David DeSantos to Appear on Fifth Season of CBS’ “S.W.A.T.”

David DeSantos is joining the team…

The 46-year-old Latino actor has landed a recurring role on the upcoming fifth season of CBS’ S.W.A.T.

David DeSantos

DeSantos will play Rodrigo Sanchez, a 20-year LAPD veteran and former SWAT member.

Sanchez is a gregarious, confident, and savvy political climber who left SWAT in pursuit of loftier jobs within the LAPD.

S.W.A.T. stars Shemar Moore as a former Marine and locally born-and-raised SWAT sergeant who is tasked with running a specialized tactical unit that is the last stop in law enforcement in Los Angeles.

DeSantos can be seen recurring on Season 3 of the CW’s Roswell, New Mexico, as well as on TNT’s Animal Kingdom.

On the film side, he recently appeared opposite Edward James Olmos and Richard Cabral in Windows on the World.

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.

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.

Jaume Collet-Serra to Direct TNT’s Drama “Unknown,” Based on the Liam Neeson Film He Previously Helmed

Jaume Collet-Serra is heading into the unknown

The 47-year-old Spanish filmmaker is set to direct TNT’s one-hour drama Unknown, which is being developed based on the 2011 Liam Neeson action-thriller box office hit.

Jaume Collet-Serra

Directed by Collet-Serra and produced by Dark Castle Entertainment, the film told the story of Martin Harris (Neeson), a doctor who lost his memory after a car accident and woke up to find his identity taken and the target of mysterious assassins.

In addition to directing, Collet-Serra is also attached to executive produce the series, which would pick up after the events of the film and follow a new lead character that is thrust into a mind-bending adventure full of twists and turns.

Sean Finegan will write the pilot and will executive produce.

TNT has had recent success with series based on filns. Out of its three current drama series, two, veteran Animal Kingdom and sophomore Snowpiercer, both were offshoots from features. TNT’s third series, Claws, is headed to its final season this summer.

The Unknown movie was written by Oliver Butcher and Stephen Cornwell. It was adapted from the 2003 French novel by Didier Van Cauwelaert, published in English as Out of My HeadReleased in February 2011, the film grossed $136 million on a $30 million budget.

Collet-Serra’s other credits include House of Wax, The Commuter, Run All Night and Orphan.

Christina Ochoa to Star in Matt Lopez’s Latinx Family Drama Pilot “Promised Land”

There’s plenty of promise in Christina Ochoa’s future…

The 36-year-old Spanish actress and Animal Kingdom star is set as a lead in ABC’s Promised LandMatt Lopez’s Latinx family drama pilot.

Christina Ochoa

Formerly titled American Heritage, the project is an epic, generation-spanning drama about two Latinx families vying for wealth and power in California’s Sonoma Valley.

Ochoa will play Veronica Sandoval, the eldest daughter of the Sandovals, a wealthy vineyard-owning family in the Sonoma Valley. Veronica is the highly capable heir to the Heritage Wines empire and her father Joe’s trusted Number Two. But her drive and ambition have left her with some glaring personal blindspots, and Veronica’s seemingly perfect life soon starts to unravel.

Lopez writes and executive produces. Adam Kolbrenner of Lit Entertainment Group also exec produces. ABC Signature is the studio.

Up next for Ochoa is Boon, the western sequel film from Yellowstones Neal McDonough. She stars as Renn Randall in TNT’s Animal Kingdom, which was recently renewed for a sixth and final season, and as Ashley Morales in ABC’s A Million Little Things. She has also appeared in Valor, Blood Drive, Matador and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.

Demián Bichir to Star in Showtime’s Vampire Drama Pilot “Let the Right One In”

Demián Bichir is sinking his teeth into a new project…

Showtime has given a formal pilot green light to Let the Right One In, a vampire drama starring the 57-year-old Mexican Oscar-nominated actor.

Demian Bichir

The project hails from Andrew Hinderaker, who’ll serve as showrunner, Seith Mann, who will direct, and Tomorrow Studios, which has been the driver behind the project in its various incarnations for more than six years.

Inspired by the best-selling 2004 novel by Swedish author John Ajvide Lindqvist and its 2008 Swedish film adaptation, the series centers on a father, Mark (Bichir) and his 12-year-old daughter whose lives were changed forever 10 years earlier when she was turned into a vampire. Locked in at age 12, perhaps forever, Eleanor lives a closed-in life, able to go out only at night, while her father does his best to provide her with the minimal amount of human blood she needs to stay alive.

