NBC Renews Grasie Mercedes’ Sitcom “Grand Crew” for Second Season

There’s more crew time in Grasie Mercedes’ future…

NBC has ordered a second season of comedy series Grand Crew, starring the 44-year-old Afro-Latina actress, writer, filmmaker and podcast host.

Grasie MercedesIn addition to Mercedes, the series also stars Echo Kellum, Justin Cunningham, Carl Tart, Aaron Jennings and Nicole Byer.

Grand Crew, which hails from writer-producer Phil Augusta Jackson, revolves around a group of Black friends who unpack the ups and downs of life and love at a wine bar.

The first season of the series, which comes from Universal Television, reached 17 million total viewers, according to the network across all platforms and the premiere episode was NBC’s top digital comedy launch on Peacock.

Mercedes portrays Fay on the series.

Her previous credits include appearances on Good Trouble, The Affair and 9-1-1.

Vertical Entertainment Acquires U.S. Rights to Eva Longoria’s Comedy “Unplugging” 

Eva Longoria will be unplugging next spring…

Vertical Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to the comedy Unplugging, starring the 46-year-old Mexican American actress and former Desperate Housewives star, with plans to release it in theaters nationwide next spring.

Eva LongoriaThe film also stars Matt Walsh, Lea Thompson, Keith David and Nicole Byer.

In the feature directorial debut of veteran film editor Debra Neil-Fisher, husband and wife Dan (Walsh) and Jeanine (Longoria) plan a weekend getaway of “digital detox” without kids, phones, or social media. They need—or think they need—only clean fresh air and alone time together to rekindle their romance. But once they forego GPS to guide them and disconnect from the internet, can they reconnect their own internal servers to spark their marriage?

Johnny Pemberton, Al Madrigal, Joel Kim Booster, and Nancy Friedrich round out the cast of the film, scripted by Walsh and Brad Morris.

Longoria executive produced the film.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better time in the director’s chair than with this marvelous cast captained by Eva and Matt, and our dedicated crew,” said Neil-Fisher. “Vertical is the perfect partner to bring Unplugging to audiences next spring.”

Unplugging unites great talents in front of and behind the camera,” said Vertical Entertainment Partner Rich Goldberg, “and Debra’s storied skills as editor translate to a keen directorial eye for comedy.”

“Having previously partnered on many successful releases (Four Good DaysBuckley’s Chance) we know our friends at Vertical are the perfect distributor to bring the hilarious Unplugging to US audiences,” added Santor, who serves as Productivity Media’s CEO. “Eva and Matt are at the top of their game in this whip-smart, comedic look at relationships in the digital age, and we’re sure audiences will love it just as much as we loved making it.”

Paramount+ Renews Natalie Morales’ “Rugrats” Revival for Second Season

Natalie Morales is staying animated…

Paramount+ has renewed the revival of the classic Nickelodeon series Rugrats, featuring the 36-year-old Cuban American actress among the voice cast, for a second season.

Natalie Morales

The revival, which follows the titular tots and their imaginative shenanigans, features original cast members E.G. Daily, Nancy Cartwright, Cheryl Chase, Cree Summer and Kath Soucie as Tommy, Chuckie, Angelica, Susie, Phil and Lil, respectively.

In addition to Morales, the voice cast also features Nicole Byer, Ashley Rae Spillers, Tommy Dewey, Anna Chlumsky, Natalie Morales, Michael McKean and Omar Miller.

Paramount+ also revealed the premiere date for the second batch of Season 1 episodes, including the upcoming Halloween special.

The second batch of episodes, which will drop on October 7, will continue to see the Rugrats using their wild imaginations to defeat an outer-space villain, travel through Chuckie’s dad’s body, embark upon a daring mission to break Angelica out of preschool and more. The half-hour Halloween-themed special sees Tommy work with his friends’ help to save Angelica after she turns into a werewolf at a scary Halloween party as their parents seem to disappear one by one.

The original Rugrats series launched August 11, 1991, and became a phenomenon, spawning consumer products and three hit theatrical releases, cementing its place in pop culture history through its characters, storytelling and unique visual style. Rugrats was in production for nine seasons over the course of 13 years. The series earned four Daytime Emmy Awards, six Kids’ Choice Awards and its own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

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.

