Christina Ochoa Developing Sci-Fi Series “Empty Earth” with Freeform Studios

Christina Ochoa is running on empty

The 37-year-old Spanish actress, science communicator and producer is developing the sci-fi series Empty Earth, based on the Rick McManus book series of the same name, with Freedom Studios.

Christina OchoaIn Empty Earth, climate change has forced humanity to a dystopian bargain: seek safety, or risk everything to find the answers. The book trilogy is post-apocalyptic adventure series, with an empowered female protagonist, wrapped in an epic of love, family, and survival with science at the forefront.

“Freedom is constantly searching for great stories, great people, and content that matters. We knew this book needed to be brought to life. We are thrilled to be in partnership with QE Productions; we believe this will become one of the most impactful shows on TV,” said Salazar.

“I would partner with Freedom on pretty much anything… but the fact that they brought us such an epic, sci-fi, adventure show made it a project we not only want as filmmakers – but one we need as audiences,” added Ochoa.

Executive producers include Julia Carias-Linares, Meiling Macias-Toro, and Johanna Salazar from Freedom Studios and Ochoa, Jessica Heath, and Karen Goro from QE Productions. Freedom Studios is leading the project.

Ochoa is notably recognized for her role as Renn Randall in John Well’s Animal Kingdom, which recently concluded its six-season run on TNT. Additionally, she starred in ABC’s Promised Land from Matt Lopez and Adam Kolbrenner.

Her additional credits include CW’s Valor, ABC’s A Million Little Things, and NBC’s Blood Drive. Her company QE Productions focuses on STEM-infused content.

Freedom Studios is an award-winning, Latina-owned media company focusing on thought-provoking projects with strong female leads, and social awareness.

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.

John Ortiz to Appear on Apple TV+’s Drama Series “Bad Monkey”

John Ortiz will be monkeying around soon…

The 54-year-old Puerto Rican actor has landed a key recurring role opposite Vince Vaughn in the Apple TV+ drama series Bad Monkey.

John OrtizOrtiz replaces Arturo Luis Soria, who had been originally cast in the role.

Written and executive produced by Bill Lawrence, the series is 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.

Ortiz will play 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.

The cast also includes Michelle Monaghan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Meredith Hagner, Rob Delaney, Natalie Martinez, L. Scott Caldwell, Ronald Peet, Charlotte Lawrence and Alex Moffat.

Lawrence executive-produces through his Doozer Productions alongside Matt Tarses and Doozer’s Jeff Ingold. Marcos Siega directs the first episode and serves as executive producer. Doozer’s Liza Katzer serves as co-executive producer. Warner Bros Television is the studio.

Ortiz most recently starred as Joe Sandoval in drama series Promised Land, which aired for one season on ABC.

On the film side, he most recently wrapped filming The Mothership opposite Halle Berry. He also can be seen in the feature film The Fallout, which premiered at SXSW. He also starred on the series Messiah opposite Monaghan and in the feature Horse Girl with Allison Brie.

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 Gives Series Order to John Ortiz’s Drama “Promised Land”

John Ortiz is headed to the Promised Land

ABC has picked up drama series Promised Land, starring the 53-year-old Puerto Rican actor’s for the 2021-22 season.

John Ortiz

In addition to Ortiz, the Latinx family drama also stars Christina Ochoa.

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.

Ortiz stars as Joe Sandoval, the patriarch of the Sandoval family, a wealthy vineyard-owning family in the Sonoma Valley.

Ochoa portrays Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals.

The cast also includes Cecilia Suárez as Lettie Sandoval, Augusto Aguilera as Mateo, Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, Tonatiuh as Antonio Sandoval, Andres Velez as Carlos, Katya Martín as Juana and Rolando Chusan as Billy.

Lopez executive produces with Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group, along with Maggie Malina and Cuesta. ABC Signature is the studio.

Promised Land
 is the second drama pilot picked up to series at ABC this cycle, joining music-themed drama Queens, headlined by Brandy, Eve, Naturi Naughton, Nadine Velazquez and Pepi Sonuga.

Christina Ochoa Teaming Up with Inner Child Production Banner for “Around The World In 80 Dates”

It’s a world of excitement for Christina Ochoa.

The 36-year-old Spanish actress and Animal Kingdom star is partnering with Emmy-winning production designer David Korins and his Inner Child production banner for Around The World In 80 Dates.

Christina Ochoa

Inner Child has acquired the romance experiment show to co-develop and executive produce alongside Ochoa. Around The World in 80 Dates is a cross-cultural exploration of international romance, courtship rituals and love.

Ochoa appears in TNT’s Animal Kingdom as Renn Randall. She has landed a spot in ABC’s Matt Lopez drama Promised Land. Her additional credits include ABC’s A Million Little Things, CW’s Valor and NBC’s Blood Drive.

Korins is both an Emmy winner and Tony Award nominee. He earned his Emmy for Outstanding Production Design for a Variety Special in 2019 for that year’s Oscars ceremony. In 2016 he nabbed his first scenic design Tony nom for Hamilton. On year later he received a nomination for his work on War Paint and in 2019 earned a Best Scenic Design of a Musical nomination for Beetlejuice.

