Saturday, March 12, 2011

Constance Marie Returns to TV on new ABC Family Sitcom

Premieres June 6, on ABC Family Channel

Constance Marie, the actress audience have come to love for her portrayals of loving mothers beginning in the film Selena to her latest gig on television as George Lopez’s wife on George Lopez, is back as mom Regina Vazquez in the ABC Family sitcomSwitched at Birth.

The sitcom revolves around the story of two teen girls who discover that they were accidentally switched at birth. Bay Kennish (Vanessa Marano) grew up in a wealthy family with two parents and two brothers, while Daphne Vasquez (Katie Leclerc), who lost her hearing as a child due to a case of meningitis, grew up with a single mother in a poor neighborhood. Things come to a dramatic head when both families meet and struggle to learn how to live together for the sake of the girls.Lea Thompson plays the character Bay Kennish’s mom.

“We’re thrilled to have such acclaimed actresses as Lea Thompson and Constance Marie join the cast in two of our leading roles,” said Elizabeth Boykewich, Vice President, Casting, ABC Family. “For the critical role of Daphne, we set out to meet actors with all ranges of hearing loss to play the part. When we auditioned Katie, we knew she was perfect for the role. Not only is she a talented actress, but like her character, Katie is comfortable in both the hearing and deaf worlds.”

Switched at Birth is written and executive produced by Lizzy Weiss ("Blue Crush"). The sitcom is set to launch June 6, 2011 at 9pm.

Diego Luna Shoots Contraband and Develops Cesar Chavez

Hollywood, CA -- Mexican actor Diego Luna recently wrapped the, as yet to be titled, “Spanish comedy” (nee Casa de mi Padre) which stars Will Farrell and shot entirely in Spanish with English subtitles. Beginning in March he stars filming Contraband along side Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Kate Beckinsale.

Contraband is a small budget film about a security guard with financial troubles considers a return to his smuggling ways when an associate offers a potentially lucrative opportunity. Luna's character has not yet been announce. The film is being shot on location in New Orleans, Louisana with a scheduled release date of March 16, 2012 slated.

In addition to his in front of the camera gigs, Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal’s production company, Canana Films, is in development of the UFW’s leader, Cesar Chavez life story which they optioned last year in March. The rights were granted by the Cesar Chavez Foundation with Chavez’s son, Paul negotiating the deal. Oscar nominated screenwriter Keir Peason (Hotel Rwanda) is writing the script. 

Luna's directorial debut Abel was recently picked up for distribution by Pantalion Films. Luna is repped by Willim Morris Endeavor

Grammy® Winner Marc Anthony joins cast of HawthoRNe

Third Season Set to Launch in June

Grammy®-winning recording artist and actor Marc Anthony has joined the cast of TNT’s Hawthorne, the TNT drama series starring and executive-produced by Jada Pinkett Smith (The Women, The Matrix trilogy). Anthony will reprise the newly expanded role of Police Detective Nick Renata, the character he introduced as a guest star in two episodes last season. Hawthorne is scheduled to return for its third season this June.

Anthony joins Hawthorne as a series regular just as Pinkett Smith’s Christina Hawthorne, Chief Nursing Officer of James River Hospital, struggles with news that she is pregnant. The two developed a strong bond last season while Renata investigated a pair of criminal cases involving the hospital. But Christina, whose on-again, off-again romance with Dr. Tom Wakefield (Michael Vartan – Alias) has been a mess of mixed signals and bad timing, told Nick she was not ready to jump into a new relationship.

As a recording artist, Anthony has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide, making him the top-selling salsa artist of all time. He has been awarded numerous gold and platinum record certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His Grammy accolades began with a 1998 Grammy for Best Tropical Latin Performance for “Contra La Corriente,” followed with a 1999 Latin Grammy for Song of the Year for “Dimelo.” In 2004, he earned a Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album for Amar Sin Mentiras and a Latin Grammy for Best Salsa Album for Valió la Pena. He won his third Latin Grammy for the 2008 album El Cantante. Last summer, the Miami Dolphins minority owner released his latest album, Iconos, an all-Spanish ballad collection produced with Julio Reyes. The platinum album held the #1 spot on the Billboard charts for six consecutive weeks and earned him his 12th Latin Grammy 

Anthony’s acting career includes roles in Martin Scorsese’sBringing Out the Dead and Tony Scott’s >I>Man on Fire. Starring opposite wife Jennifer Lopez, Anthony played Puerto Rican salsa pioneer Héctor Lavoe in Leon Ichaso’s biopic El Cantante. He also starred opposite Salma Hayak in the television film In the Time of the Butterflies. In 1997, Anthony made his Broadway debut in Paul Simon’s musical The Capeman.

