J. Anthony Pena Upped to Series Regular on ABC’s “Big Sky”

There are more big (sky) moments in J. Anthony Pena’s future…

The Latino actor has been promoted to series regular for the upcoming third season of ABC’s Big Sky.

J. Anthony Pena Pena, who portrays Deputy Mo Poppernak, heavily recurred as the character in Season 2.

Additionally, Luke MitchellSeth GabelHenry Ian Cusick, Anirudh Pisharody and Madalyn Horcher have joined the cast in recurring roles.

Pena’s Poppernak is Jenny Hoyt’s (Katheryn Winnick) chatty, upbeat partner at the Sheriff’s Department and an indispensable right-hand man. He appeared in 16 episodes last season.

In Big Sky Season 3, private detective Cassie Dewell (Kylie Bunbury), under sheriff Jenny Hoyt, and newly appointed sheriff Beau Arlen (Jensen Ackles) maintain order in Helena, Montana. But when a local backcountry trip led by charismatic outfitter Sunny Barnes (fka Sunny Brick) (Reba McEntire) goes awry, the trio face their most formidable mystery yet.

Big Sky is produced by Disney Television Studios20th Television for ABC. David E. Kelley serves as the series creator.

Season 3 premieres on September 21 on ABC.

Pena previously recurred on FX’s Mayans M.C. and Crackle’s The Oath. Recently, he guest starred on CBS’ S.W.A.T., and Apple TV+’s The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey with Samuel L. Jackson.

Yul Vazquez to Appear on ABC’s Latinx Family Drama “Promised Land”

Yul Vazquez is promised some upcoming screen time on television…

The 56-year-old Cuban actor and musician has joined the cast of ABC’s upcoming Latinx family drama Promised Land, starring John Ortiz and Christina Ochoa.

Yul VazquezVazquez joins a roster of new cast additions that includes Julio Macias, Ariana Guerra, Kerri Medders, Tom Amandes, Natalia del Riego and Miguel Angel Garcia in heavily recurring roles.

Created and written by Matt Lopez and directed by Michael CuestaPromised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

In addition to Ortiz and Ochoa, cast also includes Bellamy Young, Cecilia Suárez, Augusto Aguilera, Mariel Molino, Tonatiuh, Andres Velez, Katya Martín and Rolando Chusan.

Vazquez plays Father Ramos. A Catholic priest, Father Ramos has compassion and good humor tinged with a certain world-weariness. Apparently just another man of God, he knows quite a few secrets about the Sandoval family.

Garcia portrays Junior, the youngest child of the Sandoval family, and the most erratic. His siblings think he can be trusted with little or nothing, but his father Joe, the family patriarch, still holds out hope and a special affection for his troubled son.

Amandes is O.M. Honeycroft. An intimidating, all-powerful presence, he’s a successful businessman who isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty — after all, it’s the soil and its fruit that made him rich.

Guerra plays Rosa. Fueled by dreams of becoming a nurse in her new home of California, she doesn’t give up on her dreams even as her circumstances become increasingly grim.

Medders plays Young Margaret, the ambitious, beautiful daughter of O.M. Honeycroft, the wealthy owner of the Honeycroft Estate.

Del Riego portrays Daniela, a new employee at the home of the Sandoval family, and an undocumented immigrant.

Macias plays Javier, the newly hired General Manager at the Heritage House Vineyard, son of the vineyard’s now-retired foreman.

ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios, is the studio.

Matt Lopez Signs Multi-Year Overall Deal with ABC Signature

Matt Lopez has an exciting new deal…

The Latino screenwriter, the creator/executive producer of ABC’Promised Land, has signed a multi-year overall deal with ABC Signature, the studio behind the upcoming multigenerational Latinx family drama.

Matt Lopez

ABC Signature is part of Disney Television Studios.

Lopez’s Promised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about the Sandovals, a Latinx family vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley, premiering on January 24, 2022, on ABC.

The series’ all-Latinx cast (including John Ortiz and Christina Ochoa) and majority Latinx crew are filled with people whose stories resemble the Sandoval family.

“‘La familia’ is how the cast and crew of Promised Land refer to each other, and it’s how I think of Jonnie Davis, Tracy Underwood, and their amazing team — as my creative family, said Lopez in a statement to Deadline. “The courage and integrity they have shown in supporting this show make it clear that ABC Signature is committed to telling compelling stories in fresh and exciting ways, and it’s where I want to continue to work and create for years to come.”

