Netflix Renews David Castañeda’s “The Umbrella Academy” for Fourth & Final Season

David Castañeda has one final year at the Academy

Netflix has picked up a fourth season of The Umbrella Academy, starring the 32-year-old Mexican-American actor. It will be the superhero series’ last.

David Castañeda The Umbrella AcademyThe renewal comes a month after the Season 3 premiere of the comic-based drama, which opened at No. 1 in Netflix’s English-language TV weekly rankings with 124.5M hours viewed and spent five weeks in the Top 10.

The new season of the series, produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, has been largely written, according to Deadline.com.

Steve Blackman, who has steered The Umbrella Academy from the start, is returning as executive producer and showrunner.

The Umbrella Academy cast members set to reprise their roles in Season 4 include Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, Ritu Arya, and Colm Feore.

Not on the list are Season 3 series regulars Adam Godley, Genesis Rodriguez and Britne Oldford whose characters’ fates were left uncertain in the Season 3 finale.

“I’m so excited that the incredibly loyal fans of The Umbrella Academy will be able to experience the fitting end to the Hargreeves siblings’ journey we began five years ago,” Blackman said. “But before we get to that conclusion, we’ve got an amazing story ahead for season four, one that will have fans on the edge of their seats until the final minutes.”

The Umbrella Academy launched in 2019 as one of Netflix’s Top 3 most popular series of the year.

Tanya Saracho Developing Starz’s Half-Hour Drama “Lovesong”

Tanya Saracho is seeing Starz again…

The Mexican American screenwriter, who created the network’s acclaimed series Vida, is currently developing the half-hour drama Lovesong for Starz.

Tanya SarachoMusician and actor Johnny Flynn will co-executive produce the project and serve as composer.

Lovesong follows two Mexican American childhood friends living in London as they both become entangled in a torturous love triangle with the same captivating singer-songwriter. A love story born out of betrayal and paid for with the cost of friendship. Steeped in the East London music scene, the series embarks on a cinematic contemplation of love, sex, identity, purpose, and the price of happiness.

The announcement came ahead of Starz’ inaugural #TakeTheLead summit on Thursday that will feature Saracho’s participation in the “Power of Allyship” panel about fighting for representation.

“We are beyond thrilled to partner with Tanya to bring her bold and tantalizing love story to life,” said Kathryn Busby, President, Original Programming, Starz. “Throughout her career and from Vida to Lovesong on Starz, her dedication to Latine representation embodies the spirit of #TakeTheLead.”

Through her overall deal with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, Saracho will executive produce Lovesong, along with co-executive producer Christine Dávila, under her production banner Ojalá Productions.

“This story is very much a child of the pandemic, born from those times when we were yearning for love stories to soothe the soul and light the way through the dark times. This is also when the light of Johnny Flynn’s music found me and lit the way into the story. While I spent five months in London, Johnny was generous enough to lead me through his lived experience of the East London music scene, which now comprises the world of ‘Lovesong,’” said Saracho. “It’s wonderful to be coming home to Starz to conceive of my new story of love, a place that truly nurtured and supported me while I crafted the love story of the two Hernandez sisters in Vida, and I couldn’t be happier to return to bring this new narrative to life.”

Lovesong will be produced by UCP and Lionsgate Television for Starz.

Vida ran on Starz for three seasons.

Peacock to Premiere “Queer as Folk” Reboot, Starring Johnny Sibilly, in June

This upcoming Pride Month will be extra special for Johnny Sibilly

Along with releasing the first official trailer for the 34-year-old Cuban and Dominican American actor’s Queer As Folk reboot, Peacock has announced plans to premiere the series on Thursday, June 9.

Johnny SibillyThe series, a vibrant reimagining of the groundbreaking British series created by Russell T. Davies, explores a diverse group of friends in New Orleans whose lives are transformed in the aftermath of a tragedy.

