Juan Carlos Coto Developing First-Responders Drama Series for CBS, “Rescue: MIA”

Juan Carlos Coto is coming to the rescue

The Latino producer, writer, and veteran film and television showrunner is developing Rescue: MIA, a first-responders series for CBS.

Juan Carlos Coto

Coto, executive producer on 9-1-1 who also served as consulting producer on 9-1-1: Lone Star, wrote the pilot from a story co-written by NCIS: Los Angeles director James Hanlon who also has directed episodes of Station 19 and Chicago Fire.

The drama is executive produced by a star of one of CBS’ hit procedurals, NCIS: Los Angeles’ Eric Christian Olsen, via his Cloud Nine Productions.

Somewhat in the vein of CBS’ juggernaut Blue Bloods, Rescue: MIA revolves around a legendary family of first responders that works together to rescue the citizens of Miami from emergencies and disasters, even as long-buried secrets threaten to tear apart their familial bonds.

Hanton was a NYC firefighter on the ground during and in the aftermath of 9/11, and his documentary film 9/11 won a Peabody Award as well as two Emmys.

Coto, Hanlon and Olsen executive produce Rescue: MIA. CBS Studios where Cloud Nine has a deal, is the studio.

Coto is writing and serves as executive producer/showrunner on The Ledgeran action drama at Will Packer Media headlined by Cobra Kai’s Xolo Maridueña.

Known for his work as showrunner on Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Coto also previously co-executive produced the CW’s Nikita and worked on NBC’s Heroes and Fox’s 24.

JD Pardo to Star in Robert Rodriguez’s Action-Thriller “Hypnotic”

It’s a hypnotic time for JD Pardo

The 41-year-old Argentine Salvadoran American actor will star in Robert Rodriguez’s action-thriller Hypnotic, alongside Ben Affleck, Alice BragaDayo OkeniyiWilliam Fichtner and Hala Finley.

JD Pardo,

Currently filming in Texas, Hypnotic follows a detective (Affleck) who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter (Finley) and a secret government program – while investigating a string of impossible high-end crimes.

Rodriguez and Max Borenstein wrote the film.

Pardo recently had a cameo as character Jack Toretto in Universal’s blockbuster hit F9: The Fast Saga and he’ll next be seen in STX’s Violence of Action alongside Chris Pine and Ben Foster.

He recently wrapped work on Amazon’s conspiracy-thriller series The Terminal List opposite Chris Pratt. Earlier this week he was awarded the Imagen Award for Best Actor in a Drama Series for his portrayal of EZ Reyes in FX’s hit show Mayans M.C. which has been picked up for a fourth season.

Xolo Maridueña to Star in & Executive Produce the Action Drama Series “The Ledger”

Xolo Maridueña is livin’ on the ledge(r)

The 20-year-old Mexican, Cuban and Ecuadorian American actor and Cobra Kai star has been cast in and will executive produce the action drama series The Ledger, which hails from veteran showrunner and producer Juan Carlos Coto and Will Packer Media.

Xolo Maridueña

Coto, who has worked on 9-1-1 and From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, will write and serve as showrunner. Will Packer will produce and Alvie Hurtado, Director of Development, WPP will oversee the project. Brandon Guzmán will executive produce.

The series will be shopped to streaming networks and premium cable.

Maridueña stars as Miguel Diaz on Netflix’s Cobra Kai, which is heading into its fourth season.

He is also set to star as Blue Beetle for Warner Bros. and DC. Maridueña is represented by UTA, Valor Entertainment and John Meigs

Best known for his work as showrunner on Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series, Coto currently is executive producer on Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Tim Minear’s hit Fox drama series 9-1-1. He also served as consulting producer on 9-1-1: Lone Star. Coto previously co-executive produced the CW’s spy thriller Nikita and has written and produced critically acclaimed series including NBC’s Heroes and Fox’s 24.

Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Network to Begin Streaming on the Roku Channel

Robert Rodriguez is livin’ a new stream

The 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker’s El Rey Network, which is making a rare transition from cable television to free streaming, has set a deal for crucial real estate on the Roku Channel.