Tonatiuh to Star in ABC’s Drama Pilot “Promised Land”

Tonatiuh has landed a promising new role…

The 28-year-old Latino actor, whose real name Tonatiuh Elizarraraz, has been cast as a lead opposite John Ortiz in ABC’s drama pilot Promised Land.

Tonatiuh 

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.

Tonatiuh will play Antonio Sandoval, one of five children of the Sandoval family, a wealthy vineyard-owning clan in the Sonoma Valley. Antonio has been living in New York after being cast into exile by his father Joe (Ortiz), but is called back into the fold when the family faces a threat from the outside. Whether Antonio has forgiven or forgotten the treatment he received from his family remains an open question.

In addition to Ortiz, Tonatiuh joins previously announced series regulars Cecilia Suárez as Lettie Sandoval, matriarch of the Sandoval family, Augusto Aguilera as Mateo Sandoval, the hardworking, highly capable general manager of the Heritage Vineyard and stepson to patriarch Joe Sandoval, Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, the youngest daughter of the Sandoval family, Christina Ochoa as Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals, as well as Andres Velez Carlos Rincón, a young immigrant who comes to the Heritage Vineyard in search of a better life.

Lopez executive produces with Cuesta and Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group. ABC Signature is the studio.

Tonatiuh is best known for his major recurring role as Marcos on all three seasons of Starz’s Vida. He stars in the indie feature Drunk Bus, alongside Charlie Tahan and Kara Hayward, which premiered virtually at the 2020 SXSW Film Festival. He’s also set to recur in Peacock’s Angelyne alongside Emmy Rossum, who plays the title character.

Michael Cuesta to Direct ABC’s Latinx-Themed Drama Pilot “Promised Land”

Michael Cuesta has landed a promising project…

The 57-year-old Latino film and television director has been tapped to direct and executive produce ABC’s drama pilot Promised Land..

Michael Cuesta

Written by Matt LopezPromised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

The cast includes John Ortiz as Joe Sandoval, patriarch of the Sandoval family, Cecilia Suárez as Lettie Sandoval, matriarch of the Sandoval family, Augusto Aguilera as Mateo Sandoval, the hardworking, highly capable general manager of the Heritage Vineyard and stepson to patriarch Joe Sandoval, Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, the youngest daughter of the Sandoval family, Christina Ochoa as Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals, as well as Andres Velez as Carlos Rincón, a young immigrant who comes to the Heritage Vineyard in search of a better life.

Lopez executive produces with Cuesta and Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group. ABC Signature is the studio.

Cuesta also is one of the directors, working with Barry Levinson, on Dopesick, Hulu’s upcoming eight-episode limited series written by Danny Strong, based on Beth Macy’s bestselling book, from The Handmaid’s Tale executive producer Warren Littlefield and Touchstone Television.

He most recently served as executive producer and director, including on the pilot episode, of Homeland, which recently wrapped its eighth and final season on Showtime.

In addition to Homeland, Cuesta directed the pilots for Dexter, Blue Bloods and City on a Hill. His episodic directing credits include Elementary, True Blood and Billions, among others.

Cecilia Suárez to Star in ABC Drama Pilot “Promised Land”

Cecilia Suárez has landed a new starring role…

The 49-year-old Mexican actress and activist has been set as a lead opposite Augusto Aguilera in John Ortiz’s ABC drama pilot Promised Land.

Cecilia Suarez,

Written by Matt LopezPromised Land is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

Suárez plays Lettie Sandoval, the matriarch of the Sandoval family, a wealthy vineyard-owning family in the Sonoma Valley. Lettie will do anything to keep her family, with all its fraying allegiances, intact. She is proud of the fortune the Sandovals have built, but the arrival of a figure from Lettie’s past soon causes her to question whether the cost of achieving the American Dream is too high.

Aguilera will play Mateo Sandoval,t he hardworking, highly capable general manager of the Heritage Vineyard, but as the stepson to patriarch Joe Sandoval (Ortiz), he has never felt fully accepted by the wealthy, vineyard-owning Sandoval family. Mateo finds himself at a crossroads when a young immigrant who reminds him of his roots arrives to work in the Sandoval household.

Previously cast in the pilot are Mariel Molino as Camila Sandoval, the youngest daughter of the Sandoval family, Christina Ochoa as Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals, as well as Andres Velez as Carlos Rincón, a young immigrant who comes to the Heritage Vineyard in search of a better life.

Suárez just wrapped the title role in Latido Films’ feature Alegria, directed by Violeta Salama. She can be seen in the new Netflix Spanish mini-series Someone Has To Die, written and directed by her long-time collaborator Manolo Caro.

She also starred in the Amazon limited series 3 Caminos. For the last three seasons, she starred in Manolo Caro’s popular Netflix series: The House of Flowers (La Casa de las Flores). She also is the first Spanish speaking actress to be nominated for an International Emmy Award for her role in the Capadoccia series for HBO.

Aguilera recently recurred as Liver opposite Ray Romano and Cristin Milioti in HBO Max’s Made For Love, a half-hour series adaptation based on Alissa Nutting’s tragicomic novel. Aguilera was also seen as one of the leads in Nic Refn’s Amazon series Too Old To Die Young, opposite Miles Teller.

He was previously seen in 20th Century Fox’s The Predator, directed by Shane Black and the Hulu pilot Citizen directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon as well as the Audience Network series Ice directed by Antoine Fuqua.