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Starz is developing a drama series about Texan citizen journalist “Lagordiloca” (an alias for Priscilla Villarreal) penned by playwright and filmmaker Hilary Bettis, Variety has confirmed.

Inspired by Texas Monthly’s coverage about Villarreal, the show centers on the titular protagonist’s rise as a street journalist and modern-day folk hero in her border-town of Laredo, as she seized the power of social media and pushed the boundaries of the first amendment to expose corruption, cartels and other ills in her beloved community. The raw footage that she live-streamed to her whopping 190K followers made her a lead news source and a popular figure in Laredo and beyond— but, Villarreal was arrested for posting the names of two deceased victims before they had been made public by authorities.

The project hails from Bettis, Nina Tassler and Denise DiNovi’s PatMa Productions banner, as well as CBS Studios. Its executive producers include Bettis, Tassler, Di Novi, Joan Boorstein for PatMa, and Scott Brown and Megan Creydt for Texas Monthly. The PatMa exec overseeing the project is Daniel Simon. The articles that spurred the adaptation were written by Skip Hollandsworth and Leif Reigstad; Texas Monthly is repped by CAA.

Bettis’ TV credits include FX’s “The Americans,” the Hulu miniseries “The Dropout” and Amazon’s “Rodeo Queens.” She is the child of a Chicana and a Southern father, and has explored her interest in the rural Latinx experience through her work— her play, “72 Miles to Go,” tells the story between a recently deported mother in Nogales, Mexico and her American-born husband and children in Tucson, Arizona. It was staged off-Broadway by the Roundabout Theatre Company. Bettis is repped by CAA, Grandview and Jeff Hynick.  

Deadline first reported the “Lagordiloca” announcement.