Robert Rodriguez

Starting tomorrow, the network founded by Rodriguez will start streaming as a 24-7 linear offering on the Roku Channel, one of more than 190 on the free outlet.

Launched in 2013 as a result of the agreement reached by Comcast and NBCUniversal with regulators yielding new commitments to diverse programming options, El Rey targeted young, English-speaking Latino viewers. It wound down its nearly decade-long run on traditional pay-TV at the end of 2020, having peaked at 40 million households. While other channels have gone dark on cable and returned as digital properties, El Rey is one of the first to attempt such a shift during the streaming era.

The Roku Channel, which has 40,000 on-demand film and television titles in addition to its linear offerings, reaches households with 70 million people. Since launching in 2017, it has become a leading home for free, ad-supported streaming, ranking as the No. 6 overall streaming site in a June Nielsen gauge of household reach. In the spring, Roku Channel launched an original programming banner, whose initial slate includes Quibi titles acquired last January.

With recent data suggesting that 60% of Hispanic viewers regularly stream free, ad-supported services, several other programmers have jumped into the fray. Pluto and Tubi have launched Spanish-language efforts and Univision (initially an investor in the El Rey network) just launched PrendeTV. But El Rey’s backers see little overlap in their streaming effort, which trades as the network always has on Rodriguez’s personal tastes and eclectic resume as the director of an eclectic roster of films from Spy Kids to From Dusk Till Dawn to Sin City.

El Rey does not plan an initial investment in original programming, with its 150 hours of originals almost entirely consisting of previously produced fare. The Roku Channel will be the exclusive first AVOD destination for Rodriguez’s feature film Red 11, which had a festival circuit run. Rebel Without a Crew: The Robert Rodriguez Film School will be another exclusive, starting in the first quarter of 2022. Other shows from El Rey include The Director’s Chair, featuring conversations between Rodriguez and guests like John Carpenter and Quentin Tarantino; and Cutting Crew, which is centered at a barbershop outside of Philadelphia; and El Rey Nation, a geek-fandom panel series.

Roku VP of Programming Rob Holmes told Deadline in an interview that the arrangement would give El Rey access to “millions of engaged streamers.” In the streaming world, he added, networks need to do four things well: deliver compelling programming; create a compelling user experience; acquire and retain users; and then monetize those users. Most programmers are comfortable with only the first of the four, he said.

“You’ve seen huge investments from big folks like Disney,” he said, “but there are many people who aren’t prepared to do those other three things. Recognizing that, they can be very successful at doing that first thing, which they’ve always been good at. …. They can rely on the Roku Channel to bring these other three capabilities and do it at a really big scale.”

Cinedigm, a specialist in streaming, joined forces with El Rey to take its network into the digital realm and refine the user experience. Unlike many other cable networks during the 2010s, El Rey never built an authenticated TV Everywhere app.

John Fogelman, CEO of FactoryMade Ventures and a co-founder of El Rey, told Deadline Rodriguez had been envisioning a leap to streaming since at least 2020. The environment “feels much more right” than cable, he said, but “it just wasn’t available when we started.”

Fogelman said El Rey will aim to use Roku as the foundation for other streaming deals with other providers. The economics of digital distribution are different from traditional pay-TV, where programmers get a dual revenue stream via carriage fees and advertising. Streaming channels take part in a revenue share from both distribution and ads, but the margins are slimmer and the tech platforms control most of the viewership data. Along with the technical challenges involved in taking a channel from cable to streaming, Fogelman said the whole experience was tantamount to “ripping off the Band-Aid.”

Based on initial feedback through various channels, he said, viewers are grateful to have a chance to keep tuning in. “That beat-up crown that Robert designed” in the El Rey logo, Fogelman said, “really means a lot to a lot of people.”

Ashley Hovey, Director of AVOD, The Roku Channel, said El Rey fits the Roku business model and the realities of streaming. Nine out of 10 U.S. Hispanic households are now streaming in the U.S., she said, making it “clear there is a growing demand for engaging, high quality Latinx entertainment. El Rey is changing the programming world in an exciting way that speaks to the future of audience discovery and engagement.”

