[02/13/07 - 12:28 PM]
Smits' El Sendero Productions Carves a Path with Three New Projects
Among them: Jimmy Smits will star and executive produce Cynthia Cidre's drama pilot for CBS.

[via press release from El Sendero Productions]

Smits' El Sendero Productions Carves A Path With Three New Projects

BURBANK, Calif., Feb. 13 -- Jimmy Smits' El Sendero Productions Inc. forges a new trail with the announcement of its first three projects. Smits previously inked a production pod deal with ABC/ABC Television Studio (formerly known as Touchstone), which enables him to work both sides of projects -- as a starring vehicle and producing, while also developing and producing shows without being attached to star.

First on the slate is "The Inside," a co-production with El Sendero Productions, ABC Television Studio and FX. The project originated with Todd Robinson, whom Smits immediately contacted after seeing his upcoming feature "Lonely Hearts," which he wrote and directed. Robinson is lined up to write and exec produce the project with Smits. The story is about a former Special Forces Operative who agrees to give up his identity and his family to go undercover and infiltrate a dangerous drug cartel, not knowing who he can trust, but determined to complete his mission and protect his family.

Next is an untitled epic mini-series to be written and directed by Gregory Nava about U.S. immigration told through interconnected stories. This project originated with Gregory Nava, who first worked with Smits on "My Family/Mi Familia" and had wanted to collaborate again ever since. Nava sold the project to ABC/ABC Television Studio with Smits and El Sendero attached. Quinn Taylor, ABC's Sr. VP of Movies and Mini-Series is the creative exec for the project, which is a co-production with Smits' El Sendero Productions, Nava's El Norte Productions, along with Nava's partner Barbara Jitner-Martinez, and ABC Television Studio.

The third project will put Smits back in front of the camera, a CBS Paramount/ABC Television Studio co-production for CBS currently known as the "Untitled Cynthia Cidre Project" in which Smits and El Sendero Productions has agreed to come on board to both star and produce. Written by Cynthia Cidre ("Mambo Kings," "A Killing In A Small Town") who will also produce the pilot along with Jonathan Prince, this multi-generational, Latin family saga explores the evolution of the American Dream ... past, present and future, and the intense rivalry between two families who have built an empire in the sugar and rum industries. Also serving as producers are Cidre, Prince, Polly Anthony and Jimmy Iovine.

"Developing and producing with people as talented and insightful as those I'm working with is a privilege and an exciting opportunity ... I feel very ready at this point in my career to be actively involved both in front of and behind the camera," says Smits.

Smits will also be seen in the upcoming feature film "The Jane Austen Book Club," directed by Robin Swicord and starring Maria Bello, Amy Brenneman and Emily Blunt, scheduled for a 2008 release.

Deals were negotiated by attorney Tom Hoberman. Smits is also repped by Joe Cohen at CAA, and Danny Sussman at Brillstein-Grey.

SOURCE El Sendero Productions Inc.

  [february 2007]  


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