Ahead of its July 15th premiere, El Rey Network today announced a 13-episode second season renewal of the cable channel's spy thriller "Matador" from award-winning writer/producer Roberto Orci. They also revealed that production on the sophomore season of Robert Rodriguez's "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," the network's first scripted drama, will start production in Austin (home to Rodriguez's Troublemaker Studios) beginning October 2014.
Shot in Los Angeles, "Matador" offers an irreverent, adrenaline-filled look at the unlikely rise of Tony "Matador" Bravo (Gabriel Luna), a professional soccer player for the LA Riot who comes to be known as much for his antics off the field as his moves on it. But what his fans and family don't realize is that it's all a cover-in truth, he is a skilled covert operative executing missions for the CIA. Agent Bravo, nicknamed "Matador" after he takes out a top player known as "The Bull" during tryouts for the team, finds himself suddenly thrust into a clandestine world. But, in balancing his dueling roles, he will be forced to confront the question of his true identity... and it is this mission that may prove to be his most dangerous.
Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Network's Founder and Chairman, said: "When Roberto first told me his concept for 'Matador,' I knew immediately that it had to have a home on El Rey. This show exceeded every possible expectation we had in terms of great storytelling, incredible action and unique characters."
Creator and executive producer Roberto Orci said: "Working with Robert and El Rey has been such a unique experience. We've been given enormous creative freedom and have delivered the show exactly as we envisioned. We have so much story left to tell and thank El Rey and Robert for their unending support for a show that celebrates a new kind of hero on television."
"Matador" features an international cast including Gabriel Luna ("NCIS: Los Angeles," "Prison Break") in the title role of Tony "Matador" Bravo; Alfred Molina (The Da Vinci Code
, Spider Man 2
) as Andres Galan, the billionaire owner of the ascendant LA Riot franchise and a member of an elite group of powerful global players, ruthless individuals who can impact world events on a scale that one would never imagine; Nicky Whelan (Left Behind
) as Annie Mason, Tony's analytical and beautiful control agent who serves as the head of a little known branch of the CIA; Neil Hopkins ("Bones," "True Blood") as Noah Peacott, Annie's brilliant but awkward partner; and Tanc Sade ("The Gilmore Girls," "90210") as Alec Holester, an English striker for the LA Riot who is past his prime, but still very skilled.
Season two of "From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series," meanwhile, will be comprised of 13 hour-long episodes (three additional as compared to season one) allowing fans to sink their teeth into a supernatural series. In addition to its berth on El Rey Network, the franchise is available exclusively on Netflix in Canada, the UK, Ireland, the Nordics, the Netherlands and Latin America with season one becoming available on the service in the U.S. on August 19. Other international territories where the series is available include Australia, China and the Middle East. Returning are all leading cast members including Wilmer Valderrama, D.J. Cotrona, Zane Holtz and Eiza Gonzalez.
Scott Sassa, El Rey Network's Vice Chair, commented on the deal: "Reimagining this franchise for television viewers was the perfect foundation for the launch of El Rey. Our distribution partnerships have allowed us to broaden the reach of this anchor series and give fans the perfect opportunity to catch up before season two hits the air next year."
Robert Rodriguez, El Rey Network founder and series creator, added: "Being able to revisit the world of 'Dusk' and expand on the story and characters from the film was incredibly gratifying and I am thrilled that our fans across the globe will have the opportunity to experience that world through our relationship with Miramax." Rodriguez explained. "I look forward to creating an unexpected and compelling narrative for our characters in season two and giving our fans the kind of content they have come to expect from El Rey."
"Matador" is created by Roberto Orci, Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie and Andrew Orci (also consulting producer). Executive producers are Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman and Dworkin & Beattie (also showrunners). Also joining as executive producers are Heather Kadin of K/O Paper Products; El Rey Network co-founder Robert Rodriguez; and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.
"From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series" is an El Rey Network production in association with Rodriguez International Pictures, FactoryMade Ventures, Miramax and Sugar Cane Entertainment. Executive producers are Robert Rodriguez, Carlos Coto (also showrunner), Diego Gutierrez (also writer) and FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa.