Robert Rodriguez El Rey Network Lineup 2014: Roberto Orci's 'Matador' Picked Up for Second Season Ahead of Premiere
"This is the best time ever for Latinos and Hispanics to try and get into this business ... not try, succeed," writer and producer Roberto Orci told Latin Post during the New York premiere of "Matador," the second scripted TV series on director Robert Rodriguez's English-language network, El Rey (which just announced it's renewing the show for a second season).
"The studios finally get it. It's finally on the front page news, it's finally on the front of Variety and The New York Times. The studios and the TV networks get it," Orci said.
In advance of the series' July 15 premiere, El Rey Network said during a TCA (Television Critics Association) session on July 10 that it has ordered a 13-episode second season of the soccer-themed spy thriller "Matador." The move comes after the blossoming network renewed its first original scripted series, "From Dusk Till Dawn," two weeks into its run back in March, Deadline reported.
The TCA panel featured the show's stellar cast, including Gabriel Luna (who portrays Tony "Matador" Bravo), Tony Award-nominated actor Alfred Molina, Nicky Whelan, Orci, Dan Dworkin, and Jay Beattie and Rodriguez, director and El Rey Network founder.
"It just fit in with what we wanted to do. ... This is why I created the network," said Rodriguez ("who trumpeted the network's commitment to diversity by saying that at least 50 percent of the network's talent both in front of and behind the camera is diverse," Deadline reported).
"We are so happy with the season already," he said. "We are on Episode 11. It fits right in with our network. It's kickass, the characters are really engaging, it's your dream kind of show to do."
Born to a Cuban mother and a Mexican father (whose parents were Spanish and Italian), Orci stays true to his roots, and the news that "Matador" is being picked up for Season 2 further reintegrates the importance and relevance of Latinos in the entertainment industry.
Orci, the science fiction guru has been behind some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters, like "Mission Impossible 3," "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" and "Star Trek." He also co-created and executive produced the hit TV shows "Fringe," "Hawaii Five-0" and "Alias."
"Here is what I always like to say: They're not doing me a favor for hiring me, I am doing them a favor for being bicultural and I can speak to the world. Anyone who is bicultural can speak to the world in a way that is an advantage," Orci said. "And so I would encourage anyone who is bicultural, who has a background in anything other than this general market -- this is the time to get in, this is a time to win, this is a great time for us.
"Let it be clear that supporting El Rey is not charity, I can't say that enough -- it's winning. Supporting El Rey is being on the winning side of an amazing thing. If you are a studio, if you're a network or a movie company, you are losing money if it you're not paying attention to us," Orci said.
Premiering Tuesday, July 15 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the action-packed, 13-episode series chronicles the unlikely rise of Tony "Matador" Bravo (Gabriel Luna), a professional soccer player for the LA Riot by day and a skilled covert operative, executing missions for the CIA by night.
Agent Bravo is given the moniker "Matador" after he takes out a top player known as "The Bull" during team tryouts. While trying to balance his duel lives, Bravo is faced with the question of his true identity, "and it is this mission, which may prove to be his most dangerous."
"Matador" was created by Orci, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie and Andrew Orci. Executive producers are Dworkin and Beattie, Orci and longtime friend and collaborator Alex Kurtzman and consulting producer Andrew Orci. Also joining as executive producers are Heather Kadin of K/O Paper Products; El Rey Network co-founder Rodriguez; and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.
A soccer fan, who played when he was a child, Orci was drawn to the story of "Matador" because he thought it was "just a good story" -- plus there's an added bonus of Latino characters who add to the great storytelling. He also stressed that as long as you create something that's "organic, natural and authentic," "they (the networks, TV studios) will win," and in turn, "we will all win."
"The first taste is free. Let people know they can sample it. ... This is just a big time, super Hollywood production," Orci said. "Check it out to just be entertained. You don't even have to talk about that it's helping our (Latinos') market or our values. If you want to check out a good show with cool characters, great action and great production value, check out 'Matador' -- period."
A sneak peek of the premiere episode becomes available this week on iTunes, Vudu, Xbox 360 and other platforms. Also, check out El Rey Network to find out which channel it's on in your area.
Check out the official trailer for "Matador."
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