Upfronts: Univision Invests In Robert Rodriguez’s El Rey Cabler

'From Dusk Till Dawn' To Return As Series

Robert Rodriguez El Rey Univision

Univision Communications is making a bet on the maverick filmmaker behind such grindhouse classics as ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ and ‘Machete.’

The company that owns Spanish-language TV network Univision said it would make a strategic investment in the El Rey Network, a new general entertainment, English-language cable network geared towards young-adult audiences that is created and run by and created by filmmaker Robert Rodriguez. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

The network, which is supposed to launch in December 2013 and have national distribution with initial carriage through Comcast, is one of a group of minority-owned networks Comcast agreed to support as part of its purchase of a controlling stake in NBCUniversal from General Electric (Comcast has since agreed to buy the remaining part of NBCU).

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“Our partnership in El Rey Network is a testament to Univision’s culture of innovation, the power of our brand to live in both languages, and our constant quest to ensure we remain the ultimate resource for all Hispanics’ tastes and preferences,” said Univision Communications CEO Randy Falco in a prepared statement.

Rodriguez serves as chairman of the network, which recently announced Scott Sassa, a veteran TV executive who has worke for both NBC and Hearst, had joined as vice chairman.

El Rey’s first original scripted production will be based on Rodriguez’s ‘From Dusk Till Dawn’ movies, and will explore and expand upon characters and story from the original film.

Additionally, Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s K/O Paper Products will produce a scripted action/adventur e series for El Rey. Development will start at the end of June.