Added Davis, President of ABC Signature, “Matt Lopez is homegrown Disney talent, who has worked on the feature side for years. His upcoming Promised Land is a love letter to his family, especially his Cuban grandfather. When he shared this personal story with us and our friends at ABC, we all knew this had to be a television series, and we believe it will be the first of many from this unique and talented writer.”

Lopez’s other recent projects include the upcoming feature film Father of the Bride, a reboot of the classic film franchise, for Warner Bros. and Plan B starring Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan; the family comedy Alexander, for Disney + with 21 Laps and Henson Co; and Wraith, a horror-thriller for Netflix.  Matt created and executive produced the television series Gone.

His additional writing credits for the big screen include The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, Race to Witch Mountain, and Bedtime Stories.

Lopez segued into writing and producing through the Disney Writers Program after a career as an attorney and business affairs executive for DreamWorks.

ABC Picks Up Nadine Velazquez’s Drama “Queens” to Series

It’s a royal moment for Nadine Velazquez

ABC has picked up the music-themed drama Queens, starring the 42-year-old Puerto Rican actress, to series for the 2021-22 season.

Nadine Velazquez

The series is headlined by Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, Velazquez and Pepi Sonuga.

Estranged and out-of-touch, four women in their 40s reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches—their ‘90s group that made them legends in the hip-hop world.

Queens stars Eve as Brianna aka Professor Sex, Naturi Naughton as Jill aka Da Thrill, Velazquez as Valeria aka Butter Pecan, Taylor Selé as Eric Jones, Pepi Sonuga as Lil Muffin and Brandy as Naomi aka Xplicit Lyrics.

Zahir McGhee, Sabrina Wind and Tim Story are executive producers.

The series is produced by ABC Signature, a part of Disney Television Studios. The pilot episode is written by McGhee and directed by Tim Story.

Zack Calderon to Star on Season 2 of Amazon’s YA Drama “The Wilds”

Zack Calderon is heading into the Wild(s)…

The Latino actor has joined the cast for Season 2 of Amazon’s YA drama The Wilds.

Zack Calderon

In addition to Calderon, those set to appear in the sophomore season are Aidan LapreteNicholas Coombe, Charles Alexander, Miles Gutierrez-Riley, Reed Shannon, Tanner Ray Rook and Alex Fitzalan.

They will join returning cast Rachel Griffiths, David Sullivan, Troy Winbush, Sophia Ali, Sarah Pidgeon, Jenna Clause, Erana James, Mia Healey, Helena Howard, Reign Edwards and Shannon Berry.

The Wilds in Season 2 will continue to follow the harrowing ordeal of eight teenage girls stranded on a deserted island under mysterious circumstances. The new season will also focus on a new group of survivors, all boys, who find themselves in the same perilous situation. Both groups will be forced to navigate emotional and physical obstacles in the face of their extreme circumstances.

The Wilds is created and executive produced by Sarah Streicher. It is co-produced by Amazon Studios and ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios.

Calderon will play Rafael Garcia, a quiet, sensitive teenager who lives in Tijuana but attends high school in San Diego. Straddling two worlds has made it difficult to get a clear and certain sense of himself, so he gravitates toward people with stronger, more charismatic personalities than his own.

Calderon has appeared in CBS’ FBI.

Gutierrez-Riley will play Ivan Taylor, an activist and aspiring playwright with an impeccable fashion sense and a razor-sharp wit. But his words can be cutting, sometimes too deeply, which has cost him friends along the way.

The actor will appear in Leah Bleich’s The Moon and BackThe Wilds marks his television debut.

https://twitter.com/PrimeVideo/status/1389287119554678785

Anthony Ruivivar to Star on Disney+’s Television Series Reboot of Tom Hanks’ “Turner & Hooch”

Anthony Ruivivar is about to Turner up on Disney+

The 49-year-old part-Spanish American actor has been cast as a series regular on Turner & Hooch, Disney+’s reboot of the classic 1989 buddy-cop comedy feature.

Anthony Ruivivar

The television series, which has a 12-episode order, hails from Matt Nix and 20th Century Television.

Ruivivar joins the previously cast Josh Peck, Lyndsy Fonseca, Carra Patterson and Vanessa Lengies.

Other new additions to the cast include Brandon Jay McLaren and Jeremy Maguire as series regulars, and Becca Tobin as a recurring actor.

Like the movie, the hourlong series centers on Scott Turner (Peck), who now is a U.S. marshal — versus the police detective played by Tom Hanks in the film. When the ambitious, buttoned-up marshal inherits a big unruly dog, he soon realizes the pet he didn’t want may be the partner he needs.

