Ana Villafañe to Star in Apple’s Drama “Bad Monkey”

Ana Villafañe isn’t afraid to monkey around…

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has joined the cast of Apple’s drama Bad Monkey, written and executive produced Bill Lawrence.

Ana Villafañe

Villafañe, best known for her portrayal of Latina icon Gloria Estefan in the Broadway musical On Your Feet!, joins an ensemble cast that Rob Delaney, newcomer Ahmed Elhaj and Arturo Luis Soria as series regulars, joining Vince Vaughn, who also serves as executive producer, Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith and Meredith Hagner.

Based on Carl Hiaasen’s popular 2013 novel, Bad Monkey tells the story of Andrew Yancy (Vaughn), a one-time detective demoted to restaurant inspector in Southern Florida. A severed arm found by a tourist out fishing pulls Yancy into the world of greed and corruption that decimates the land and environment in both Florida and the Bahamas. And yes, there’s a monkey.

Villafañe plays Rosa, a Miami medical examiner who is starting to realize she may not be cut out for her job, so is happy to ditch work and help Yancy try to figure out the story of the severed arm he brings into her lab.

Soria portrays Rogelio, a good Key West police detective who comes to his best friend and ex-partner, Andrew Yancy, with a life-changing assignment. It further complicates things that Rogelio’s husband is also Yancy’s attorney.

Villafañe was most recently seen in a recurring role on the final season of Younger. Her other previous credits include a heavily recurring role on NBC’s New Amsterdam. She was most recently seen in a starring role in the Broadway production of Chicago.

Soria’s guest star/recurring roles include Insatiable and The Blacklist.

Diany Rodriguez to Appear on Season Nine of NBC’s “The Blacklist”

Diany Rodriguez is makin’ the (Black)list…

The Latina actress has joined the cast of NBC’s long-running drama The Blacklist for its upcoming ninth season of the series.

Diany Rodriguez

Rodriguez, who has appeared on Law & Order: Organized Crime, will appear in a heavily recurring role.

Rodriguez will play Weecha Xiu. With a tough physical presence and a hardened demeanor, Weecha is more than capable of defending herself against anyone who might threaten her or her associates.

The Blacklist,
 starring James Spader, Diego Klattenhoff and Amir Arison, will jump forward two years in its season 9 return airing on October 21 (8/7c) on NBC.

In The Blacklist, in the two years following the death of Elizabeth Keen, Raymond Reddington (Spader) and the members of the FBI Task Force have disbanded – their lives now changed in unexpected ways and with Reddington’s whereabouts unknown. Finding themselves each at a crossroads, a common purpose compels them to renew their original mission: to take down dangerous, vicious and eccentric Blacklisters.

The Blacklist
 is produced by Sony Pictures Television Studios and Universal Television, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Rodriguez is best known for her role as A.D.A. Maria Delgado on NBC’s Law & Order: Organized Crime. She will soon be seen opposite Eugenio Debrez in Hulu’s upcoming rom-com The Valet

Other credits include HBO’s The Outsider, Showtime’s Ray Donovan and NBC’s New Amsterdam, among others.

 

Erica Hernandez to Star in CBS’ Drama Pilot “True Lies,” An Adaptation of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Action Comedy

Erica Hernandez is living a Lie(s)

The Latina actress has been cast as a series regular in CBS’ drama pilot True Lies, the television adaptation of James Cameron’s 1994 action comedy movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Erica Hernandez

Hernandez will star opposite Omar Miller, Mike O’Gorman, Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga in the series.

Written by Matt Nix and to be directed by Anthony Hemingway, the pilot’s plot is true to its movie roots: Shocked to discover that her bland and unremarkable computer consultant husband (Howey) is a skilled international spy, an unfulfilled suburban housewife (Gonzaga) is propelled into a life of danger and adventure when she’s recruited to work alongside him to save the world as they try to revitalize their passionless marriage.

Hernandez will portray Maria, another of the operatives working with Harry (Howey). Tough and capable, she is a cool-headed, first class spy. But she never misses a chance to get in a dig at Luther’s expense, reminding him of something that went down between them while on a mission in Berlin.

