Jacob Vargas to Appear on Disney+’s TV Series “National Treasure”

Jacob Vargas is treasuring his latest gig…

The 50-year-old Mexican-American actor and performer has landed a heavily recurring role in National Treasure, Disney Branded Television’s television series for Disney+ produced by ABC Signature.

Jacob VargasExecutive produced by the films’ producer Jerry Bruckheimer, director Jon Turteltaub and writers Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, the project is an expansion of the National Treasure film franchise told from the point of view of young heroine Jess (Lisette Olivera), a DREAMer in search of answers about her family who embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to uncover the truth about the past and save a lost Pan-American treasure.

The series, whose pilot episode is written by the Wibberleys and will be directed by Mira Nair, centers on Jess, a Latina whose brilliant and resourceful mind loves a good mystery, and she has a natural talent for solving puzzles. Over the course of the show, Jess will uncover her own buried history, as well as the truth about her parents and her connection to a long-lost treasure.

Vargas plays Rafael a rugged, treasure-obsessed, adventurous soul with a good sense of humor.

Vargas recently portrayed Tony Ochoa on Mr. Iglesias for Netflix. He also recurred on Mayans M.C. and appeared on Luke Cage and Sons of Anarchy.

On the film side, he most recently was seen in Steven Soderbergh’s Kimi. His other film credits include Princess of the Row, The 33 and Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias to Produce & Lead the Cast of Netflix’s Animated Feature “I, Chihuahua”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is luchando

The 45-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian and actor will produce and lead the voice cast of Netflix’s animated feature I, Chihuahua.

Gabriel Iglesias

The project will be Maya and the Three creator Jorge Gutiérrez’s first animated feature for Netflix.

Written by Gutiérrez, Doug Landale and Candie Kelty LangdaleI, Chihuahua is billed as the ultimate underdog tale of Chacho, a scrappy masked Luchador Chihuahua, who embarks on a hilarious and action-packed journey around the world to fight for his family. After learning his beloved home is in danger, Chacho dons a Lucha Libre mask to become Luchacho. Our masked underdog then enters an international fight tournament, competing against a hilarious and eclectic mix of animal fighters from all over the world, in the lead-up to a final, epic fight against the nefarious beast known as Chamuco, The Widow Maker. Iglesias will produce alongside Tim Yoon.

“I cannot wait for everyone to see this wonderful film that celebrates underdogs in and out of the ring! It has action, drama, laughs and twists & turns, like any great Lucha storyline movie should have,” said Iglesias. “When I first had the idea of a Lucha Libre cartoon, there was no one else I wanted to partner with other than Jorge Gutierrez. He has a brilliant mind that can expand this story in unimaginable ways.”

“After The Book of Life and the amazing experience on Maya and the Three, I’m now thrilled to collaborate with [VP Animated Films] Melissa [Cobb], [VP Animated Films] Gregg [Taylor], [Director of Animated Films] Tito [Ortiz] and all my friends at Netflix Animation on my follow up animated feature: I, Chihuahua! And to finally tag team a movie with my good friend and creative partner Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is a dream come true!” added Gutiérrez. “Our internationally epic and heartfelt film will be a hilarious love letter to Lucha Libre (Mexican wrestling) movies, fighting video games and underdog sports films. I don’t want to overpromise, but this will be the greatest masked Chihuahua film ever made! What a time to be alive!”

Iglesias is one of America’s most successful stand-up comedians, performing to sold-out concerts around the world, and is also one of the most watched comedians on YouTube, with almost a billion views and more than 25 million fans across social media.

He is currently on his Gabriel “Fluffy” Back On Tour and will make history from May 6-7, as he’s the first comedian to perform at Dodger Stadium.

Iglesias previously collaborated with Gutiérrez as part of the cast of both The Book of Life and Maya and the Three and has also featured in such series as Disney+’s Monsters at Work and ABC’s Cristela, while leading his own Netflix sitcom, Mr. Iglesias.

He has also lent his voice to animated (or partially animated) films including Space Jam: A New LegacyUglyDollsFerdinandThe StarCocoThe Nut Job and The Nut Job 2: Nutty by NatureSmurfs: The Lost Village and Norm of the North. Additional film credits include Magic MikeMagic Mike XXL and A Haunted House 2.

Gutiérrez is an Emmy– and Annie Award-winning animator, painter, voice actor, writer and director whose Mesoamerican fantasy series Maya and the Three debuted on Netflix last year. That series won two Annie Awards upon its premiere, including the prize for Best Children’s TV/Media, with Gutiérrez moving to expand his relationship with the streamer, in writing, directing and producing new animated films, series and interactive projects across preschool, kids & family and adult animation.

Born in Mexico City and raised in Tijuana, the CalArts graduate has completed various films, cartoons, and paintings exploring his love affair with Mexican pop and folk culture. He was the director and co-writer of the Guillermo del Toro-produced animated feature The Book of Life for Fox, which earned him a 2014 Golden Globe nomination, and was also the writer-director behind the Emmy-nominated VR short Son of Jaguar for Google. Gutiérrez also created the multiple Emmy Award–winning animated series El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera for Nickelodeon, alongside his wife, Sandra Equihua.