Paramount+ Releases Trailer for Natalie Morales’ Revival of Nickelodeon’s Original “Rugrats” Series

Natalie Morales is cutting a rug(rat)

Paramount+ has released the trailer for its revival of the Nickelodeon original animated series Rugrats, featuring the 36-year-old Cuban American actress.

Natalie Morales

The original series was created by Arlene Klasky, Gabor Csupo and Paul Germain.

In the reboot, the series’ tiny tots embark on an Indiana Jones-inspired treasure hunt, a battle against a giant green dog and a high-speed car chase in the colorful, wild worlds of their imagination.

Cast members from the original series return to reprise their roles in the Paramount+ series, which will premiere on May 27. Returning to voice the iconic cartoon toddlers are E.G. Daily (Tommy Pickles), Nancy Cartwright (Chuckie Finster), Cheryl Chase (Angelica Pickles), Cree Summer (Susie Carmichael) and Kath Soucie (Phil and Lil DeVille).

Also joining the cast for the revival are Nicole Byer, Tony Hale and Morales, who will take on the adult roles in Paramount+’s revival.

Hale will play Chuckie’s father, Morales as Phil and Lil’s mother and Byer, with Omar Miller, as Susie’s parents. Ashley Rae Spillers (Vice Principals) and Tommy Dewey, as Tommy’s parents; Anna Chlumsky and Timothy Simons, as Angelica’s parents; and Michael McKean, as Grandpa Lou Pickles round out the voice cast.

Valentina to Make Guest Appearance on Season 13 of “RuPaul’s Drag Race”

Valentina is headed back to the Race

The 29-year-old Mexican American drag performer, actor, television personality and singer will make a guest appearance on Season 13 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

Valentina

Valentina, who finished in 7th place on Season 9 of the acclaimed reality series and 7th place on the fourth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, and fellow Miss Congeniality winners from past seasons Nina West and Heidi N Closet will appear in future episodes. 

Cynthia ErivoNicole ByerLoni LoveTS Madison and Jamal Sims are slated to join the RuPaul’s Drag Race judges panel this season alongside mainstays Michelle Visage, Carson Kressley, Ross Mathews and, Mama Ru (RuPaul Charles).

In addition, RuPaul’s Drag Race superfans Anne Hathaway and Scarlett Johansson will surprise queens later this season with interactive video master classes.

The 13 queens vying for the ultimate title of “America’s Next Drag Superstar” this season include Denali (Chicago), Elliott with 2 Ts (Las Vegas), Gottmik (Los Angeles), Joey Jay (Phoenix), Kahmora Hall (Chicago), Kandy Muse (New York), LaLa Ri (Atlanta), Olivia Lux (New York), Rosé (New York), Symone (Los Angeles), Tamisha Iman (Atlanta), Tina Burner (New York), and Utica Queen (Minneapolis).

Tom Segura to Take Part in This Year’s New York Comedy Festival

Tom Segura is ready to crack up the Big Apple

The 40-year-old half Peruvian American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, and podcaster has been added to the lineup of headliners for this year’s New York Comedy Festival

Tom Segura

The 16th annual edition will take place this November, featuring a roster that includes Segura, as well as late-night TV hosts Stephen ColbertBill Maher and Trevor Noah.

More than 200 comedians, sketch performers, TV hosts and podcasters will perform in more than 100 shows at various venues across the city.

Other headliners include Nate BargatzeNicole ByerComedy Bang! Bang!Vir DasKathleen MadiganDemetri MartinNorm McDonaldRandy RainbowBenito SkinnerJenny Slate, Kevin Smithand Jay MewesNo Such Thing As A Fish, and Betches Media’s U Up? Live

More performers and shows will be announced in the coming months.

The NYCF this year is partnering with The Female Quotient(The FQ), a woman-owned business committed to advancing equality in the workplace. Through the partnership, the FQ will aim to increase female comedic representation both on and off the stage via its signature pop-up experience, The FQ Lounge. The venue will be inside the flagship Bloomingdale’s department store on 59th Street and Lexington in New York on November 7 and 8. 

“As we mark 16 years of the New York Comedy Festival, we celebrate the varied and diverse talent – both up-and-coming and established stars – who continue to come out to put on a great show each and every year,” said Caroline Hirsch, founder and owner of the New York Comedy Festival and Carolines on Broadway. “We’ve always supported and championed those in the industry, and we’re excited to continue to bring the very best comedic talent to entertain comedy fans this November.”