20th Century Fox Television is the studio.

Hernandez can currently be seen as a series correspondent on the Emmy-nominated CBS show Mission Unstoppable, and in a recurring role on Epix series Bridge and Tunnel.

Her other television and film credits include NBC’s The Brave and New Amsterdam, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Brittany Runs a Marathon.

Ana Villafañe to Star in NBC’s Comedy Pilot “Night Court,” a Follow-Up to the Classic Legal Series

Ana Villafañe is holding court

The 32-year-old Cuban and Salvadoran American actress/singer has landed a series regular in NBC’s half-hour pilot Night Court.

Ana Villafañe

The project is a follow-up to the classic legal comedy series headlined and executive produced by The Big Bang TheoryMelissa Rauch, with the original series’ John Larroquette reprising his Emmy-winning role.

Written/executive produced by Dan Rubin based on the original series created by Reinhold Weege, the multi-camera Night Court centers on unapologetic optimist judge Abby Stone (Rauch), the daughter of the late Harry Stone, who follows in her father’s footsteps as she presides over the night shift of a Manhattan arraignment court and tries to bring order to its crew of oddballs and cynics, most notably former night court prosecutor Dan Fielding (Larroquette).

Villafañe will play Monica, the court’s assistant district attorney. Type A, superficial and tightly wound. Monica sees the night court as a stepping stone to bigger and better things. She’s above this place and all the people in it, but it’s a good way to get some courtroom experience under her belt. It’s all part of her plan to land a job at one of the big firms. Thirty will be here before she knows it and if she’s not wildly successful by then…well it’s best not to think about it.

Villafañe is recurring on the final season of Younger, which streams on Paramount+.

She has also recurred on two NBC/Universal Television series, drama New Amsterdam and comedy Sunnyside.

On stage, Villafañe originated the role of Gloria Estefan in the Broadway production of On Your Feet and starred throughout the musical’s entire 2014-2017 run, winning the 2015 Theatre World Award for Best Actress.

She later starred as Nina Rosario in the Kennedy Center’s 2018 production of In the Heights and made her off-Broadway debut in MCC’s Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties in 2018. She is a two-time Drama League Award nominee for On Your Feet and Collective Rage.

Carlos Santos to Star Opposite Eugenio Derbez in English-Remake of “The Valet”

Carlos Santos is preparing for Valet service…

The 35-year-old Puerto Rican actor and comedian will star in Lionsgate’s The Valet, the English-language remake of Francis Veber’s French film.

Carlos Santos

Santos joins a roster of new cast additions that includes Noemi Gonzalez (Selena: The SeriesEast Los High), Tiana Okoye (Awkwafina Is Nora From QueensThe Good Place), Diany Rodriguez (Law & Order: Organized CrimeNew Amsterdam)Armando Hernandez (El César series on Prime Video, Disney+ series El Repatriado.

They join stars Eugenio Derbez and Samara Weaving in the film, which is being directed by Richard Wong.

The film, written by Rob Greenberg and Bob Fisher, follows Olivia (Weaving), a movie star who enlists Antonio (Derbez) – a parking valet – to pose as her lover to cover for a relationship with a married man. As a valet, the hard-working Antonio usually flies under the radar but his ruse with Olivia thrusts him into the spotlight and brings him to see himself more clearly than ever before.

Santos and Hernandez will play the valets who work with Antonio at a tony Beverly Hills restaurant.

Gonzalez will play Clara, Antonio’s sister and the wife of Benny, Antonio’s boss.

Okoye is Amanda, Olivia’s dedicated but jaded assistant.

Rodriguez will play Natalie, who works at Antonio’s neighborhood bike shop.

Derbez and Ben Odell are producing through their 3Pas Studios banner, while Meredith Wieck and Aaron Edmonds are overseeing the project for Lionsgate.

