Day 1 of the ATX Television Festival includes a screening of the pilot episode of ABC’s upcoming new series, Grand Hotel. Following the preview, executive producers Brian Tanen and Ben Spector were joined by some of the cast — Roselyn Sanchez, Lincoln Younes and Arielle Kebbel– to speak on what to expect in season one of a series filled with secrets and scandal.
The show is a remake of the original period series from Spain but flips the typical upstairs/downstairs narrative “in that this is about a Hispanic family achieving the American dream. But it’s not a Hispanic show, said Spector. “It’s a show where the Hispanic family owns the hotel. Everything that the family has built is based on this beautiful place.”
Setting the series in Miami “felt authentic to the place that this would be the family,” added Tanen. “Mostly it’s not a thing, it’s just who these people are and telling their stories. For once in an upstairs/downstairs story, the Latinx characters are the proprietors of the hotel.”
Set at the last family-owned hotel in multicultural Miami Beach, the drama, which Tanen teased will be filled with “layer upon layer of mystery,” follows Santiago Mendoza (Demian Bichir) who owns the hotel, while his glamorous second wife, Gigi (Sanchez), and their adult children who enjoy the spoils of success. Wealthy and beautiful guests bask in luxury, but scandals, escalating debt and explosive secrets hide beneath the picture-perfect exterior.
“Every character has a secret,” said Spector on the 13-episode first season. “The season is full of juicy reveals as we unravel.”
The show also features a majority diverse cast and crew, which was championed by executive producer Eva Longoria, a founding member of Times Up movement who, said Spector, “really wanted to show the diversity genderwise and ethnicity-wise in front of and behind the camera… it’s what the world looks like.”
Denyse Tontz, Bryan Craig, Wendy Raquel Robinson, Shalim Ortiz, Anne Winters, Chris Warren, Feliz Ramirez, and Justina Adorno also star.
Grand Hotel will debut June 17 on ABC.
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