It has been announced that iconic film maker Robert Rodriguez is pairing up with Univision Communications on the English-language El Rey television network that is geared to young viewers and scheduled to debut this December.
Rodriguez, who could almost be called a “one man cottage filmmaking industry” is famous for doing more than any other director on his films. He does it all, he acts as the cinematographer, editor, writer, producer, director and he does his own storyboards.
His projects have included the cult hit From Dusk Till Dawn, The Faculty and Desperado to name just a few has already finished the first scripted series for El Rey which will be an expansion of his 1996 film From Dusk Till Dawn that starred Quentin Tarantino and George Clooney.
The El Rey network is expected to have a mix of reality television programs, “normal” scripted shows, as well as music and sports programming. The network will also feature movies.
Rodriquez has said that, “El Rey Network will serve as a launching pad to satisfy the tastes of young adults looking for exciting, cinematic, action-packed content.” He also said that, “The El Rey Network is going to be the home of kick-ass entertainment.”
The company that runs Univision which is the most-popular Spanish-language network in the country, revealed on Tuesday that it has invested in El Rey. Actual terms of the investment have not been publicly disclosed. El Rey is set to premiere in December this year with a national distribution agreement with Comcast, the nation’s largest cable company.
Univision has steadily expanded over the last two years, creating several new networks. One partnership with ABC is called Fusion, an English-language news network geared toward a Latino audience.
The Univision network also announced that it will premiere two new telenovelas during the next season. La Tempestad Which will star William Levy and Ximena Navarrete, who is a former Miss Universe. The other telenovela will be Mentir para Vivir which will star David Zepeda and Mayrin Vilanueva.
The network also revealed that Va Por Ti, a new singing competition series for Sunday nights. Univision announced as well that it is going to air the award show Premios TyNovelas that will cover Hispanic programming in both Mexico and the U.S. The shows will appear on the same day in the United States and Mexico.
Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc., told advertisers Tuesday that the company is at the intersection of two big growth opportunities: the Latino market and digital.
Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks announced that the El Reh network will stand for, “fun, fast-paced entertainment.” In addition to the networks pairing with Robert Rodriquez, they have also paired with John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa’s FactoryMade. Univision will be responsible for the back-office operations, sales and distribution of the network.
As well as the From Dusk Till Dawn expansion, there is an untitled action series that has been developed by Fringe and Star Trek Into Darkness producers Alex Kurtzman and Robert Orci’s K/O Paper Products.
It comes as no real surprise that Robert Rodriguez has paired with Univision with the From Dusk Till Dawn project. He has always said that he regretted the fact that he could not include more of the Aztec mythology in the first film. Rodriguez has also said that he was fascinated with that aspect of the film and that only time and budgetary restrains kept him from exploring it further.
It will be interesting to see who will be cast in this televised version of his 1996 film.
By Michael Smith