Matador (U.S. TV series)
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||1|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original network||El Rey Network|
|Original release||July 15 – October 7, 2014|
Matador is an American television series co-created by Roberto Orci, Andrew Orci, Dan Dworkin, and Jay Beattie. The series chronicled the rise of popular soccer star Tony "Matador" Bravo (Gabriel Luna), known for his exploits both on and off the field. Unbeknownst to the public and his family, he is also a skilled covert operative performing missions for a branch of the CIA. The series premiered on July 15, 2014, on the newly launched channel El Rey Network.
Executive producers are showrunners Beattie and Dworkin, Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, and Heather Kadin of K/O Paper Products, and Robert Rodriguez along with FactoryMade Ventures and El Rey Network co-founders John Fogelman and Cristina Patwa. Beattie and Dworkin wrote the first episode, which was directed by Rodriguez.
In this scripted action series, Tony Bravo (Gabriel Luna) is a DEA agent recruited by the CIA to infiltrate the Los Angeles Riot, a professional soccer team. The CIA suspects the Riot's owner, Andrés Galan (Alfred Molina), of using his vast resources to fund illicit activities. During team tryouts, Bravo seriously injures one of the Riot players in a confrontation on the field, initially earning the ire of the owner and the team. When footage of the incident goes viral, earning Bravo the nickname "Matador", Galan sees marketing potential in his popular new star.
Cast and characters
- Gabriel Luna as Tony "Matador" Bravo, soccer player for the L.A. Riot and CIA mole
- Nicky Whelan as Annie Mason
- Neil Hopkins as Noah Peacott
- Alfred Molina as Andrés Galan, owner of the L.A. Riot soccer franchise
- Tanc Sade as Alec Holester, star striker for the L.A. Riot and former English National Player
- Yvette Monreal as Senna Galan, a celebutante and daughter of L.A. Riot team owner Andrés Galan
- Elizabeth Peña as Maritza Sandoval, mother to Tony, Ricky, and Cristina
- Julio Oscar Mechoso as Javi Sandoval, Maritza's husband and father to Tony, Ricky, and Cristina
- Louis Ozawa Changchien as Samuel, Galan's dangerous chief enforcer and right hand man
- Sammi Rotibi as Didi Akinyele, assistant head coach for the L.A. Riot
- Jonny Cruz as Ricky Sandoval, son of Maritza and Javi, who is currently in prison
- Isabella Gomez as Cristina Sandoval, teenage daughter of Maritza and Javi
- Peter Gadiot as Caesar, a former dancer
- Christopher Cousins as CIA Deputy Director Llewyn Wayne Smith, who is in charge of the department recruiting Tony
- Eve Torres as Reyna Flores, a sideline journalist reporting on Tony's career
- Margot Bingham as Abigail "Billie" Fisher, a CIA analyst
Production for Matador began on April 3, 2014.
Matador has received favorable reviews. On Metacritic, the show holds a score of 62 out of 100, based on 10 critics, indicating "generally favorable" reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the show holds a rating of 67% based on 12 reviews, with the consensus reading: "Though choppy at times, Matador is fast-paced, silly fun that benefits from not taking itself too seriously".
