Mariel Molino’s “The Watchful Eye” Drama Picked Up to Series by Freeform

Mariel Molino fins herself under a watchful eye

Freeform has picked up to series The Watchful Eye (fka The Nanny) drama starring the 29-year-old Mexican American actress.

Mariel MolinoMolino, who most recently starred in Promised Land, will lead the ensemble cast of the series, which was ordered to pilot last year. It hails from Julie Durk, Ryan Seacrest Productions and ABC Signature.

Created by Durk, who also serves as consultant, The Watchful Eye is described as a Hitchcockian contemporary thriller that follows a young woman as she is thrust into a world of old money and deadly secrets. It follows Elena Santos, played by Molino, a young woman with a complicated past, maneuvering her way into working as a live-in nanny for an affluent family in Manhattan. She quickly learns that everyone in the mysterious building has deadly secrets and ulterior motives. What they don’t know, however, is that Elena has some shocking secrets of her own.

Molino’s Elena is a bright, savvy young woman hired as the live-in nanny to a wealthy widower and his young son. When Elena moves into The Greybourne, a landmark Manhattan apartment building, she quickly learns about the complex politics among its wealthy inhabitants and a history riddled with mystery and tragedy. Luckily, Elena is more than equipped to handle anything that comes her way on her own terms. Previously announced Warren Christie plays Matthew, a self-made architect dealing with grief and confusion over his wife’s death and its impact on his young son. Kelly Bishop portrays Mrs. Ivey, a lifelong resident of The Greybourne who rules the roost and is accustomed to getting her way through a potent combination of wealth, power and sheer force of will.

Molino takes over the role from Andrea Londos, who was cast as Elena in the pilot.

“I’m incredibly excited about this series because it presents a contemporary twist on the classic mystery and thriller genre,” said Jamila Hunter, EVP Programming and Development, Freeform. “Julie, Emily and everyone on the team have created a surprising world of haves and have-nots that’s perfect for Freeform’s audience.”

Additional cast includes Amy Acker as Tory, a woman who instantly dislikes the fresh-faced, eager young nanny hired by her handsome brother-in-law, Matthew. Jon Ecker stars as Scott, Elena’s sharp and cunning boyfriend who has helped arrange for Elena to get a live-in job at The Greybourne. Lex Lumpkin portrays Elliott, a precocious teenager who lives in The Greybourne and strikes up an instant friendship with Elena. Henry Joseph Samiri as Jasper, Matthew’s son, an intelligent but withdrawn child still reeling from the recent death of his mother. Aliyah Royale rounds out the cast as Ginny, who works alongside Elena as a nanny and is one of the few people who can get past her new friend’s tough outer shell.

Emily Fox serves as showrunner and executive producer. The series is produced by ABC Signature.

“We are so excited to be working with our partners at Freeform and ABC Signature on The Watchful Eye, an updated twist on a classic Hitchcockian thriller featuring an empowered female lead who’s got an ax to grind,” say Fox, Wass and Shay. “An elegant New York City apartment building called The Greybourne provides a backdrop where nothing is as it seems and where the palace intrigue has an undercurrent of terror. Elena Santos is very much a force to be reckoned with, and the Manhattan power players who underestimate her may soon realize they’ve met their match. In this day and age, who doesn’t secretly long to eat the rich?”

Molino most recently starred as Carmen Sandoval in Promised Land, which aired for one season on ABC. On the film side, she’ll next be seen in Eric Nazarian’s Die Like A Man.

Disney’s Onyx Collective Orders Don Francisco’s Limited U.S. Latino History-Themed Docuseries “Gigante”

Don Francisco is bringing a gigantic Latin immigrant-themed project to life…

Disney’s Onyx Collective has ordered the four-part limited docuseries Gigante from the 81-year-old Chilean television host (real name: Mario Kreutzberger) and Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado filmmakers Alex Fumero and Kareem Tabsch.

Don FranciscoGigante will be streamed exclusively on Hulu in the U.S., Star+ in Latin America, and Disney+ in all other territories at a future date.

Spanning through four distinct eras in U.S. Latino history, Gigante tells the story of how immigrants from different Latin American countries created a tenuous alliance that would come to harness the social capital, economic prowess, and political influence that forever changed the United States. With the unfettered participation of Don Francisco, access to 53 years of Sabado Gigante archives, and interviews with A-list celebrities, Gigante explores how the longest-running variety show in the history of television helped shape a new demographic and became a political force.