Hawthorne is produced by Sony Pictures Television in association with Pinkett Smith’s Overbrook Entertainment and Jamie Tarses’ FanFare Productions. Hawthorneis executive-produced by Pinkett Smith; Jamie Tarses (Franklin & Bash); John Tinker (Judging Amy, St. Elsewhere); and Miguel Melendez (The Human Contract).

Telemundo’s La Reina Del Sur Audience and Ratings Winner

Miami, FL -- After having premiered to an audience of 2.4 million viewers last Monday, Telemundo's latest telenovela, La Reina Del Sur (Queen of the South), again outperformed Univision across key demographics last Wednesday, according to Nielsen Media Research. La Reina Del Sur which is now the network’s most-watched premiere for a telenovela, grew two consecutive days in a row with 3.1 million total viewers (persons 2+) and delivered over 2 million (2,009,000) adults 18-49, up 29% and 31%, respectively, from Monday’s premiere.

Kate del Castillo is Teresa Mendoza in La Reina Del Sur a story based on Arturo Perez Reverte’s novel by the same name. The story revolves around Mendoza, who transforms from a young innocent girl to a tough woman surviving the world of drug trafficking.

This story, which is said to be based on a real live character, has had quite a buzz for a while now and has long been anticipated. A couple of years back Eva Mendez, was cast in an English language film about this same story which was being directed byJonathan Jakubowicz (Sequestro Express) and was being produced by Elizabeth Avellan (Machete, Spy Kids) and Sandra Condito (Sequestro Express) when production unexpectedly shut down. 

With all the press and the high profile telenovela talent,including del Castillo, Humberto Zurita, and Rafael Amaya, tts no wonder the La Reina Del Sur had additionally ranked #1 at 10pm among all broadcast networks in men 18-34, regardless of language.

Locally, La Reina Del Sur was #1 across all stations in the time period in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Houston among key adult demos, regardless of language. Among Spanish-language stations, the telenovela was #1 in Los Angeles, 
New York, Miami, Houston and Chicago among key demos.

Source: NTI, Live +Same Day, 3/2/11; NSI 3/2/11 Adults= A 18-34 and A18-49.

New Cast for "Dancing With the Stars" Season 12 Announced

Hollywood, CA -- Dancing with the Stars hosts Tom Bergeron and Brooke Burke announced the 11 celebrities heading to the dance floor this season during a live press conference tonight. A star-studded cast filled with celebrities across a variety of genres are set to compete each week on the dance floor in the spectacular two-hour season premiere of Dancing with the Stars,Monday, March 21 (8:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.

The new Dancing with the Stars, pictured here are: 
Top (L-R) - Hines Ward, Ralph Macchio, Romeo, Sugar Ray Leonard 

Pictured Bottom (L-R) Kirtsie Alley, Chris Jericho, Wendy Williams, "Psycho" Mike Catherwood, Kendra Wilkinson, Chelsea Kane

Salma Hayek Gets Busy in 2011

First up "Here Comes the Boom"

Hollywood, CA -- 2011 is shaping up to be quite busy year for Salma Hayek. Things had been relatively quiet for the actress/producer since the cancellation of Ugly Betty with the exception of playing Adam Sandler’s wife in Grown up. This year things will be different.

In March Hayek is set to begin shooting Sony’s action comedy,Here Comes the Boom about a physics teacher named Scott (Kevin James) who participates in UFC mixed martial artscompetitions to save his school's music program. Kevin James, Jeff Sussman and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison Productions are producing.

It was also announced yesterday that Hayek will star in directorAlex de la Iglesia’s La Chispa de la Vida (The Spark of Life) along side Willy Toledo, Javier Gutierrez, Jose Mota, Juan Luis Galiardo and Santiago Segura to be filmed in Madrid. 

The film tells the story of Roberto, an out-of-work advertising man, creator of the slogan ‘la chispa de la vida’ for the soft-drink brand Coca-Cola, who is rebuffed by every agency where he applies for a job. But everything changes when he suffers an accident that has him hanging between life and death. The project is said to be in pre-production

She has several other films she is slated to act in Wild Roses, Tender Roses (2012) alongside Johnny Depp who will play the role of Pancho Villa; and Screen Gems The Driver oppositeGulshan Grover and set to begin shooting in April 2011. 

As a producer, her production company Ventanazul is producing the film Diego Asending written by Ligiah Villalobos and to be directed by Rodrigo Garcia. Ventanazul is also developing has the comedy Bones Family and The Prophet written by Kahlil Gibran.