Robert Rodriguez Signs Two-Year First Look Deal with HBO & HBO Max

Robert Rodriguez has sealed a new partnership…

The 53-year-old Mexican American filmmaker has signed a two-year first-look deal with HBO and HBO Max, founder of Troublemaker Studios.

Robert Rodriguez

As part of the collaboration, Rodríguez will first bring projects to the cable company and streamer for potential development as original series. His son Racer Rodríguez will serve as lead development executive under the pact. Projects could potentially be completed at the studio’s production facilities in Austin, Texas.

“Robert’s masterful, high concept productions are a perfect match for our HBO Max audiences. We are excited to jump into this partnership and work on brand-new, provocative stories,” said Joey Chavez, executive vice president of original programming, drama, HBO Max.

Rodríguez said of the partnership, “It’s intriguing to be able to tap into the wealth of iconic IP available across the WarnerMedia portfolio and explore new stories to tell. I’m looking forward to a meaningful collaboration with the high caliber creative talent at HBO and HBO Max who have proven they’re willing to take risks, challenge norms and tell inclusive stories while producing a wide breadth of quality content.”

Rodríguez is currently the executive producer and director of the Disney+ series The Book of Boba Fett, a spin-off of The Mandalorian. He’s known for his work as a writer, director, and producer of many notable films including DesperadoFrom Dusk Till Dawn, the Spy Kids franchise, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Frank Miller’s Sin CityThe Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3D, Grindhouse, Machete, and Alita: Battle Angel.

Alicia Sanz Signs with Range Media Partners for Talent Management

Alicia Sanz is expanding her range

The 33-year-old Spanish actress has signed with Range Media Partners for talent management.

Alicia Sanz

The star of the Amazon Prime series El Cid will continue to be repped by CAA, You Rock Talent; and Brecheen, Feldman, Breimer, Silver & Thompson.

Sanz is renowned for her turn as Paloma Iglesias in the second season of El Rey’s From Dusk Till Dawn from Robert Rodriguez.

Sanz is currently shooting Gideon Raff’s bilingual thriller series Now and Then for Apple TV+ opposite Rosie Perez, Maribel Verdú, and Marina de Tavira. Set in Miami with an all-Hispanic cast, the series explores the differences between youthful aspirations and the reality of adulthood, when the lives of a group of college best friends are forever changed after a celebratory weekend ends up with one of them dead. Now, 20 years later, the remaining five are reluctantly reunited by a threat that puts their seemingly perfect worlds at risk. Sanz will play Young Sofia, a younger version of Sofia (played by Maribel Verdú), a strong self-made lawyer whose life took an unexpected turn 20 years ago and is now hiding too many secrets.

Sanz starred opposite William Levy in the feature film En Brazos de un Asesino and in the Bradley Parker directed feature, The Devil Below. Other credits include the Netflix feature #RealityhighFox’s Shots Fired, James Cox’ Billionaire Boys Club and the independent thriller, Better Criminal.

Originally from Ceuta, Spain, Sanz landed her first leading role at the age of eight. She went on to make her TV debut as Lucía Elízondo Cortés on Antena3 Network’s hit drama Gavilanes, and subsequently starred in other popular Spanish series’ including Bandolera, Amar Es Para Siempre and Cuentame.

Alice Braga to Star in Robert Rodriguez’s Thriller “Hypnotic”

Alice Braga has landed a hypnotic role…

The 38-year-old Brazilian actress has joined the cast of Robert Rodriguez’s thriller Hypnotic, starring Ben Affleck.

Alice Braga

Cameras are set to roll starting on September 20, in Austin, Texas, after the film’s original start date in April 2020 was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and then insurance issues.

Hypnotic will follow a detective who becomes entangled in a mystery involving his missing daughter and a secret government program while investigating a string of high-end crimes.  

The film is written by Sin City and Alita: Battle Angel filmmaker Rodriguez and Max Borenstein. Rodriguez, Studio 8 CEO Jeff Robinov and Studio8’s Guy Danella and John Graham are producing with Solstice.