“To say we are enthusiastic about this project would be an understatement,” said Jihan Robinson, vice president of Nonfiction, Onyx and Freeform. “Don Francisco and this series played such a huge role in the lives of the Latinx community and have left a lasting impact on this country. We are thrilled it has found a home with Onyx and to continue the Sabado Gigante legacy.”

Emmy Award-winner Don Francisco is the creator and star of Sabado Gigante, the iconic Spanish-language game show that ran for 53 seasons on Univision earning the Guinness World Record for longest-running variety program.

“I’m at a time in my life where it is more interesting looking backward,” shared Don Francisco. “Where I have the full perspective of not only my 60 years as a professional but also where I’m able to fully analyze Don Francisco and Sabado Gigante’s record-breaking run and what it meant to so many people. I’m beyond happy to have the opportunity to tell the story with this amazing team and thankful to Onyx for helping us bring our show to a brand new audience.”

Tabsch serves as executive producer and director alongside Fumero, who serves as executive producer and showrunner under their Trojan Horse banner. The series is a Foton.Pictures production. The concept was conceived by Fumero and Tabsch.

“Hispanics. Latinos. Latinx. Whatever you may call us or whatever we may call ourselves, so few people understand who we are and where we came from — including us,” Tabsch shared. “Gigante is the definitive Latino origin story told through the lens of Sabado Gigante, one of the most beloved programs in the Spanish-speaking world and a staple in all our homes. The series will tell how a Chilean Jewish immigrant in Miami managed to shape the way that millions of other immigrants from dozens of nationalities across the Western Hemisphere identified themselves, bringing us all closer together and forever changing the face of the United States and Latin America in the process.”

“This is an extremely personal project for us and is very much part of our DNA as a company,” adds Carlos Enrique Cuscó, CEO of Foton.Pictures. “Bringing impactful and relevant stories to the foreground with such hugely talented creative partners like Kareem and Alex is the reason we got into this business. To now partner with Onyx Collective and get the opportunity to share our story as Latinos, with the participation of Don Francisco, is a dream come true. We could not be more honored to be producing this ambitious project with Onyx Collective and Trojan Horse.”

Braeden De La Garza to Appear on Season Two of Freeform’s “Cruel Summer”

Braeden De La Garza is preparing for a cruel summer

The Latino actor has landed a recurring role on Freeform’s Cruel Summer. in the series’ sophomore season.

Braeden De La GarzaHe joins a roster of new cast additions that includes Nile Bullock and Jenna Lamb.

They will join Lexi Underwood, Sadie Stanley, Griffin Gluck and KaDee Strickland, Lisa Yamada and Sean Blakemore.

Set in an idyllic waterfront town in the Pacific Northwest, the next chapter of Cruel Summer follows the rise and fall of an intense teenage friendship. Approaching the story from three different timelines surrounding Y2K, the season twists and turns as it tracks the early friendship between Megan, Isabella and Megan’s best friend Luke, the love triangle that blossomed, and the mystery that would impact all of their lives going forward.

De La Garza will portray Brent, Luke’s arrogant and entitled older brother. The favorite son in their prominent family, he enjoys exerting his power over the other kids and Luke.

Cruel Summer comes from studio eOne and was created by Bert V. Royal. Elle Triedman serves as showrunner. The series is distributed internationally by eOne.

Brandon Larracuente Lands Recurring Role on Season 6 of ABC’s “The Good Doctor”

Brandon Larracuente has landed a special internship…

The 27-year-old Puerto Rican actor, who most recently starred in Freeform’s Party of Five, has landed a major recurring role on ABC’s The Good Doctor.

Larracuenta and fellow cast newcomer Savannah Welch will serve as the series’ newest St. Bonaventure interns.

Their characters will be introduced at the start of the recently picked up Season 6 and, as is the case with any new class of interns, the recurring castings include options for Larracuente and Welch to become series regulars.

Larracuente will play Daniel (aka Danny). In the hospital, he’s known to charm doctors and nurses alike, even with his interest in somewhat controversial alternative medicine. Outside of the hospital, he is a bit of a lone wolf and an intriguing mystery to his co-workers.

As recently revealed when ABC announced its season-finale dates, The Good Doctor‘s fifth season will conclude with Episode 18 as its season finale. The show kept its traditional production schedule from the last couple of years, filming 20 episodes per season, with the last two now premiering in the fall.

Larracuente and Welch are currently shooting their first episode, which will air at the top of Season 6.

