Amazon Freevee has landed the exclusive first-run U.S. rights to “Casa Grande,” a bilingual limited series that follows the tales of California’s hardworking, often undocumented migrant workforce, as well as the wealthy landowners in Northern California.
The series, which consists of five one-hour episodes, premieres May 1 on Freevee. Lauren Swickard (“A California Christmas”) and Ali Afshar created “Casa Grande,” which comes from Afshar’s ESX Entertainment shingle.
Series stars include John Pyper-Ferguson (“The 100,” “Suits”), Christina Moore (“That ‘70s Show,” “90210”), Madison Lawlor (“Juniper”), Karen Bethzabe (“Babylon”), Javier Bolaños (“All American”), Raquel Dominguez (“Chicago Med”), James Marsters (“Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Kate Mansi (“Days of Our Lives”), Daniel Edward Mora (“Coco”), Loren Escandon (“The Baxters”) and Ali Afshar (“He’s Just Not That Into You”).
Latin filmmaker Gabriela Tagliavini (“Despite Everything”) directed the series; Swickard serves as showrunner and also wrote the series with Alex Ranarivelo and Michael Cruz. Other executive producers include Ava Rettke and Daniel Aspromonte.
This is the debut series from ESX Entertainment, which has mostly focused on holiday films including “A California Christmas,” “I Believe in Santa,” “Holiday Harmony” and “A Christmas Mystery.”
“We molded ‘Casa Grande’ as a Hispanic-influenced ‘Yellowstone’ and feel the story will resonate powerfully with audiences appreciating elevated western themes and cultures presented through a different prism,” Afshar said in a statement. “Amazon Freevee is the perfect service for audiences to discover and binge the world of ‘Casa Grande’ where the intensity never lets up and the traditional good vs. evil trope becomes skewed and more challenging to accept.”
The “Casa Grande” logline describes the series as “an upstairs/downstairs story transposed from turn-of-the century English countryside to rural America. The show uses the framework of conventional character drama to explore universal themes of class, immigration, culture and family. The grand theme is that of peeling back the curtain on how the machine we all live in runs: The glimmering, upper-crust culture could not exist without the unyielding, backbreaking, labor of the socially invisible migrant workforce laboring behind the scenes. With the Clarkman Farm and its neighboring property, Dalton Farm, employing, housing and feeding much of the Mendocino County’s undocumented immigrants, ‘Casa Grande’ explores the dramatic, truth of our country’s allure for immigrants and what mankind will endure for a taste of the American dream.
Here’s a first look at “Casa Grande”:
Originally published at variety.com