From creator Stephen DunnQueer As Folk stars Devin Way, Fin Argus, Jesse James Keitel, CG, Sibilly and Ryan O’Connell. Recurring cast includes Kim Cattrall, Juliette Lewis, Ed Begley Jr., Chris Renfro, and Nyle DiMarco, among others.

Lee Eisenberg, Emily Brecht, original British series creator Russell T. Davies, Nicola Shindler, serve as executive producers, and Louise Pedersen on behalf of All3 Media International, which distributes the format and the original British series produced by Red Productions for Channel 4.

Creator, writer, and executive producer Stephen Dunn will direct the pilot and other episodes, while Jaclyn Moore will act as writer and executive producer.  UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, is named producer on the show.

Netflix to Premiere Season 3 of David Castañeda’s “The Umbrella Academy” in June

David Castañeda is heading back to the Academy this summer…

Netflix has set a June premiere date for Season 3 of superhero series The Umbrella Academy, starring the 32-year-old Mexican American actor.

David Castañeda The Umbrella AcademySeries creator/showrunner Steve Blackman announced the news Sunday at SXSW that the third season will debut globally on Wednesday, June 22. The streamer also released two first-look photos and a teaser.

Based on the comic book series by Gerard Way, The Umbrella Academy revolves around a dysfunctional family of adopted sibling superheroes who reunite to solve the mystery of their father’s death and the threat of an imminent apocalypse.

In Season 3, after putting a stop to 1963’s doomsday, the Umbrella Academy return home to the present, convinced they prevented the initial apocalypse and fixed this godforsaken timeline once and for all. But after a brief moment of celebration, they realize things aren’t exactly (okay, not at all) how they left them. Enter the Sparrow Academy. Smart, stylish, and about as warm as a sea of icebergs, the Sparrows immediately clash with the Umbrellas in a violent face-off that turns out to be the least of everyone’s concerns. Navigating challenges, losses, and surprises of their own – and dealing with an unidentified destructive entity wreaking havoc in the Universe (something they may have caused) — now all they need to do is convince Dad’s new and possibly better family to help them put right what their arrival made wrong. Will they find a way back to their pre-apocalyptic lives? Or is this new world about to reveal more than just a hiccup in the timeline?

In addition to Castañeda, who portrays Diego Hargreeves (The Kraken/Number 2), the cast also includes Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Justin H. Min, Colm Feore, Ritu Arya, Justin Cornwell, Britne Oldford, Jake Epstein, Genesis Rodriguez, Cazzie David and Javon ‘Wanna’ Walton.

The Umbrella Academy is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Netflix.

Season 3 is executive produced by Blackman, Jeff F. King, who also directs, Keith Goldberg, Mike Richardson and Jeremy Webb. Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá co-executive produce. Steve Wakefield serves as producer.

Luis Gerardo Méndez to Star in Peacock’s True-Crime Love Story Series “The Resort”

Luis Gerardo Méndez is resort bound…

The 39-year-old Mexican actor and producer will star in Peacock’s The Resort, a true-crime love story from writer Andy SiaraSam Esmail and UCP.

Luis Gerardo MéndezMéndez, who has starred in Narcos: Mexico and Murder Mystery, will star alongside Nina Bloomgarden and Gabriela Cartol as series regulars, and Debby RyanDylan BakerMichael Hitchcock and Becky Ann Baker will recur in the ensemble series.

Written by Siara, The Resort is a multi-generational, coming-of-age love story disguised as a fast-paced mystery about the disappointment of time. An anniversary trip puts a marriage to the test when the couple finds themselves embroiled in one of the Mayan Riviera’s most bizarre unsolved mysteries that took place fifteen years prior.

Méndez will play Baltasar Frías, the head of security at the Oceana Vista Resort in 2007. He’s always in detective mode, quietly suspicious of all activity, and somehow connected to all of the unusual events in 2007.

Cartol is Luna, the concierge at the Emma and Noah’s resort. Prior to becoming the concierge, Luna was in housekeeping at the Oceana Vista Resort back in 2007 prior to its abrupt closure.