Bichir’s Mark is a husband and father who had the perfect life until it was turned upside down by a mysterious creature who bit his daughter (Eleanor) and then vanished into the night.

Let the Right One In, which had been in the works at Showtime for awhile and recently started casting the male lead, is described as an elevated genre drama, which is turning a naturalistic lens on human frailty, strength and compassion.

Let the Right One In quickly establishes itself as a thrilling, high-stakes drama that asks the question: How far would you go to save your child from the monsters out there – would you risk becoming a monster yourself?” said Amy Israel, Showtime’s EVP, Scripted Programming. “Demián Bichir is one of the world’s most dynamic and engrossing actors, and his charisma and vulnerability will surely bring Andrew Hinderaker’s exquisite script to life, guided by Seith Mann’s deft direction. We couldn’t be more excited about the potential of this show.”

Bichir will serve as a producer on the potential series.

“The series is both a love letter to the original film, and a story entirely our own,” said Hinderaker. “And casting a true artist like Demián epitomizes our bold aspiration to be one of the most terrifying shows on TV, and one of the most moving.”

Let the Right One In was originally developed by Tomorrow Studios and set up at A&E and A+E Studios in 2015. A year later, it moved to TNT where a pilot was ordered and cast but did not go to production. That version was closer to the original source material and was described as an eerie drama about a young boy, long tormented by his classmates, who finds solace in a friendship with a charismatic female vampire who appears to be near his age. Tomorrow Studios shopped the project and it ultimately landed at Showtime for redevelopment with a new writer.

Bichir received an Oscar nomination for his performance in the film A Better Life, becoming the first Mexican-born actor to be nominated in that category since Anthony Quinn.

His most recent films include starring in George Clooney’s The Midnight Sky, Robin Wright’s Land and the upcoming Godzilla vs. Kong.

Nadine Velazquez to Star in ABC’s Pilot “Queens”

Nadine Velazquez is hoping to become television royalty

The 42-year-old Puerto Rican actress will star opposite Brandy, Eve and Naturi Naughton in ABC’s hour-long pilot Queens, from Zahir McGhee, Sabrina Wind and ABC Signature.

Nadine Velazquez

In Queens, written by McGhee and directed by Tim Story, four estranged and out-of-touch women in their 40s — Naomi (Brandy), Jill (Naughton), Brianna (Eve) and Valeria (Velazquez) — reunite for a chance to recapture their fame and regain the swagger they had as the Nasty Bitches – their ’90s group that made them legends in the hip-hop world.

Velazquez plays Valeria, aka Butter Pecan. Better known in the 90s as Puerto Rican rapper, Butter Pecan, Valeria is the fourth member of the hip-hop group, the Nasty Bitches. Valeria wasn’t an original member, added by the groups’ manager, Eric, for her effortless star quality. It worked. The ladies catapulted into superstardom with a number-one record and iconic video. Valeria quickly became the face of the group, ruffling the other members’ feathers along the way. But she could care less. She’s not here for friends, she’s here to win. Valeria is an ambitious and ruthless hustler with cunning charm born out of a difficult childhood. When we catch up with her twenty years later, she’s the only member of the group still in the limelight. Valeria hosts The Shade — America’s top-rated morning talk show. So, Valeria has no reason to reunite with the group when the opportunity arises. However, when her blind ambition trips her up, Valeria considers turning back to the only family she’s ever had: the Nasty Bitches.

Pepi Sonuga co-stars in the pilot. ABC Signature, part of Disney Television Studios, is the studio.

Velazquez wrote and is set to star/produce La’Tina, a series in the works at Showtime from Will Smith’s Westbrook Studios and Frankie Shaw’s Our Lady Productions.

She’s best known for her breakout lead role as Catalina on NBC’s My Name Is Earl. She co-starred in the History series Six and in Universal’s Ride Along 2.

Her series credits also include major roles on FX’s The League, the CW’s Hart of Dixie and TNT’s Major Crimes.

Christina Ochoa to Star in the Western “Boon”

Boon goes the dynamite for Christina Ochoa

The 36-year-old Spanish actress will star in Boonthe upcoming western sequel film from Yellowstone’s Neal McDonough

Christina Ochoa

Boon is a spiritual sequel to the movie Red Stone that takes place in the distant future and picks up with henchman Nick Boon (McDonough) trying to get on with his life. At the same time we learn, our Preacher, the widowed Catherine, played by Christiane Seidel, is busy trying to protect herself and her son from a local criminal organization that is using her land for some unusual activities. When Boon and Catherine’s lives cross paths they find themselves leaning on each other to protect everything they stand for.

