When your family owns a hotel, the lines between professional and personal affairs can start to blur. That’s the story for the Mendozas, anyway. “When it’s a family business, you take everything personally,” Grand Hotel executive producer Eva Longoria says of the new series. “That’s the heart of this dynamic.” Those blurred lines will drive many of the stories on ABC’s upcoming soapy drama, which is a remake of Gran Hotel, a Spanish series that counts Longoria as a fan. “It was Spain’s answer to Downton Abbey,” says the EP. “I just fell in love with it.”
Once Longoria got the rights, she enlisted writer Brian Tanen to deliver a Miami-based contemporary version of the story, which follows hotel owner Santiago Mendoza (Demián Bichir) as he balances business with being a husband to his second wife, Gigi (Roselyn Sanchez), and father to his adult children. “We wanted to do a show where the Hispanics were the upstairs,” says Longoria, who also plays Santiago’s late first wife, Beatriz, via flashbacks. And like many of TV’s wealthy families, the Mendozas have their own secrets to hide. Consider us checked in.