Robert Rodriguez’s new El Rey Network — must resist the temptation to call it “The” El Rey Network — made its first Television Critics Association press tour appearance on Sunday (January 12), anchored by the announcement of a premiere date for the “From Dusk Till Dawn” TV series.
Of “From Dusk Till Dawn,” Rodriguez says, “If the film is the short story, this is the novel.” He adds, “There was so much that I wanted to explore in that movie that I didn’t get to.”
The 10-episode first season of “From Dusk Till Dawn” will premiere on Tuesday, March 11 at 9 p.m. ET.
Rodriguez put his time where his mouth is on this one. He directed the first, second and fourth episodes, with Eduardo Sanchez and Joe Menendez directing the third and fifth episodes. “Nikita” veteran Carlos Coto is the showrunner, while Greg Nicotero returned do makeup.
D.J. Cotrona and Zane Holtz (pictured above) play the Gecko brothers, with Don Johnson and Jesse Garcia playing the law on their trail. The adaptation of the beloved cult movie (and less beloved sequels) also features Wilmer Valderrama, Adrianne Palicki, Jake Busey, Lane Garrison, Robert Patrick, Madison Davenport and Brandon Soo Hoo.
The first key art is below.
El Rey also announced that it has acquired the cable rights to “Starsky & Hutch,” “Dark Angel” and “The X Files,” which will air as part of the network’s 24-hour schedule starting on February 14. El Rey will premiere Grindhouse Fridays starting on February 21 with “Switchblade Sisters,” followed by “Rolling Thunder” on February 28.
A second El Rey original drama will be “Matador” from Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman. Filming in Los Angeles later this year, “Matador” focuses on Antonio “Matador” Bravo, a soccer star who is also a super-spy. “Matador” will premiere in summer 2014, with a 13-episode first season.
Regarding its original programming, El Rey execs said that the dramas will have budgets in the top 20 percent of TV dramas, with Rodriguez adding, “We just do things completely differently, so you’ll see a lot more money on the screen.”
The final major piece of the El Rey announcements was the reveal with Mark Burnett is bringing a weekly lucha libra wrestling series to the air in 2015, partnered with Lucha Libre AAA. The series will feature new wrestlers, new plotlines and the wackiness you’d expect from the producer of “The Bible.”
Rodriguez told reporters that in his own home, he kept a hard drive filled with the movies and trailers and TV shows he liked. He said he would think, “I wish somebody would just curate a network where everything you saw was attached to that sensibility.” El Rey TV is that hard drive brought to life.
Anyway, though… That sexy key art.