The series is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group and Esmail Corp.

Siara will write and executive produce the series alongside Allison Miller.

Ben Sinclair will also direct and executive produce episodes 1-4.

Rosanny Zayas to Star in Netflix’s Psychological Thriller Limited Series “Echoes”

Rosanny Zayas is making (sound) waves

The Afro-Latina actress will star as a series regular in Echoes, Netflix’s psychological thriller limited series from 13 Reasons Why showrunner Brian Yorkey.

Rosanny Zayas

Zayas joins a cast that includes Tony Award winner Ali Stroker, Karen Robinson, Michelle Monaghan, Matt Bomer and Daniel Sunjata.

Created and written by Vanessa Gazy, Echoes is a mystery thriller about identical twins Leni and Gina, both portrayed by Monaghan, who share a dangerous secret. Since they were children, Leni and Gina secretly have swapped lives, culminating in a double life as adults: They share two homes, two husbands and a child, but everything in their perfectly choreographed world is thrown into disarray when one of the sisters goes missing.

Zayas is Deputy Paula Martinez. She has enjoyed her first year working in the sleepy town of Mt. Echo where the crimes are as mild as the weather. But when her new friend Leni disappears, the true character of Mt. Echo reveals itself—and she finds herself caught in the middle.

Zayas currently stars on Season 2 of Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q. She will next be seen in Sam Esmail’s limited series Angelyne for Peacock and UCP. She previously recurred on Orange Is The New Black, Modern Persuasion, The Code and Instinct

Tanya Saracho to Make Film Directorial Debut with Adaptation of Her Off Broadway Play “Mala Hierba”

Tanya Saracho is in the (bad) weeds…

The Mexican-American actress, playwright, dramaturge, screenwriter and Vida creator is bringing her 2014 Off Broadway play Mala Hierba to the big screen, and she’ll be directing the film adaptation of her acclaimed project.

Tanya Saracho

In her film directorial debut, Saracho has teamed up with Anonymous Content to adapt the Texas border town set drama.

The film version of Mala Hierba  will be produced by AC Studios, with Dawn Olmstead, David Levine, and Whitney Dibo overseeing the project for outfit.

Former Vida EP Stephanie Langhoff, and Christine Davila, head of development and production at Saracho’s Ojala Productions, will serve as producers on Mala Hierba.

Originally opening at Second Stage Uptown nearly six years ago, the play unravels the coiffured life of a Lone Star State trophy wife who begins to see the cracks in her life of wealth and privilege as her first and perhaps true love reappears. The possibility of a renewed life together for the two women forces the Liliana character to make a searing decision about what she wants and who she is.

The stage production of Mala Hierba was directed by Jerry Ruiz and starred Marta Milans, Sandra Marquez, and Ana Nogueira in the primary roles.

The union with Anonymous comes just over a couple of weeks after the active Saracho launched the Ojalá Ignition Lab in conjunction with UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group.

Part of the acclaimed playwright and filmmaker’s 2020 inked development deal with the studio, the incubator program for Latinx voices will provide five writers and their own proposed projects with mentoring from experienced showrunners and EPs, including self-described “den mother” Saracho and an extended network to draw on for the future.

Since Vida, which won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, finished its three-season stint on Starz in May 2020, Saracho stayed in Britain during the pandemic to work with musician and Lovesick actor Johnny Flynn for an upcoming project.

Tanya Saracho Teams Up with UCP to Launch Writers Incubator Program ‘Ojalá Ignition Lab’

Tanya Saracho is turning the ignition on Latinx representation…

Nearly a year after signing a development deal with UCP, the Mexican American screenwriter and television creator and the studio have launched the Ojalá Ignition Lab.

Tanya Saracho

Under the umbrella of Saracho’s deal, the 26-week long incubator program will provide five writers and their own proposed projects with mentoring from experienced showrunners and executive producers, including self-described “den mother” Saracho and an extended network to draw on for the future.