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias to Star Opposite Demi Lovato in the Comedy Pilot “Hungry”

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesias is getting hungry

The 45-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian and actor has been cast as a series regular on NBC’s multi-camera comedy pilot Hungry, starring and executive produced by Demi Lovato.

Gabriel IglesiasMulti-Emmy-winning sitcom director James Burrows will helm the pilot, which comes from Sean Hayes and Todd Milliner’s Hazy Mills, SB Projects and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Written and executive produced by Suzanne Martin, Hungry follows a group of friends who belong to a food-issues group helping one another as they look for love, success and the perfect thing in the fridge that’s going to make it all better.

Iglesias will play Danny, a big-hearted big guy who’s the life of the party.

The cast also includes Valerie Bertinelli, Alex Brightman and Ashley D. Kelley.

Hayes, Milliner & Scooter Braun, Scott Manson and James Shin executive produce.

Iglesias recently starred in and executive produced comedy series Mr. Iglesias, which aired for two seasons on Netflix.

He’ll soon make history on May 7 for being the first comedian to perform at Dodger Stadium, which later will stream as a stand-up special on Netflix. Iglesias also stars in Paramount’s upcoming animated feature Blazing Samurai, in which he voices Chuck, set for release in July.

Peter Murrieta Adapting Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s Forthcoming Novel “Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta” as a TV/Film Project

It’s a (blood and) golden opportunity for Peter Murrieta.

The Latino two-time Emmy-winning television producer and writer is teaming up with Russell Binder’s Striker Entertainment to option and adapt Jeffrey J. Mariotte’s forthcoming novel Blood And Gold: The Legend of Joaquin Murrieta

Peter Murrieta

Set during the harsh and brutal but transformative era of the California Gold Rush, the book tells the story of real-life bandit Joaquin Murrieta, who was dubbed the ‘Robin Hood of the West’.

It follows how Murrieta, a romantic, charismatic young Mexican who, overcome by fear that his beloved Rosita will be forced into an arranged marriage, persuades her to join him as he follows his brother Jesús to the California gold fields where they encounter prejudice, hatred, and explosive violence – transforming Joaquin from an honest, hardworking miner into a bandit and the very spirit of vengeance.

The team said the book blends historical facts with untold family stories from direct descendants of Murrieta.

It will be released by Sundown Press in October this year. Peter Murrieta is also a co-author on the book.

Murrieta, who recently signed a first-look deal with Universal Television, will pen the screenplay.

“In the prefatory note to his epic Western novel Warlock, Oakley Hall wrote that ‘The pursuit of truth, not of facts, is the business of fiction,’” said Mariotte. “I have been fascinated by Joaquin Murrieta for nearly five decades, but it took connecting with Peter – who knows the real truth as much as it can be known— – o be able to tell the story the way it needed to be told.”

It’s not decided if the project will be a film or television program.

Murrieta’s credits include Netflix shows One Day At A Time and Mr. Iglesias. He was also an executive producer on Disney’s Wizards of Waverly Place and the creator of Warner Bros. series Greetings From Tucson.

Jacob Vargas to Star in Steven Soderbergh’s Next Film “KIMI”

Jacob Vargas has lined up his next big role…

The 49-year-old Mexican actor has joined the cast of Steven Soderbergh’s next film, the New Line Max Original feature KIMIwith Zoë Kravitz on board to star.

Jacob Vargas

Byron Bowers and Jaime Camil are also on board.

The film will premiere exclusively on HBO Max. David Koepp penned the script and will produce with Michael Polaire.

Plot details are being kept under wraps.

The film would mark the second collaboration between Warner Bros Pictures Group, HBO Max and Soderbergh since the recent restructuring of the studio, and the third between Soderbergh and HBO Max. It follows No Sudden Move, the upcoming starry Max Original ensemble crime thriller from Warner Bros. Pictures that features Don Cheadle, Benicio Del Toro, David Harbour, Amy Seimetz, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta, Kieran Culkin, Brendan Fraser, Noah Jupe, Bill Duke, Frankie Shaw and Julia Fox.

Soderbergh’s most recent pic, Let Them All Talk, with Meryl Streep, premiered on HBO Max in December.

Vargas and Soderbergh’s partnership goes all the way back to Soderbergh’s Oscar-winning drug trafficking film Trafficwhere Vargas played del Toro’s partner Manolo. Vargas would later appear in Soderbergh’s HBO series Mosaic

He currently stars in the Netflix series Mr. Iglesias and was previously on the series Luke Cage and Sons of Anarchy. Recent film credits include Mark Carlson’s Princess of the Row opposite Martin Sheen and Ana OrtizThe 33 as Edison “Elvis” Peña, one of the 33 Chilean miners that was trapped for 69 days, and Diego Luna’s biopic Cesar Chavez as Richard Chavez opposite Michael Peña.

