At its upfront presentation today, Spanish-language giant Univision Communications (the company behind the planned remake of "Breaking Bad") announced that it will be launching a new channel in partnership with filmmaker turned media empire builder Robert Rodriguez. Univision is making a strategic investment in Rodriguez's English-language El Rey Network, co-created with FactoryMade Ventures, with plans to launch the channel in December of this year with nation-wide distribution and initial carriage via Comcast.
El Rey Network will be aimed at a young adult audience, with Rodriguez and FactoryMade acting as curators to put together a mix of reality, scripted and animated shows in addition to film, music and sports programming. Univision Communications will handle the network's back office operations, sales and distribution.
"I'm thrilled to be partnering with Univision on this groundbreaking initiative to deliver high-quality original programming to our community and the wider, mainstream audiences," Rodriguez said in the announcement. "El Rey Network will serve as a launching pad to satisfy the tastes of young adults looking for exciting, cinematic, action-packed content. As a broadcast leader in media, Univision is the best partner to support us in achieving this vision."
Rodriguez unveiled some initial original programming plans at the event, including an adaptation of his and Quentin Tarantino's 1996"From Dusk Till Dawn," which will be El Rey's first original scripted production. Rodriguez will writer, produce and direct the series, which will expand on the story and mythology of the film.
Rodriguez has also brought in "Star Trek" writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci's production company K/O Paper Products to produce a scripted action adventure series for El Rey, to start development at the end of June. The pair, who also have "Sleepy Hollow" at Fox, will announce a showrunner later this summer.
The two shows, which mark the cable debuts for Rodriguez, Kurtzman and Orci, will be produced in Austin, where Rodriguez has his studio.