‘Grand Ho­tel’ opens for sum­mer busi­ness on ABC

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - On Tap -

As a set­ting that can ser­vice many char­ac­ters and plots over a long span, one of the best is a ho­tel.

Eva Lon­go­ria knows it, since the “Des­per­ate House­wives” alum has cho­sen it – as an ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer, a some­times di­rec­tor and a guest star – for “Grand Ho­tel,” an ABC se­ries pre­mier­ing Mon­day, June 17. Shar­ing the ti­tle of a clas­sic movie that won the 1932 Os­car for best pic­ture, the new show is quite con­tem­po­rary as a Mi­ami Beach re­sort’s owner (played by “Weeds” and “The Bridge’s” Demian Bichir) mulls sell­ing the site, while his grown chil­dren and his em­ploy­ees have dra­mas of their own.

“This was a for­mat from Spain,” Lon­go­ria ex­plains, “and it was a pe­riod piece, and we con­tem­po­rized it to mod­ern-day Mi­ami. It has a lot of themes of ‘Up­stairs, Down­stairs,’ but we thought it was very unique to have the ‘up­stairs’ be a His­panic family and to show a dif­fer­ent com­mu­nity. It’s based in Mi­ami, so we’re au­then­tic to that world. Nine of our 11 (reg­u­lar) cast mem­bers are peo­ple of color, so we’re re­ally proud of the adap­ta­tion that we did.”

“Grand Ho­tel” also fea­tures Rose­lyn Sanchez (“With­out a Trace”), Bryan Craig, Wendy Raquel Robin­son (“The Steve Har­vey Show”), Denyse Tontz, Lin­coln Younes, Anne Win­ters (“Tyrant”), Shalim Or­tiz, Chris War­ren, Feliz Ramirez and Justina Adorno. That many ac­tors should in­fer a va­ri­ety of sub­plots, which range in this case from a se­cret preg­nancy to a re­venge plot against the hote­lier.

As the fig­ure at the cen­ter of “Grand Ho­tel,” Bichir re­flects, “This is my third time on Amer­i­can TV, and ba­si­cally, I re­spond to the same thing. I’m look­ing for strong ma­te­rial whether it’s TV, films or the­ater, and that’s what I found here. To me, it’s about the hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence ... and who’s in charge of (the given project). And I love Eva. No one can say ‘no’ to Eva. A great, pow­er­ful cap­tain can lead such a big ship into a happy port.”

Demian Bichir and Rose­lyn Sanchez

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