The aim of the fully funded program is to foster a pilot script to completion with a commission by UCP at the end.

Applications for the program can be submitted until July 19. Those interested should submit a one-page television pilot proposal, as well as an existing example of their writing. Find more information here.

“You know, I keep starting things because there’s a need,” Saracho told Deadline of the lab, as well as the Writers’ Access Support Staff Training Program she helped kick off in March with former One Day at a Time EP Mike Royce and Day of the Deads Liz Hsiao Lan Alper, along with the WGA. “This is a legit writing lab and I’m so thrilled. I don’t know if there’s something like this out there — it’s a nurturing writers’ group.”

“We are grateful for the opportunity to partner with Tanya on her Ojalá Ignition Lab. She has always told diverse and inclusive stories, and this is a continuation of her inspiring work,” UCP president Beatrice Springborn said. “UCP is thrilled and honored to collaborate with these five fellows on their projects.”

“During Vida, those three seasons, having and all-Latin writers room, I realized that from the conversations in there that they had never been in a situation like that where they didn’t have to be an ambassador or had to defend their culture, their ethnicity, their race,” Saracho said of the origin of the Ojalá Ignition Lab. “In other writers’ rooms they might have had to do that, and there was something so beautiful about that because we could just create the story. We didn’t have to also wear the shield of our culture and have to figure out how to navigate that in maybe a writers room that’s more dominant culture.”

“So, that gave me the idea for this, to be a writers’ group that where there’s that cultural safety, cultural shorthand, and I don’t just mean Spanish because not every Latine speaks Spanish,” the EP added. “It’s like when you see yourself represented after not being, you know, after never seeing yourself represented. It’s just an alchemy like of safety that you can build and we haven’t historically as Latines been building that way because we’re not enough of us in this industry to be surrounded by the same.”

Since Vida, which won a GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Comedy Series, ended its run on Starz in May 2020, Saracho spent time in the UK during the pandemic collaborating with musician and Lovesick actor Johnny Flynn for an upcoming project, among other work.

But as she made clear Monday, Ojalá Ignition Lab has long been a top parallel priority for the macro mode of her career.

“A lot of these fellowships are just listings on name,” she said. “You’re listed on a list, and it’s amplified, or there’s an honorarium. This is the thing that’s so exciting about this project; this is legitimate development commission, like a very well-funded development commission, and we are working through the WGA to do all that that entails.”

“And so, it’s really exciting because that means we are valued and this is literal value because this is an actual commission,” Saracho said. “So, I’m excited for these five fellows to feel seen and value-supported and with money.”

Genesis Rodriguez to Star on Season Three of Netflix’s “The Umbrella Academy”

Genesis Rodriguez is flying high

The 33-year-old Cuban-Venezuelan actress has joined the cast of Netflix’s The Umbrella Academy.

Genesis Rodriguez

The end of the second season ofthe series left viewers with the introduction of an alternate 2019, which included a very alive Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) and someone who seemed to be Ben (Justin H. Min). And there were also five people — including a floating cube that dubbed themselves – the Sparrow Academy.

This new mysterious group of kids aren’t necessarily doppelgangers to the original Umbrella Academy, but they might as well be.

In addition to Rodriguez, the actors who will make up the Sparrow Academy, which was formed by Hargreeves in this alternate 2019 include Min, Justin CornwellBritne OldfordCazzie DavidJake Epstein and destined-for-greatness actor known as “Existential Dread Inducing Psykronium Cube.”

They’ll join Elliot Page, Tom Hopper, David Castañeda, Emmy Raver-Lampman, Robert Sheehan, Aidan Gallagher, Ritu Arya and Adam Godley who are set to reprise their roles. Production on the 10-episode third season is set to begin in February in Toronto.

The Umbrella Academy is created for television by Steve Blackman who is showrunner and serves as executive producer alongside Jeff F. King, Keith Goldberg, Mike Richardson and Jesse McKeown. Gerard Way and Gabriel Bá, who created the original comic of which The Umbrella Academy is based, are co-executive producers. The series is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group, for Netflix.

