Mariel Molino to Star in CBS‘ Young Gibbs Drama “NCIS: Origins”

Mariel Molino is celebrating her origins

The Mexican American actress will star as the female lead opposite Austin Stowell in CBSYoung Gibbs drama NCIS: Origins, a prequel to the venerable procedural, which has a straight-to-series order for the 2024-2025 broadcast season.

Mariel Molino Narrated by Harmon, the CBS Studios-produced show begins in 1991, years prior to the events of NCIS, and chronicles Leroy Jethro Gibbs’ younger years.

In the prequel, Gibbs (Stowell) starts his career as a newly minted special agent at the fledgling NIS Camp Pendleton office where he forges his place on a gritty, ragtag team led by NCIS legend Mike Franks.

Molino will play Special Agent Lala Dominguez, a former Marine who navigates her 1990s male-dominated field with a steely resolve and a dark sense of humor. When a tormented Leroy Jethro Gibbs joins her team, the ensuing story between these two enigmatic outsiders is filled with sparks and turns that will keep the audience guessing.

This is a new character to the NCIS universe who has not been featured on the mothership series. In the NCIS timeline, the prequel takes place in the aftermath of the murder of Gibbs’ first wife and their daughter.

Mark Harmon and his son Sean Harmon, who portrayed Gibbs in flashbacks on NCIS and was a driving force behind the prequel, executive produce alongside David J. North and Gina Lucita Monreal who are co-writing the premiere episode and serving as co-showrunners.

Origins is one of two newly greenlighted extensions of CBS Studios’ ever-growing NCIS franchise, along with an Europe-set Tony & Ziva spinoff starring Michael Weatherly and Cote De Pablo for Paramount+. They join the mothership series, now in its 21st season, NCIS: Hawai’i, now in Season 3 and the franchise’s first international installment, NCIS: Sydney.

Molino, who was born in California, splits time between Los Angeles and Mexico City.

She started her career acting in Spanish-language projects, including the telenovela Papis Muy Padres, Amazon’s comedy series El Juego De Las Llaves and thriller drama series La Negociadora. She has also appeared on Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico and Luis Miguel: The Series.

Molino most recently starred in the Freeform thriller series The Watchful Eye and in the ABC family drama Promised Land. On the film side, Molino was be seen in upcoming features The Shade and Dead Man’s Switch.

Natalia del Riego to Star in Kurt Sutter’s Western Action Drama “The Abandons”

Natalia del Riego is abandoning her plans…

The Salvadoran & Mexican actress has joined the cast of Kurt Sutter’s Western action drama The Abamdons.

Natalia del Riegodel Riego is among a list of six new series regulars that includes Lucas TillNick RobinsonDiana SilversLamar Johnson and Aisling Franciosi.

They join previously announced cast members Lena Headey and Gillian Anderson, who lead the cast as Fiona Nolan and Constance Van Ness, respectively.

del Riego will portray Lilla Belle.

Created and executive-produced by Sutter, who also serves as showrunner, The Abandons follows a group of diverse, outlier families pursuing their Manifest Destiny in 1850s Oregon, as a corrupt force of wealth and power, coveting their land, tries to force them out. These abandoned souls, the kind of lost souls living on the fringe of society, unite their tribes to form a family and fight back. In this bloody process, “justice” is stretched beyond the boundaries of the law.

The Abandons will explore that fine line between survival and law, the consequences of violence, and the corrosive power of secrets, as this family fights to keep their land.

del Riego is best known for her work on shows like NCIS: Los AngelesPromised LandThe RookieHow to Get Away with Murder and American Crime.

Yul Vazquez to Star in MGM+’s Crime Thriller “Hotel Cocaine”

Yul Vazquez is checking into his next project…

The 58-year-old Cuban-American actor and musician is set as a lead opposite Danny Pino and Michael Chiklis in Hotel Cocaine, MGM+’s upcoming crime thriller from creator Chris Brancato.