Solstice has already sold the film well into international markets and is due to release Hypnotic in the U.S.

Braga will next be seen in The Suicide Squad, alongside Margo Robbie, Idris Elba and Viola Davis. She’s known for her starring role in the long-running USA Network series Queen Of The South, Luca Guadagnino’s limited series We Are Who We Are, and was one of the lead voices in Oscar-winning Pixar film Soul.

United Talent Agency (UTA) Signs Jessica Alba

Jessica Alba has new representation…

United Talent Agency (UTA) has signed the 39-year-old half-Mexican American actress, entrepreneur, and best-selling author.

Jessica Alba

Alba has made more than 25 feature films, earning a combined box office total of over $800 million. After breaking out in James Cameron’s Fox series Dark Angelshe went on to star in Fox/Marvel’s Fantastic Four

Her features also include Valentine’s DayRobert Rodriguez’s Machete and Machete Kills, Little Fockers, The Love Guru, Into the Blue, Spy Kids 4-as well as Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.

Recently, Alba has starred and executive produced the action drama L.A.’s Finest.  Up next, she will host and produce a docuseries, Parents Without Borders, for Disney+ and she will star in and executive produce the Netflix action thriller Trigger Warning.

In 2011, Alba founded The Honest Company, a mission-driven company dedicated to inspiring everyone to love living consciously through its clean, sustainable, effective and thoughtfully designed baby, personal care, household and beauty products. The Honest Company is committed to ensuring all families have access to basic necessities and the latest health information for safe growth and development—a commitment reflected in its ongoing partnership with nonprofit organizations like Baby2Baby. Since its inception, The Honest Company has donated over 25 million products and over 18,500 employee participation hours through its Honest to Goodness program.

Alba’s first book The Honest Life is a bestselling how-to handbook based on her mission to create a natural, authentic, and non-toxic life for her family.

Among her awards, she has received the March of Dimes Grace Kelly Award, the Entertainment Media Association’s Green Parent Award, and the Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center Champion for Children Award.

Robert Rodriguez Partnering with Skydance Media & Spyglass Media Group to Reboot “Spy Kids” Franchise

Robert Rodriguez is reimagining his classic family franchise…

Skydance Media has optioned the rights to relaunch the successful Spy Kids franchise alongside Spyglass Media Group and the 52-year-old Mexican American filmmaker, who created the franchise.

Robert Rodriguez

Rodriguez will return to write and direct the next film, which will revolve around the activities of a multicultural family.

Spyglass owns the Spy Kids franchise and in recent months Skydance became intrigued in the IP as it looks to diversify its slate. For this next installment, Skydance will serve as the lead studio and oversee development and production.

Spy Kids

Prior to launching the Spy Kids franchise, Rodriguez was better known for his adult action films like Desperado and From Dusk Till Dawn but wanted to do something for his kids. He came with the idea of a group of siblings who took up the family business to save their secret agent parents from danger. The first film was a massive hit grossing $112 million at the domestic box-office and launched three sequels that collectively have earned over $550 million at the worldwide box-office.

While Rodriguez is still best known for his action thrillers like 20th Century’s Alita: Battle Angel, he did recently return to the family genre with Netflix’s We Can Be Heroes. Next up he has the thriller Hypnotic starring Ben Affleck and will shoot next The Mandalorian spin-off The Book of Boba Fett, which will bow next Christmas.

Netflix Puts into Development Sequel to Robert Rodriguez’s Kids Superhero Film “We Can Be Heroes”

There’s more heroes work for Robert Rodriguez

Netflix has put into development a sequel to the 52-year-old Mexican American filmmaker’s kids superhero film We Can Be Heroes.

Robert Rodriguez

The decision comes after the film’s success as one of its most-watched titles on the streamer during the holiday period.

We Can Be Heroes, which stars Priyanka Chopra Jones, Pedro Pascal, Christian Slater and YaYa Gosselin, is projected to be watched by 44 million households in the same time period, having reached No. 1 on its kids overall list in 88 countries.

The film is a spin-off of 2005’s The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D and his hit Spy Kids franchise. It was released on December 25, 2020.