And not to leave television untouched, Hayek continues the development of the 8 hour mini-series Wicked for ABC. All this an the most important job of all...being a mother to Valentina her three year old daughter.

"Without Men" Stars Eva Longoria Parker & Christian Slater

Maya Entertainment picks worldwide distribution rights

Los Angeles, CA -- Maya Entertainment, the multi-platform content/distribution company focused on content for and about Latinos, has acquired worldwide rights to Gabriela Tagliaviniscomedy Without Men

The film based on James Canons book Tales From the Town of Widows: A Novel was adapted for the screen by Tagliavini, and stars Eva Longoria Parker, Christian Slater, Oscar Nunez, Kate Del Castillo, Maria Conchita Alonso, Paul Rodriguez, Yvette Yates, Douglas Spain and Judy Reyes.

Without Men is set in a mountain village somewhere in Latin America. The women of a of the town are forced to pick up the pieces and remake their world when all the towns men are forcibly recruited by communist guerrillas. When the men return, lead by an American reporter, to reclaim their place and power, the real battle begins, the battle of the sexes.

“Through humor and fantasy, the story not only immerses us in a world of magic realism but also deals with important issues of identity and the role of women in society in a very comedic way,” Longoria has said of the film.

Maya has acquired both domestic and international distribution ofWithout Men and it will also be release thourough Mayas Indie Film Series.

Maya Entertainment is headed by Moctesuma Esparza (Selena, Gettysburg) and Jeff Valdez (Si TV,, has established a library of over 100 titles, mostly produced, written by and starring Latino talent, which are carried in retail, rental, and VOD. 

The film was produced by Anthony Moody, Lucas Jarach andJason Price for Indalo Production. The acquisition was initiated by Tonantzin Esparza, Maya Entertainments director of acquisitions.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bob Schneider: Living with Mexican Americans

New CBS Pilot Greenlit

Hollywood, CA -- CBS has announced the production of the untitled sitcom pilot starring comedian Rob Schneider. The story is said to be based on Schneider relationship with fiancee Patricia. In the pilot, Schneider’s character (a “landscape architect”) marries his sweetheart and into her large Mexican-American family.

A prominent character in the pilot is the father, very much a departure from the usual network roles written for Mexican Americans, to begin with, he is a right wing conservative Republican. A virtual Archie Bunker, the racist character from Norman Lear’s All in The Family, in reverse. The father believes that there should be an electrified wall on the border and patrolled with cannons. He is a contradiction in terms every time he opens his mouth.

The untitled project will also star Jeff and Jackie Filgo from That ’70s Show and is written by Schneider and Lew Morton, who met both Saturday Night Live alums. Morton, Eric and Kim Tannenbaum (Two and a Half Men) are executive producing, with Schneider and his brother John Schneider producing under their From Out of Nowhere Prods. shingle.

The project will mark Schneider's return to the small screen since the the NBC comedy Men Behaving Badly. Schneider most most recently co-starred with Adam Sandler in the film Grown Ups.

Pilot Casting: Rita Moreno, Valente Rodriguez, and Camily Guaty Among Cast

Rita Moreno lands a role in the new TV Land sitcom Happily Divorced

Academy/Emmy/Tony/Alma Award winner Rita Moreno (Cane, will be gracing the small screen once again in the TV pilot Happily Divorced for TV Land (Hot in Cleveland). The comedy is based on Drescher's real-life previous marriage and divorce about a woman (Drescher) who begins dating again after learning her husband is gay. Moreno will play her mother with Robert Walden playing her husband.

Since her role in the one season CBS drama Cane, Rita Moreno has appeared as a guest star in In Plain Sight. Happily Divorced will hopefully mark her return to sitcom televison since doing guest stars in some of televisions most successful sticoms which included, George Lopez, Ugly Betty, Murphy Brown, and The Cosby Show. In 1994 she also appeared on the The Nanny, which is where she worked with Drescher last. Happily Divorced is expected to premiere early next year.

Valente Rodriguez, who was last seen playing the best friend in George Lopez has also landed a role in Happily Divorced.

Camille Guaty Plays a Single mom in Eden

Camille Guaty (Chicago Code, Las Vegas, Cupid, Gotta Kick It Up) has landed the role strong-willed, hard-working single mother who's carved out a career in real estate support her five-year-old son in the USA Network one-hour pilot Eden. THe pilot centers around a young hotel staffer (Nick D'Agosto), and his con artist cousin (Enver Gjokaj), who manage the hotel as well as anything their guest wants at the elite New York City hotel.

Guaty is currenly recurring in the FOX midseason cop drama The Chicago Code
alongside Jennifer Beals, Jason Clarke and Matt Lauria. She plays Janson Clarke’s fiancee.