Yul Vazquez

Hotel Cocaine is the story of Roman Compte (Pino), a Cuban expatriate who fought against Fidel Castro in the Bay of Pigs invasion and re-made his life in Miami. He is general manager of the Mutiny Hotel, the glamorous epicenter of the Miami cocaine scene of late ‘70s and early ‘80s. The Mutiny Hotel was Casablanca on cocaine, a glitzy nightclub, restaurant and hotel frequented by Florida businessmen and politicians, international narcos, CIA and FBI agents, models, sports stars and musicians.

Vazquez will play Nestor Cabal, Roman Compte’s (Pino) brother and one of the biggest suppliers of cocaine to a coke-hungry Miami population. He’s dangerous, funny, wily, and seeking reunion with his long-lost brother.

Chiklis plays Agent Zulio who will stop at nothing to shut down the drug trade, even if it means using innocent civilians to accomplish his ends.

Brancato serves as executive producer and showrunner. Guillermo Navarro will direct the pilot episode and executive produce the series, with Michael Panes and Alfredo Barrios Jr. also serving as executive producers.

The eight-episode series from MGM+ Studios, in partnership with MGM Television, will begin production in May in the Dominican Republic, and is slated to premiere in early 2024.

Vazquez will next be seen in the HBO Max limited series White House Plumbers, opposite Woody Harrelson and Justin Theroux. He was most recently seen on season 3 of the MGM+ series Godfather of Harlem opposite Forest Whitaker and in the Emmy-nominated Apple TV+ series, Severance, directed by Ben Stiller.

His other credits include Jason Bateman’s HBO series The Outsider, ABC’s Promised Land, Netflix’s Russian DollTNT miniseries I Am The Night and HBO’s Succession, among others.

His film work includes Books of Blood, Last Flag Flying, Gringo, Traffic and The Infiltrator.

John Ortiz to Star in Netflix’s Limited Series “The Madness”

John Ortiz is embracing the madness

The 54-year-old Puerto Rican actor has been cast opposite Colman Domingo in Netflix’s limited series The Madness.

John OrtizThe conspiracy thriller hails from Chernin Entertainment via its first-look deal with Netflix, creator and co-showrunner Stephen Belber  and co-showrunner VJ Boyd.

In The Madness, media pundit Muncie Daniels (Domingo) must fight for his innocence and his life after he stumbles upon a murder deep in the Poconos woods. As the walls close in, Muncie strives to reconnect with his estranged family – and his lost ideals – in order to survive.

Ortiz plays Franco Quinones, a longtime FBI field agent with strong convictions and a relentless approach to his work.

Clément Virgo will direct and executive produce the first two and final two episodes. Quyen Tran and Jessica Lowrey will each direct two middle episodes.

Ortiz starred as Joe Sandoval in drama series Promised Land, which aired for one season on ABC. On the film side, he recently wrapped filming The Mothership opposite Halle Berry.

He’s currently filming a key recurring role in Apple’s Bad Monkey opposite Vince Vaughn.

Tonatiuh to Star in Netflix & Amblin’s Thriller “Carry-On”

Tonatiuh is carrying on

The Latino actor, screenwriter and activist will star in Netflix and Amblin’s thriller Carry-On.

Tonatiuh Tonatiuh is part of a roster of new cast additions that includes Dean Norris, Logan Marshall Green and Sinqua Walls.

Additionally, Joe Williamson, Curtiss Cook, Josh Brener and Gil Perez-Abraham round out the cast, who will all join previously announced stars Taron Egerton, Jason Bateman, Sofia Carson, Danielle Deadwyler and Theo Rossi.

Details regarding the characters they’ll portray remain under wraps.

Carry-On will begin production this week with Jaume Collet-Serra serving as director.

The film centers around Ethan Kopek, a young TSA agent who gets blackmailed by a mysterious traveler to let a dangerous package slip through security and onto a Christmas Day flight.

TJ Fixman penned the screenplay’s first draft, with Michael Green doing the most recent polish. Dylan Clark will produce. The film marks the first production out of the overall deal Amblin signed with Netflix last June.

Tonatiuh’s previous projects include Vida, Promised Land and Angelyne.

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.