 

NBC Developing Latino Immigrant-Family Comedy Inspired by Chris Garcia’s Own Upbringing

Chris Garcia is looking to bring his story to the small screen… 

NBC has put in development a semi-autobiographical immigrant-family comedy from the Cuban American comedian-writer-actor and Mr. Iglesias creator Kevin Hench.

Chris Garcia

Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group, is the studio.

Written and executive produced by Garcia and Hench, the multi-generational immigrant-family comedy, inspired by Garcia’s life, is about an anti-communist Cuban father who enrolls in ESL classes at the same high school as his sensitive poetry-loving son.

Garcia is a comedian, television writer, actor, and podcaster from Los Angeles, who has appeared on his own half-hour special on Comedy Central, The Late Late Show with James Corden, This Is Not Happening, Adam Devine’s House Party, and @Midnight.

Garcia was named a New Face at the 2016 Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and a “Comedian You Should and Will Know” by Vulture.

He has written for Comedy Central, Adult Swim, Broadway Video, and Netflix. Garcia’s podcast Scattered was named one of the “10 Best Podcasts of 2019” by TIME Magazine.

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.

Netflix to Premiere Part 2 of Gabriel Iglesias’ Comedy Series “Mr. Iglesias” in June

GabrielFluffyIglesias is headed back to school next month…

The second season of the 43-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian/actor’s Netflix series will premiere on Wednesday, June 17.

Mr. Iglesias Gabriel Iglesias

In the series created by Kevin Hench, Iglesias stars as Gabe, a good-natured public high school teacher in Long Beach, CA who works at his alma mater. Gabe takes on teaching gifted but misfit kids to not only save them from being “counseled out” by a bully bureaucrat assistant principal (Oscar Nuñez), but also to help them unlock their full potential. 

Sherri Shepherd co-stars as the school’s principal, Paula.

Love is in the air for Part 2 of the series as Mr. Iglesias convinces his star student, Marisol (Cree Cicchino), and fellow student, Mikey (Fabrizio Guido), to go out for the school play of Romeo & Juliet while, unbeknownst to Gabe, Principal Paula plays Cupid to find him the girl of his dreams.

The series is part of a three-project deal Iglesias signed with Netflix in 2018, which also included a pair of stand-up specials.

Netflix Renews Gabriel Iglesias’ “Mr Iglesias” for Second Season

Gabriel “Fluffy” Iglesiasis returning for his sophomore year…

Netflix has renewed Mr. Iglesias, starring the 43-year-old Mexican American stand-up comedian and actor, for a second season.

Gabriel Iglesias

In the series created by Kevin Hench, Iglesias stars as Gabe, a good-natured public high school teacher who works at his alma mater. Gabe takes on teaching gifted but misfit kids to not only save them from being “counseled out” by a bully bureaucrat assistant principal (Oscar Nuñez) but also to help them unlock their full potential. 

Sherri ShepherdJacob VargasMaggie Geha, Richard GantCree Cicchinoand Fabrizio Guidoco-star.

Hench returns for Season 2 as showrunner and will serve as executive producer alongside Iglesias, Ron DeBlasioand Joe Meloche.

“A lot of my fans ask me what I would be if I wasn’t a stand-up comic,” Iglesias said previously. “I tell them a history teacher because I love history. So it’s great that in this sitcom, I have the opportunity to live out my alternate reality had I not become Fluffy.”

The series is part of a three project deal Iglesias signed with Netflix a year ago, which also includes a pair of stand-up specials from the veteran comic.

Imagen Foundation to Honor Luisa Leschin with Writing Honor at This Year’s Imagen Awards

Luisa Leschin has the writestuff…

The 66-year-old El Salvadoran & Guatemalan television producer, actress, and voice-over artistwill be honored with the Norman Lear Writer’s Award at the 34th Annual Imagen Awards, which will be held August 10 at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Luisa Leschin

Leschin is an industry veteran who has produced shows like George LopezEverybody Hates Chrisand East Los HighShe currently is the co-executive producer of the Netflixoriginal series Mr. Iglesias starring Gabriel Iglesiasand Sherri Shepherd.

“Norman Lear is a towering legend in the entertainment industry having create some of Hollywood’s most ground-breaking sitcoms,” said Leschin. “He has inspired every writer to think beyond the norm and is someone I have always looked up to. I’m beyond honored.”

Leschin has had her hand in nearly every aspect of the entertainment industry. She began her career as a ballet dancer then turned to acting, having appeared in many iconic TV series including Beverly Hills 90210Love BoatER,QuincyFalcon CrestHill St. Blues and others. On the feature side, she has appeared in Saturday Night Fever and True Confessions.

The Norman Lear Writer’s Award honors those that have exhibited efforts towards increasing diversity within all aspects of the entertainment industry. Past recipients include Gloria Calderon KellettPeter Murrieta, John LeguizamoFred Armisenand Roberto Orci.