‘Grand Hotel’ opens for summer business on ABC
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