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date|
|1||"Quid Go Pro"||Robert Rodriguez||Story by: Roberto Orci, Andrew Orci, Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie|
Teleplay by: Dan Dworkin, Jay Beattie & Roberto Orci
|July 15, 2014|
|DEA Agent Tony Bravo gets recruited to investigate the L.A. Riot soccer team by going undercover as a player. Cameo Appearance Demi Lovato, Wilmer Valderrama and James Pallotta.|
|2||"The Naked and the Dead"||Nick Copus||Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie||July 22, 2014|
|A hired assassin, called the "Apothecary," is tracked to retrieve codes stolen from Gideon Khan's tablet computer.|
|3||"Idol Worship"||Nick Copus||Steve Lichtman||July 29, 2014|
|Tony accompanies Margot to an auction, where he bonds with Galan. Meanwhile, reporter Reyna Flores investigates Tony.|
|4||"Code Red Card"||Stephen Williams||Evan Bleiweiss||August 5, 2014|
|Tony's appearance on L.A. Riot is compromised when Senna gets into trouble. Meanwhile, Annie and Noah learn more about Galan.|
|5||"Enter the Worm"||Dwight H. Little||Glen Whitman||August 12, 2014|
|Tony, Holester, and Caesar land in Nicaragua, where druglord Gaspar "The Worm" Calera rules.|
|6||"Misanthropology"||Larry Teng||John Humber||August 19, 2014|
|Tony's focus shifts from soccer back to the mission when Galan entrusts him to deliver a package. Elsewhere, the link between the auction and Nicaragua clears when the CIA rescues an anthropology professor with insight into pre-Olmec civilizations.|
|7||"Mano A Mano"||Joseph E. Gallagher||Joy Blake||August 26, 2014|
|Galan attends Cristina's quinceañera; Noah is taken by Samuel, when he goes undercover as a medical sales rep.|
|8||"Everything Old is New Again"||Paul A. Edwards||Steve Litchman||September 2, 2014|
|With Peacott in a coma, Bravo and Mason follow up leads as they try to determine if Bravo's cover has been compromised. Meanwhile, more of the international plot is revealed to Galan, and Samuel continues to investigate Bravo's past.|
|9||"Wells Fargo Presents: The Anguish of Rosarito"||Matt Earl Beesley||Evan Bleiweiss||September 9, 2014|
|After a plane load of passengers are infected by the virus, Galan seems to have doubts about his involvement. Things come to a head.|
|10||"Night of the Whale"||Roxann Dawson||Glen Whitman||September 16, 2014|
|Tony and Galan reach common ground over a body in the trunk. Meanwhile, the CIA reach out to Sayer, hoping to thwart his plan.|
|11||"Riot 'Til I Die'"||Josh Butler||Jeremy Kaufman & Rosalind Ross||September 23, 2014|
|The CIA uses Samuel's demise to create an opportunity to draw out Sayer, while Deputy Director Smith enlists private sector assistance in combating the virus. Reyna Flores returns, bent on exacting vengeance upon Galan, and the operation to track down Sayer and his lab goes badly awry.|
|12||"Dead Dreaming in Bagan"||Joe Gallagher||Joy Blake||September 30, 2014|
|Tony enters the Myanmar rainforest, dodging Sayer's men, and finds a secret laboratory. Mason, Peacott and Smith work with Galan to locate the facility, leading to a terrible decision for Mason. Senna learns the truth about her mother, and Mason sets Karen straight about her relationship with Bravo.|
|13||"Mala Sangre"||Robert Rodriguez||Dan Dworkin & Jay Beattie||October 7, 2014|
- Bibel, Sara (January 12, 2014). "Scripted Series 'Matador' to Premiere in Summer 2014 on El Rey Network". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (May 8, 2014). "'Matador' to Premiere on El Rey Network Tuesday, July 15". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved May 8, 2014.
- Kondolojy, Amanda (March 24, 2014). "Alfred Molina cast in El Rey Network's 'Matador'". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Lesnick, Silas (July 10, 2014). "El Rey Renews Matador for a Second Season". comingsoon.net. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (November 28, 2014). "'Matador' Cancelled By El Rey Network After One Season". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 28, 2014.
- Andreeva, Nellie (March 3, 2014). "Gabriel Luna Gets The Lead In El Rey Series 'Matador', From Bob Orci & Alex Kurtzman". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Lipman, Ryan (March 5, 2014). "'It's like winning gold in the world of acting': Former Neighbours star Nicky Whelan scores lead role in US TV drama". Daily Mail. Retrieved March 24, 2014.
- Bibel, Sara (April 3, 2014). "Tanc Sade, Elizabeth Pena & More Join Cast of El Rey's 'Matador'". TV by the Numbers (Press release). Retrieved April 3, 2014.
- "El Rey Network's Highly-Anticipated Scripted Original, "Matador," Casts Christopher Cousins, Margot Bingham and Eve Torres in Recurring Roles" (Press release). The Futon Critic. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- Wolfe, Clarke (April 4, 2014). "El Rey Network Announces Start of Production on Kurtzman & Orci's Matador". The Nerdist (Press release). Retrieved May 1, 2014.
- "Matador: Season 1". Metacritic. Retrieved August 7, 2014.
- "Matador: Season 1 (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 7, 2014.