dramedy “Hermanas” for The CW

It’s sister time for Ilana Peña

The Latina writer, who created Diary of a Future President, is teaming up once again with the Disney+ series’ writer Crystal Ferreiro on the project Hermanasa drama with some humor in development at the CW.

Ilana Peña

The project hails from Jerry Bruckheimer Television and CBS Studios, where Peña and JBTV are under deals.

Written by Ferreiro with Peña supervising, Hermanas follows three sisters—individually described as a “hot mess,” a “rigid overachiever” and a “homemaker who never left”—who reunite in their small town in Naples, FL after their brother, the crown jewel of the family, gets into a debilitating accident. As the women put their resentments aside to help him, the Primés realize that the sanitized version you present to family evaporates when you’re in close quarters, and what’s exposed is your most messy, authentic and vulnerable self.

Ferreiro executive produces alongside Peña, who executive produces under her Tilde Productions banner and will serve as showrunner. Jerry Bruckheimer, Jonathan Littman and KristieAnne Reed executive produce for Jerry Bruckheimer Television.

Peña is creator, showrunner, EP and director of Diary of a Future President, which recently saw the release of its second season. Ferreiro was a writer on the CBS Studios-produced series.

William Morris Endeavor (WME) Signs Gina Rodriguez & Her Production Company

It’s a new endeavor for Gina Rodriguez

William Morris Endeavor (WME) has signed the 36-year-old Puerto Rican actress and her production company I Can and I Will Productions, run by Molly Breeskin, in all areas.

Gina Rodriguez

The Golden Globe-winning former Jane the Virgin star was previously at Creative Artists Agency (CAA).

Rodriguez played the title role in the CW series Jane the Virgin for 100 episodes, winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a TV Series Musical or Comedy in 2015.

Rodriguez recently starred in the Focus Features title Kajillionaire opposite Evan Rachel Wood and Richard Jenkins. The Miranda July directed feature made its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

Rodriguez’s upcoming projects include the Netflix film Awake and the miniseries Lost Ollie for the streamer.

She has starred in Sony/Screen Gems’ Miss Bala and the Netflix feature Someone Great, a film in which she also served as a producer.

Her voice can be heard in the title role of Netflix’s Carmen Sandiego, and she also had starring voiceovers in Twentieth Century Fox/Blue Sky’s Ferdinand, Warner Brothers’ Smallfoot and Scoob, and Sony’s The Star.

In addition to her acting career, the native Chicagoan and NYU Tisch School alum is a driving force for inclusion and the empowerment of women in all ways, particularly in the entertainment industry. This passion led her to create her production company, I Can and I Will Productions, with a mission directly reflecting her commitment to create art and tell stories from those who are traditionally unseen and unheard.

The company has finished its second season of Diary of a Future President where Rodriguez directed, produced, and performed as the future president.

With her family, she established the We Will Foundation, which aims to uplift and champion underprivileged youth through arts, education, scholarship funding, and financial literacy.

Gina Rodriguez to Star Opposite Zachary Levi in the Comedy Adventure “Lost and Found”

Gina Rodriguez has (lost &) found her next project…

The 36-year-old Golden Globe-winning Puerto Rican actress and former Jane the Virgin star is set to star in Amazon Studios’ comedy adventure Lost and Found.

Gina Rodriguez

Rodriguez will star opposite Zachary Levi, with Steve Pink set to direct. Pink and Jeff Morris wrote the script, about a headstrong lawyer and an off-the-grid renegade who reluctantly team up to find a long-lost buried treasure by the Mississippi River.

Levi is producing through his Wyldwood Studios along with Rodriguez and Molly Breeskin under their banner I Can and I Will Productions, and Pink through his Pink Machine banner.

Rodriguez most recently starred in Kajillionaire for Focus Features, the Netflix rom-com Someone Great and Scoob! 

Her past past films include Deepwater Horizon, Ferdinand, Annihilation and the Miss Bala remake.

She voices the title character in the Netflix animated action-adventure series Carmen San Diego and is producer of the Disney+ series Diary of a Future President.

Ilana Peña Signs Overall Deal with CBS Television Studios

Ilana Peña has a new deal…

The Cuban American television creator, the mastermind behind the Disney+ series Diary of a Future President, is expanding her relationship with CBS Television Studios, signing an overall deal with the studio behind the series.

Ilana Peña

Peña also serves as co-showrunner and executive producer of the series, which has been renewed for a second season on Disney+.

The series was inspired by Peña’s own childhood, and follows a young Cuban-American girl as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school and her journey to becoming the future president of the United States.