The Good Doctor, which airs Monday nights at 10:00 pm on ABC, stars Freddie Highmore as Dr. Shaun Murphy, Hill Harper as Dr. Marcus Andrews, Richard Schiff as Dr. Aaron Glassman, Christina Chang as Dr. Audrey Lim, Fiona Gubelmann as Dr. Morgan Reznick, Will Yun Lee as Dr. Alex Park, Paige Spara as Lea Dilallo, Noah Galvin as Dr. Asher Wolke, and Bria Samone Henderson as Dr. Jordan Allen.

The series hails from Sony Pictures Television and ABC Signature. David Shore is the executive producer and showrunner. Daniel Dae Kim, Erin Gunn, David Kim, Sebastian Lee, Liz Friedman and Mike Listo are also executive producers.

ABC Signature is a part of Disney Television Studios.

Larracuente headlined Freeform’s Party of Five reboot and is also known for his major recurring role on the hit Netflix show 13 Reasons Why and for playing Kyle Chandler’s son in Bloodline. Two of the series, Party of Five and Bloodline, were produced by Sony Television.

Vico Ortiz Signs with Paradigm

Vico Ortiz has new representation.

The Latinx, non-binary and gender-fluid actor has signed with Paradigm.

Vico OrtizOrtiz is a known for their work in HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death and The Sex Lives of College Girls, and Starz’s Vida.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz’s first breakthrough role was in Amazon Prime Video’s Transparent. They then appeared in recurring roles for Freeform’s The Fosters and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Netflix’s Lucifer. They appeared in Starz’s Vida, where their drag king alter ego Vico Suave made their screen debut.

Currently Ortiz is a series regular on Our Flag Means Death, appearing opposite stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby. They play Jim, the first non-binary pirate to exist in a period piece. Their additional credits include S.O.Z: Soldados o. Zombies, American Horror Story: 1984Criminal Minds9-1-1Ray Donovan and Jane The Virgin.

Beyond television, they were a co-lead in The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night, which premiered at TIFF in 2021. Ortiz also received a 2021 Queerties Award nomination for their performance in the buzzed about queer digital series, These Thems.

Beyond their on-screen work, Ortiz is an activist and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. They championed organizations including The Dru Project and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center..

Ortiz is a known for their work in HBO Max’s Our Flag Means Death and The Sex Lives of College Girls, and Starz’s Vida.

Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Ortiz’s first breakthrough role was in Amazon Prime Video’s Transparent. They then appeared in recurring roles for Freeform’s The Fosters and Everything’s Gonna Be Okay, and Netflix’s Lucifer. They appeared in Starz’s Vida, where their drag king alter ego Vico Suave made their screen debut.

Currently Ortiz is a series regular on Our Flag Means Death, appearing opposite stars Taika Waititi and Rhys Darby. They play Jim, the first non-binary pirate to exist in a period piece. Their additional credits include S.O.Z: Soldados o. Zombies, American Horror Story: 1984Criminal Minds9-1-1Ray Donovan and Jane The Virgin.

Beyond television, they were a co-lead in The Syed Family Xmas Eve Game Night, which premiered at TIFF in 2021. Ortiz also received a 2021 Queerties Award nomination for their performance in the buzzed about queer digital series, These Thems.

Beyond their on-screen work, Ortiz is an activist and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights. They championed organizations including The Dru Project and the Los Angeles LGBTQ Center.

Freeform Renews “Grown-ish,” Starring Francia Raisa, for Fifth Season

Francia Raisa is still grown-ish

Freeform has renewed Grown-ish, featuring the 33-year-old Honduran and Mexican American actress among the lead cast, for Season 5.

Francia Raisa

Season 4 of Grown-ish, which currently airs on Freeform, follows Zoey (Yara Shahidi) and her classmates, including Raisa as Ana Torres, on the road to graduation.

Freeform revealed that the fifth season of the Black-ish spinoff series will add Marcus Scribner to join his on-screen sister Shahidi as Andre Johnson Jr. as he embarks on his journey to being “grown.”

Zakiyyah Alexander and Black-ish executive producer Courtney Lilly will serve as co-showrunners for Season 5.

The series is produced by ABC Signature.

Raisa is currently starring on another series, Hulu’s How I Met Your Father.

Priscilla Quintana Upped to Series Regular for Season Four of Freeform’s “Good Trouble”

There’s more (good) trouble in Priscilla Quintana’s future…

The 29-year-old half-Mexican American actress has been promoted to series regular for the fourth season of Freeform’s Good Trouble.

Priscilla Quintana

Quintana, who portrays Isabella, was a recurring cast member in the second and third seasons.

