PRESS TOUR: El Rey charges ahead with 'Matador'

Thursday, 10 July 2014 02:47 PM Written by 

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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- My positive review of El Rey's "Matador" (9 p.m. Tuesday) runs in Sunday's Post-Gazette and already the upstart El Rey has renewed the action-drama with a soccer backdrop for a 13-episode second season.

Read more after the jump. ...

The series' lead character, Tony "Matador" Bravo (Gabriel Luna) is a pro soccer player by day and a spy by night. He's also Latino -- though he doesn't speak much Spanish -- and one of the key goals of El Rey Network is to better reflect the country's diversity,

"One of the missions of the network is to appeal to a lot of Hispanic-Americans who feel like they're not represented on television," said network founder Robert Rodriguez. "I wanted our audience to look at it and go, that's me! Identity and belonging to something is very important for the country, that you see yourself represented in the media because it is of vital importance to a group."

The show's timing is pretty perfect, coming on the heels of the World Cup. The teams in the show are part of the fictional American United Soccer League, including Matador's L.A. Riot, which executive producer Roberto Orci ("Sleepy Hollow") described as an underdog team of misfits. As for the team's name, which recalls the 1992 Los Angeles riots,  Orci acknowledged the name is intentionally provocative, but Luna said there's a hooligan squad for the real-world Los Angeles Galaxy who already call themselves the L.A. Riot.

"We wanted to put a positive spin on riot," said another executive producer, noting the raised, clenched fix logo is more about revolution and revolt than destructive riots.

 

El Rey has limited availability in Pittsburgh -- it's only on DirecTV's Channel 341 -- but its first scripted drama, "From Dusk Till Dawn," becomes available on Netflix in the U.S. on Aug. 19, giving the show an opportunity to reach a much larger audience.

 

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