Prior to Diary of a Future President, Peña served as a writer on the CW’s Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and a co-writer of Her Shortswith Rachel Bloom, produced by Refinery29 and Planned Parenthood.

“We first got to know Ilana when she was working on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” said Kate Adler, EVP of Comedy Development, CBS Television Studios. “She is exactly the kind of writer executives dream of: smart, funny, hard-working and inspired. We knew she had a lot to say and couldn’t wait to develop with her. Our suspicions were confirmed when we read her first draft of Diary of a Future President. Now we just need to figure out how to clone her.”

“Since day one on Diary, CBS Studios has been so supportive of my vision and voice,” said Peña. “I am incredibly grateful to the team for giving me a creative home to tell meaningful, inclusive stories.”

Peña’s plays have been produced professionally in Chicago (Goodman Theatre Latino Theater Festival) and New York (INTAR Theatre), among others.

She’s also the co-founder of See What Sticks, a monthly workshop with an audience in Los Angeles.

Disney+ Renews Tess Romero’s Teen Drama “Diary of a Future President” for a Second Season

Tess Romero has been re-elected…

Disney+ has ordered a second season of Diary of a Future Presidentits teen drama starring the Latina actress.

Tess Romero

The streaming service ordered another 10-part run of the series, which hails from executive producer Gina Rodriguez and creator Ilana Peña.

From CBS Television Studios and I Can and I Will Productions, the series follows the adventures of Elena Cañero-Reed (Romero) as she navigates the ups and downs of middle school on her journey to become the future president of the United States. 

In addition to Romer, the series also stars Charlie BushnellSelenis Leyva and Michael Weaver.

Rodriguez, who’ll return as adult Elena, the future president of the United States, in a recurring guest starring role, executive produces with Peña, Keith Heisler and Molly Breeskin. Peña and Heisler are co-showrunners.

“Optimistic, heartfelt stories that inspire are fundamental to our content and creator Ilana Peña’s series delivers on these attributes in spades,” says Agnes Chu, senior vice president, Content, Disney+. “Families around the world have fallen in love with Elena and the Cañero-Reed family and we are thrilled to bring Elena’s often hilarious and always meaningful journey through adolescence back for another season. It has been wonderful to partner with the extraordinary Gina Rodriguez to champion specific, diverse points-of-view and we look forward to seeing even more of President Cañero-Reed in this next chapter.”“We’re thrilled to partner with Disney+ on a series that showcases strong women both in front of, and behind the camera.  They’ve been incredible champions of the show from day one,” added David Stapf, president, CBS Television Studios. “Gina’s ability to shepherd projects with new and diverse voices, combined with Ilana’s effortless blend of comedy and drama with humor and sensitivity bring this wonderful coming-of-age story to life.”

Gloria Calderón Kellett Taking Part in Latinx-Themed Panel for Virtual ATX Television Festival

Gloria Calderón Kellett is representin’…

The 45-year-old Cuban American television writer and One Day at a Time co-showrunner will be taking part in ATX Television Festival’s virtual edition, which has been appropriately titled “ATX TV…From The Couch!” 

Gloria Calderón Kellett

Calderón Kellett will take part in a conversation about Latinx representation on the small screen, alongside Vida creator Tanya SarachoPose’s co-creator Steven Canals and Diary of a Future President’s Ilana Peña.

Calderón Kellett, Saracho, Canals and Peña, some of today’s hottest Latinx content creators, will be “Celebrating Authentic Stories,” the title of their panel. 

They’ll talk about celebrating and continuing the push for positive Latinx representation, as well as how decision-makers within the industry can amplify Latinx voices.

 “ATX TV… from the Couch!” marks the first virtual event for the fest and will include industry-forward panels with showrunners and executives, sneak previews of upcoming series, and virtual events such as television trivia and a music showcase. 

The virtual event will take place June 5-7. It will be free to access via ATX’s official YouTube channe l, with the option for viewers to donate to select organizations providing COVID-19 relief regionally and nationally.

In addition to the Latinx panel, the festival’s virtual line-up will include conversations with cast and creatives from Freeform’s The Bold TypeNBC’s hit drama New Amsterdam, and The CW’s mystery-drama Nancy Drew.

The ATX Television Festival will also include a Scrubs reunion with the show’s creator Bill Lawrence, as well as cast members Zach BraffDonald FaisonSarah Chalke, John C. McGinley, and Judy Reyes. The cast was previously confirmed for ATX Season 9 in Austin, and rescheduled their in-person reunion for the 2021 festival.