Freeform will premiere the first half of season four beginning on Wednesday, March 9 at 10:00 pm, and the next day on Hulu.

Created by Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige and Bradley BredewegGood Trouble follows the residents of Downtown Los Angeles’ The Coterie as they juggle career, love and the 20-something growing pains at a time in your life where your friends are your family.

Quintan’s Isabella is a resident of the Coterie and mother to Gael’s unborn baby.

The series also stars Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Tommy Martinez, Emma Hunton, Sherry Cola, Zuri Adele, Beau Mirchoff and Josh Pence.

Johnson serves as showrunner and executive producer. Christine Sacani, Greg Gugliotta, Jennifer Lopez, Benny Medina, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, Mitchell and Ramirez also executive produce.

Bianca Santos to Star in the Indie Thriller “Invitation to a Murder”

Bianca Santos has accepted a new invitation

The 31-year-old Brazilian and Cuban American actress will star alongside Mischa Barton and Seamus Dever in Stephen Shimek’s indie thriller, Invitation to a Murder.

Bianca SantosThe film sees a reclusive billionaire invite six seemingly random strangers to his island estate, including aspiring detective Miranda Green (Barton). When another guest turns up dead, Miranda must get to the bottom of the plot behind the gathering to prove herself and maybe save her life.

Santos will play Carmen Blanco, a poor waitress from Seville who joins Green and Dever’s attorney Lawrence Kane as a guest at the mansion. She gets swept up in a romance with another guest, but when things take a deadly turn, she must decide whose side she’s on.

Brian O’Donnell penned the film, which is based on an original story by Gérard Miller.

It’s now in production in Chicago.

Zeus Zamani and Brian Vilim are producing, with ACE Entertainment’s Sebastien Semon and Jerome Reydner-Kalfon executive producing.

Santos is best known for her turn as Lexi Rivera in Freeform drama series The Fosters, and as Maya in The CW’s fantasy series Legacies.

The actress has previously starred on the film side in OuijaThe Duff and Priceless.

Freeform Renews Cierra Ramirez’s “Good Trouble” for Fourth Season

Cierra Ramirez’s troubles continue…

Freeform has renewed Good Touble, starring the 26-year-old Colombian and Mexican American actress/singer, for a fourth season.

Cierra Ramirez

The announcement arrived on the heels of the 90-minute Season 3 finale airing on the East Coast on Wednesday.

The network released a new poster celebrating the news featuring stars Maia Mitchell, Ramirez, Sherry Cola, Tommy Martinez, Zuri Adele, Emma Hunton, Josh Pence and Beau Mirchoff.

Good Trouble

Good Trouble, a spinoff of The Fosters, follows the residents of Downtown Los Angeles’ The Coterie as they juggle career, love, and friendship and learn that standing up for what you believe in requires making a little noise and getting into trouble. The season 3 finale finds Callie (Maia Mitchell) questioning the career choices she’s made.

The series is enjoying its most-watched season ever on Hulu and currently ranks as one of the year’s Top 10 Primetime cable drama series among Women 18-34. All three seasons are currently available to stream via Hulu.

Good Trouble is co-created by Joanna Johnson, Peter Paige, and Bradley Bredeweg. Johnson serves as executive producer along with Gregory Gugliotta, Christine Sacani, Maia Mitchell, Cierra Ramirez, Jennifer Lopez, Elaine Goldsmith-Thomas, and Benny Medina.

Grasie Mercedes to Star on NBC’s “Grand Crew”

It’s a Grand opportunity for Grasie Mercedes.

The 43-year-old Afro-Latina actress has joined the cast of NBC’s Grand Crew as a series regular.

Grasie Mercedes

The comedy, from Phil Augusta Jackson and Dan Goor, follows a group of young L.A. professionals navigating the ups and downs of life and love. When they’re ready to unpack it all, they meet at their favorite local bar for a “wine down.”

Mercedes will portray Fay, a recently divorced transplant to Los Angeles who becomes fast friends with the regulars at Eastside Cru.

Jackson will write and executive produce. Mo Marable will direct and co-executive produce the pilot. Goor will executive produce.

Previously announced cast members include Nicole Byer, Justin Cunningham, Aaron Jennings, Echo Kellum and Carl Tart.

Mercedes most recently served as a staff writer on NBC’s Perfect Harmony. Her acting credits include roles in Fox’s 9-1-1, Freeform’s Good Trouble, TNT’s Southland, HBO’s The Affair and CBS’ Criminal Minds.