Derek Presley, who directed the first installment returns to helm Boon and is co-writing.

In addition to Ochoa, the film features Jake Melrose, James Madio, and John Patrick Jordan. Stephen Endelman is lending his musical talents for the film’s score.

Ochoa recently starred as Renn Randall in TNT’s Animal Kingdom and as Ashely Morales in ABC’s A Million Little Things.

She has also appeared in Valor, Blood Drive, Matador and I Hate My Teenage Daughter.

TNT Renews Rigo Sanchez’s Drama “Animal Kingdom” for Sixth & Final Season

Rigo Sanchez’s kingdom is getting one last hurrah…

TNT’s popular crime drama series Animal Kingdom, starring the Latino actor, has been renewed for a sixth and final season.

Rigo Sanchez

The news comes ahead of the show’s Season 5 premiere.

The cast and crew are eying a February production start.

Season five of the show, which stars Shawn Hatosy, Ben Robson, Jake Weary, Finn Cole, Leila George, Sanchez and Jon Beavers, will premiere this summer on TNT.

A consistent ratings performer and strong younger viewers draw, Animal Kingdom reached 27 million viewers in Season 4 across all platforms, with the premiere retaining its audience from the previous season’s average. The series also ranked among 2019’s top 10 cable dramas (P18-49, L+7, ad-supported cable).

In Animal Kingdom season five, Pope (Hatosy), Craig (Robson), Deran (Weary) and J (Cole) are still dealing with the fallout from the events surrounding Smurf’s death, including family members out for revenge. With their kingdom without a leader, the Codys struggle to maintain their fragile alliance, and to see which of them will come out on top. Meanwhile, they search for more information on Pamela Johnson whom Smurf made the beneficiary of her estate. And back in 1984, an increasingly volatile 29-year-old Smurf is forging her own path raising Pope and Julia and leading the charge on dangerous jobs with new and old friends.

The drama, which was developed for television by Jonathan Lisco based on David Michod’s 2010 Australian feature film, is produced by John Wells Productions in association with Warner Horizon Scripted Television.

Sanchez’s previous credits include Station 19, McFarland, USA, Queen of the South and The Last Ship.

Sofia Vergara Teams Up with Robert Rodriguez & Rebecca Rodriguez to Develop Modern Take on “Zorro” with Female Lead

Sofia Vergara isn’t masking her excitement for her latest project…

The 48-year-old Colombian actress has teamed up with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez and his writer-director sister Rebecca Rodriguez to develop Zorro, a contemporary take on the classic masked vigilante character with a gender swap, for NBC. 

Sofia Vergara

The project’s creative team includes Vergara’s LatinWe production company, as well as Ben Siverman and Howard T. OwensPropagate. CBS Studios, where Propagate has a deal, will co-produce with Universal Television.

Co-written by the Rodriguezes and to be directed by Rebecca, Zorro centers on Sola Dominguez, an underground artist who fights for social injustice as contemporary version of the mythical Zorro. Her life is threatened by several criminal organizations after she exposes them.

Propagate set out to develop a television series re-imagining of Zorro with a female protagonist last season as one of the company’s first projects under its first-look deal with CBS Studios. The idea’s first incarnation, written by Alfredo Barrios Jr., also was set up at NBC.

Vergara and Silverman are frequent collaborators; they have teamed to produce together several projects over the past decade while Silverman was at Electus and after he joined Propagate, including the ABC drama series Killer Women.

Vergara received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG Award nominations for her starring role on ABC’s Modern Family. Her feature credits include the Warner Bros. buddy comedy Hot Pursuit, which she also produced. Additionally, she executive produced the Spanish version of Desperate Housewives.

Robert Rodriguez was attached to direct The Mask of Zorro and cast Antonio Banderas as the title role before leaving the feature project. In television, he developed and executive produced the series adaptation of his movie From Dusk Till Dawn for his television network El Rey and also executive produced the Spy Kids animated series offshoot for Netflix. He recently directed an episode of Disney+’s The Mandalorian

Rebecca Rodriguez’s recent directing credits include episodes of TNT’s Snowpiercer and Showtime’s The Chi.