With his Univision spinoff network El Rey, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez is bringing Latino-flavored fiction to television viewers all over the country, and while I quite enjoyed the From Dusk Till Dawn series and am anticipating the upcoming thriller Matador, I’m not holding my breath for the network to start producing sci-fi series, since that doesn’t appear to be a highly popular genre with their target audience. But maybe there’s hope, as the Spanish studio Televisa USA has acquired the rights to the action drama Coma, which sounds quite exciting and Heroes-ish.
Coma was written by Francesco Papini and Noé Santillán López, the men behind the 2011 soccer comedy drama El Diez. Crossover actress Martha Higareda (Street Kings, Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins’ Ball) is set to both executive produce the series and take on the lead role. This marks the second time the Mexican-born actress has teamed up with the Lopez’s, as she also produced their upcoming mariachi comedy Tierras Rojas. A jack of all trades, she’s also written a pair of feature-length comedies in her native country.
Higareda will play Dr. Victoria Neves, a medical practitioner who bears witness to one of the strangest events in human history. According to THR, “the story focuses on 10,000 comatose patients around the globe who in the course of three days suddenly wake up fighting for their lives. Inexplicably, they all have the same message: Stop Ian Wallace, the man they say will be responsible for starting World War III.”
Now that’s the kind of quick build-up and high stakes that I’m looking for in my sci-fi TV, and I can’t wait until they start casting those 10,000 patients. (Joke.) It sucks that this description is obviously just a single-episode hook, while the rest of the series will inevitably have to deal with stopping this Ian Wallace guy. Do comas play any other part here?
Televisa USA is a subsidiary of the Spanish production/distribution company Grupo Televisa, and is slowly making a bigger name for itself in the world of original programming. They produce ABC Family’s cancer drama Chasing Life, as well as Lifetime’s self-explanatory Devious Maids. They’ll also shop Coma around to various broadcast and cable networks, as well as online outlets like Netflix and Amazon. (Will the series be a future Cross the Streams candidate?)
I certainly hope it wasn’t insensitive of me to say I hope this Latino-infused project ends up on a Latino-centric network. I’d just as easily watch Coma on AMC or FX as I would if it played on El Rey. (Higareda is set to star in AXN’s adaptation of Rodriguez’s El Mariachi, and you bet your ass I’ll be checking that out as well.) I definitely don’t mean any offense, I’m mostly just interested to see how Latino audiences react to high concept science fiction like this.
Stay tuned for more info on Coma as it wakes up after three years and announces something.