Ruivivar will play US Marshall Chief James Clark, Scott Turner’s boss. Chief Clark respects Scott, but is very uncomfortable around Scott’s new dog, the slobbery Hooch, who is actually quite fond of the Chief. However, when Hooch helps solve a case, Chief Clark has a change of heart and bends the rules to allow him to receive K-9 training.

Nix is the Turner & Hooch series writer/executive producer. Josh Levy is co-executive producer. 20th Century Fox Television, part of Disney Television Studios, is the studio.

Ruivivar can most recently be seen in a recurring role on Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House. Other credits include Frequency, American Horror Story and Hawaii Five-O and the features The Adjustment Bureau, Tropic Thunder and High Art among others.

Odette Annable to Star in Pilot for ABC’s “thirtysomething” Sequel, “thirtysomething(else)”

Odette Annable is taking on something big!

The 34-year-old Colombian & Cuban American actress will lead the ensemble cast of the ABC pilot thirtysomething(else), a sequel to Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick’s beloved 1987-91 drama series thirtysomething, playing grown-up Janey Steadman.

Odette Annable

Written by Herskovitz and Zwick and to be directed by Zwick, thirtysomething(else) will follow an ensemble of new faces playing the grown-up children of the original cast, the new generation of thirtysomethings. 

They are being joined by returning original cast members Ken Olin(Michael Steadman),Mel Harris(Hope Murdoch), Timothy Busfield(Elliot Weston) and Patty Wettig(Nancy Weston), reprising their characters in supporting roles.

Annable’s Janey Steadman is the striking spinoff of Hope and Michael. With piercing eyes and unruly dark hair, Janey is a passionate, some might say driven person, possessed of what her boyfriend, Brad, calls a very big engine in a very small car.

Annable joins recently cast Chris Wood, who’ll play Janey’s younger brother, Leo Steadman. The two previously co-starred together on Supergirl.

Although seen as an ensemble drama, the original thirtysomethingseries revolved around husband and wife Michael and Hope and their baby Janey. Little Janey was played by twins Brittanyand Lacey Craven.

Herskovitz and Zwick executive produce for ABC Studios, part of Disney Television Studios, and MGM Television

Filming on the pilot is slated to begin in March in New Jersey.

Annable played a lead on the second season of CBS All Access’ anthology series Tell Me a StoryBefore that, she was a series regular on Season 3 of the CW’s Supergirl, playing the villainous Samantha Arias/Reign.She is reprising her role in an episode airing later this month. 

Her other credits include HouseOctober Road and Banshee.

Mariah Carey Writes & Performs Theme Song for ABC’s “black-ish” Spinoff “mixed-ish”

Mariah Carey is Mix’ingthings up…

The 49-year-old half-Venezuelan American five-time Grammy-winning singer has been tapped to write and perform the theme song for ABC’s new black-ish spinoff mixed-ish. 

Mariah Carey

Titled “In the Mix”, the track is written by Carey and produced by Carey and Daniel Moore. Sung by Carey, the new theme song will be heard when the series premieres on Tuesday, September 24 at 9:00 pm ET on ABC. 

“As a fan of Kenya Barris’ megahit shows, black-ish and grown-ish, I was inspired to connect with Kenya to find a way we could work together,” said Carey. “As a biracial woman in the entertainment industry, there was no way I did not want to be a part of mixed-ish, especially after seeing the pilot, which I loved. I could not be more honored and proud to be writing and performing ‘In the Mix’ for Kenya and the show.”

ABC’s mixed-ish will follow Rainbow Johnson as she recounts her experience growing up in a mixed-race family in the ‘80s and the dilemmas they face to acclimate in the suburbs while staying true to themselves. Bow’s parents, Paul and Alicia, decide to move from a hippie commune to the suburbs to better provide for their family. As her parents struggle with the challenges of their new life, Bow and her siblings navigate a mainstream school in which they’re perceived as neither black nor white. This family’s experiences illuminate the challenges of finding one’s own identity when the rest of the world can’t decide where you belong.

The series stars Mark-Paul Gosselaar as Paul Johnson, Tika Sumpter as Alicia Johnson, Christina Anthony as Denise, Arica Himmel as Bow Johnson, Ethan William Childress as Johan Johnson, Mykal-Michelle Harris as Santamonica Johnson and Gary Cole as Harrison.

Karin GistPeter Saji and Barris are writers and executive producers, along with Tracee Ellis RossRandall WinstonArtists First (Brian Dobbins), Cinema Gypsy (Laurence Fishburne and Helen Sugland) and Anthony Anderson

Anton Cropperdirected the pilot. The series is produced by ABC Studios, a part of Disney Television Studios, a collection of studios comprised of 20th Century Fox Television, ABC Studios and Fox 21 Television Studios.