Melissa Fumero Taking Part in NBCUniversal’s New “The More You Know” Social Justice, Equality and Equity PSAs

Melissa Fumero is helping people get in the know

NBCUniversal will launch a new series of its popular The More You Know PSAs that tackle systemic racism and speak up for social justice, equality and equity, with the 38-year-old Cuban American actress and Brooklyn Nine-Nine star among the artists taking part.

Melissa Fumero

Fumero joins a roster of NBC talent that includes Dulé Hill, James Roday Rodriguez and Kelly Clarkson, among others.

The campaign was developed in collaboration with social and racial justice organizations Fair Count, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, the NAACP, the National Action Network and the National Urban League, and focuses on standing up against injustice, teaching children about equity, and the importance of voting and completing the census, especially for how it impacts the Black community and communities of color.

The campaign kicked off this week on NBC’s Today with a spot on teaching children about inclusion and acceptance. The campaign will be rolling out over the next few weeks, with spots now available on TheMoreYouKnow.com and YouTube.

The More You Know site also includes comprehensive resources and educational guides.

“For over 30 years, ‘The More You Know’ has sought to bring light to the nation’s most pressing social issues,” said Craig Robinson, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, NBCUniversal, “and we hope this new iteration will continue to educate, encourage and inspire people of all ages to take an active role in improving the world we live in.”

In addition to Fumero, Hill, Roday Rodriguez and Clarkson, stars participating in the campaign include: Carlos Adyan (En Casa con Telemundo), Freema Agyeman (New Amsterdam), Notah Begay III (NBC Sports), Gizelle Bryant (The Real Housewives of Potomac), Kandi Burruss (The Real Housewives of Atlanta), Victor Cruz (E! News), Dexter Darden (Saved by the Bell), Ester Dean (Songland), Ryan Eggold (New Amsterdam), Soleil Moon Frye (Punky Brewster), Damon Hack (Golf Channel), Zuri Hall (Access Hollywood), Ana Jurka (“En Casa con Telemundo and Titulares y Más), Aneudy Lara (100 Días Para Enamorarnos), Howie Mandel (America’s Got Talent), Christopher Meloni (Law & Order: Organized Crime), Wendy Osefo (The Real Housewives of Potomac), Jeimy Osorio (Telemundo), Nina Parker (E! News’ Nightly Pop), Nichole Sakura (Superstore), Jocko Sims (New Amsterdam), Chris Sullivan (This Is Us”), Justin Sylvester (E! News’ Daily Pop), Elyfer Torres (Enemigo Íntimo) and Reno Wilson (Good Girls).

Gregory Diaz IV Signs with United Talent Agency (UTA)

Gregory Diaz IV has new representation…

The 15-year-old Puerto Rican actor, who stars in Jon Chu’s upcoming Warner Bros. feature musical In The Heights, has signed with United Talent Agency (UTA).

Gregory Diaz IV

Diaz previously appeared on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and NBC’s New Amsterdam.

Diaz made his name on Broadway with his performance as Bruce in Matilda the Musical in 2016 and also performed Off-Broadway in Pedro PanZurich and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

He plays Sonny de la Vega in In the Heights, which is based on the musical by Quiara Alegria Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film is scheduled for release in June 2021.

Diaz can also be seen in upcoming comedy film Vampires vs. the Bronx, written and directed by Oz Rodriguez and produced by Lorne Michaels.

Leiomy Maldonado to Take Part in ATX Television Festival’s First-Ever Virtual Event, “ATX TV….From The Couch!”

Leiomy Maldonado is bringing something legendary to this year’s virtual edition of the ATX Television Festival.

The festival’s first ever virtual version, titled “ATX TV….From The Couch!,” will feature a special panel “Extravaganza” with the cast of HBO Max’s new reality voguing competition, Legemdary, including the 33-year-old Afro-Puerto Rican dancer, instructor, model and ballroom dancer, aka “Wonder Woman of Vogue.”

Leiomy Maldonado

Maldonado serves as a judge on the new reality competition series, alongside Megan Thee StallionJameela Jamil and Law Roach.