The Sparrow Academy

Here are the full character descriptions for the Sparrow Academy characters:

JUSTIN CORNWELL will play MARCUS, Sparrow #1. A charming, chiseled, colossus. Honest, virtuous, and demanding, Marcus keeps the family together. Graceful but lethal, calculated but compassionate, he is as smart as he is strong. Marcus is disciplined, rational and in control. He oozes confidence and leadership without ever having to raise his
voice.

JUSTIN H. MIN will play BEN, Sparrow #2. This is not the sweet Ben we know and love. This Ben is a Machiavellian tactician, wrapped up in a pretty boy body with a rumbling inner-squid. Vicious, pragmatic, and hyper-vigilant— Ben is determined to gain his status as the leader at all costs.

BRITNE OLDFORD will play FEI, Sparrow #3. Fei sees the world in a special way. She comes across as a misanthrope who would rather be alone than spend even a second with you. But truth be told, Fei wishes she had a friend. Most of the time, Fei is the smartest person in the room and willing to work things out. But if you cross her there’s no looking back because Fei won’t stop until the job is done.

JAKE EPSTEIN will play ALPHONSO, Sparrow #4. Years of crime-fighting have left his face and body with countless visual reminders of his battles. To compensate, Alphonso is armed with a caustic and biting sense of humor. The only thing he likes better than verbally battering anyone foolish enough to get in his face, is a good pizza and a six-pack of beer.

GENESIS RODRIGUEZ will play SLOANE, Sparrow #5. A romantic and a dreamer who feels a higher cosmic calling leaving her eager to see the world and experience a life beyond her upbringing. But obligations to her family keep Sloane tethered to the Academy, as does her fear of crossing the family line. But Sloane has plans… and one day she might just be brave enough to act on them.

CAZZIE DAVID will play JAYME, Sparrow #6. Jayme is a loner hidden under a hoodie. She doesn’t say much because she doesn’t have to. Jayme has a fear-inducing snarl. Catch a glimpse of it, and you’ll run across the street to avoid what follows. Smart and sharp as a knife, she spends most of her time hanging with Alphonso, her only friend.

EXISTENTIAL DREAD INDUCING PSYKRONIUM CUBE will play CHRISTOPHER, Sparrow #7. Christopher is a telekinetic cube of unknown origin. He can turn the room freezing cold and induce paralyzing fear. He acts as the Sparrows’ consulted oracle who hands out incredible advice and serves as the family mediator. Trustworthy, loyal, and is treated by the Sparrows like any other sibling, Christopher is a force to be reckoned with.

Rodriguez’s previous credits include The Fugitive and Big Hero 6.

Peacock to Launch “Punky Brewster” Reboot, Starring Freddie Prinze Jr., Next Month

Things are brew(ster)ing for Freddie Prinze, Jr.

Peacock has announced the premiere date for its next continuation of a beloved classic sitcom, Punky Brewster, starring the 44-year-old part-Puerto Rican actor.

Freddie Prinze, Jr., Punky Brewster

The Punky Brewster reboot will premiere on February 25 on the streamer.

All 10 episodes of the series will drop at once, following Punky (Soleil Moon Frye). Once a bright young girl being raised by a foster dad in the 1980s series, Punky is now a single mother of three trying to get her life bak on track.

In the new series, Punky will meet Izzy (Quinn Copeland), a girl in the foster system who reminds her of her younger self. Cherie Johnson reprises her role as Punky’s best friend Cherie, and the series also stars Prinze Jr. as Travis, Punky’s ex-husband; Noah Cottrell as Diego; Oliver De Los Santos as Daniel, and Lauren Lindsey Donzis as Hannah.

Punky Brewster hails from UCP and Universal Television, divisions of Universal Studio Group. It is written and executive produced by Steve and Jim Armogida.

The original Punky Brewster, which aired for four seasons between 1984 and 1988, is available to stream on Peacock already.