Peacock will present a Psych panel with creators Steve Franks and Chris Henze, as well as cast members James RodayDulé HillKirsten Nelson, Maggie Lawson and Corbin Bernsen ahead of the premiere of Peacock’s second Psych movie, Psych 2: Lassie Come Home.

Other panels include a conversation with PopTV’s One Day at a Time including showrunner/executive producer/director/actor Gloria Calderón Kellett as well as cast members Justina MachadoRita Moreno, and Isabella Gomez

They’ll join viewers for an informal brunch conversation discussing the June 16 animated special, “The Politics Episode.”

There will also be a table read with the executive producers and cast of Search Party ahead of its debut on HBO Max.

The festival will feature the marquee panel conversation with the cast and creatives of HBO‘s reboot of Perry MasonAudiences will get a first look at the new gritty drama ahead of its June 21 premiere date. 

Hulu will also bring their original series Little Fires Everywhere to the fest with a special panel featuring the shows producers and writers.

FX Networks will present a Justified reunion with the show’sbehind the scenes team and stars Timothy Olyphant and Joelle Carter.

The fest will highlight the ways women support one another in television with a special “Torchlighters” panel, led by Pacesetter principal and executive producer Jessica Rhoades (Dirty John: The Betty Broderick StorySharp ObjectsUtopia) creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Marti Noxon (Sharp ObjectsDietlandTo the Bone), creator/showrunner/executive producer/director Tanya Saracho (Vida), Francesca Orsi (Executive Vice President and Head of Drama at HBO), writer Lindsey Villarreal (Vida) and writer Erika L Johnson (The VillageThe Good Lord Bird), with additional panelists to be announced soon.

ATX’s previously announced programming includes panels for ScrubsCougar TownThe Bold Type, Nancy Drew, New AmsterdamP-Valley and more. The ATX Television Festival will stream for free on ATX’s official YouTube channel, with an option for viewers to donate to fundraising efforts for​ Direct Relief and​ The Actors Fund ​in an effort to benefit those affected by COVID-19.

The event will take place June 5-7. Click here for the complete schedule.

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.

CBS All Access Orders Second Season of Zabryna Guevara’s “The Twilight Zone”

Zabryna Guevara is still zoning out…

CBS All Access has ordered a second season The Twilight Zone, itsanthology series starring the 47-year-old Afro-Latina American actress.

Zabryna Guevara

The CBS All Access series is a modern reimagining of Rod Serling’s original, which aired from 1959-64 on CBS and became a worldwide phenomenon, using socially conscious storytelling to explore the human condition and culture of the times.

Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg’s reimagining of The Twilight Zone is off to an amazing start on CBS All Access, driving the most viewers on its premiere day for an original series to date,” said Julie McNamara, EVP Original Content at CBS All Access. “Jordan, Simon, the creative team and cast have done a phenomenal job translating the series’ legacy of socially conscious storytelling for modern-day audiences. They are master storytellers, and we look forward to bringing fans further into The Twilight Zone with a second season.”

CBS announced in 2017 that it would revive The Twilight Zone for streaming service CBS All Access with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Simon Kinberg’s Genre Films.

The anthology series features Peele as host and narrator with cast members including Guevara, Ike BarinholtzZazie BeetzJohn ChoLucinda DryzekTaissa FarmigaJames FrainBetty GabrielGinnifer GoodwinPercy Hynes-WhiteGreg KinnearLuke KirbySanaa Lathan, Kumail NanjianiChris O’DowdSeth RogenAdam ScottRhea SeehornAlison Tolman,Jacob TremblayJefferson WhiteJonathan WhitesellJessica WilliamsDeWanda Wise and Steven Yeun.

The first season of The Twilight Zone is airing on-demand at CBS All Access. The series’ first five episodes are available with new episodes dropping weekly on Thursdays.

The Twilight Zone is produced by CBS Television Studiosin association with Peele’s Monkeypaw Productions and Kinberg’s Genre Films. Peele and Kinberg serve as executive producers.

Guevara’s previous television credits include appearances in New AmsterdamThe Handmaid’s TaleGothamand Chicago Med.