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DIRECTV’s Audience Network and Endemol Shine Studios Commence Production in Los Angeles on “KINGDOM”

June 4, 2015 - Production has commenced in Los Angeles, CA for 20 episodes of the critically-acclaimed hit original drama series KINGDOM.  KINGDOM, produced by Endemol Shine Studios for DIRECTV’s Audience Network, is a visceral family saga set against the backdrop of the renegade subculture of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). Frank Grillo (Captain America, The Purge) returns as Alvey Kulina, along with Kiele Sanchez (The Purge, The Glades) as Lisa Prince; Matt Lauria (Friday Night Lights) as Ryan Wheeler; Jonathan Tucker (Parenthood, Justified) as Jay Kulina; Nick Jonas as Nate Kulina and Joanna Going (House of Cards, Mad Men) as Christina Kulina.  New cast addition Natalie Martinez (Secrets and Lies) plays Alicia Mendez, an impulsive, talented female fighter who is being courted by Lisa to train at the Venice, CA-based Navy St. MMA gym.  

The season one finale revealed Nate Kulina (Nick Jonas) struggling with his sexuality. Raised to be a fighter and an elite level athlete, we see him finally question the life that he is living.  Mom Christina (Joanna Going) takes notice and also discovers Nate has been secretly injecting himself with HGH. Star fighter Ryan “The Destroyer” Wheeler (Matt Lauria) is back in the cage for his first fight in five years and wayward son Jay Kulina (Jonathan Tucker) also returns to the ring.
Season two begins with Ryan “The Destroyer” Wheeler defending his title and Jay finding a new obsession.  Alvey’s improved fortune has led to a bigger gym, but also a bigger appetite for risk.  Lisa (Kiele Sanchez), the beautiful and fierce second in command at Navy St. MMA, focuses on managing Alicia (Natalie Martinez), an impulsive but skilled female fighter.  Nate's determination to get back in the cage causes riffs with his family and complicates his self-identity.  Christina gets a taste of sober life while continuing to carry the burden of her sons’ struggles towards victory – with victory comes agony and a price.  

Film and television star Natalie Martinez garnered critical acclaim playing the single mother whose son is found murdered on Secrets and Lies (ABC).  Martinez first gained recognition after being handpicked by Jennifer Lopez to become the spokes model for her fashion line, JLO by Jennifer Lopez. She has since gone on to star in the telenovelas Fashion House and Saints & Sinners. She has also stared as Detective Ariana Sanchez on the ABC drama series Detroit 1-8-7, and as Detective Jamie Lovato on the Emmy and SAG-nominated crime drama CSI: NY. In 2013, Martinez starred in the Critics’ Choice Award-winning series Under the Dome created by Lost producer Brian Vaughan.
Her film appearances include: the drama Magic City Memoirs; Paul Anderson’s action thriller Death Race, starring Jason Statham; Barry Battles’ action film The Baytown Outlaws, starring Billy Bob Thornton and Eva Longoria; the 20th Century Fox crime drama Broken City, opposite Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe and Catherine Zeta-Jones; and in David Ayer’s acclaimed drama End of Watch, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña and Anna Kendrick.  Her upcoming film roles include the highly anticipated Focus Feature sci-fi thriller Self/less opposite Ryan Reynolds, Sir Ben Kingsley and Matthew Goode due out in Summer 2015, and the horror thriller Home Invasion opposite Bella Thorne, slated for release in Fall 2015.  Natalie, originally from Miami, Florida, resides in Los Angeles.

Season two of KINGDOM is set to premiere on DIRECTV’s Audience Network in Fall 2015.   Series creator Balasco resumes his role as executive producer and showrunner.  KINGDOM is produced by Endemol Shine Studios.  Craig Zisk (Brooklyn Nine-Nine, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck) will direct the season two opener. 
KINGDOM is distributed internationally by Endemol Shine International. 
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About Endemol Shine Studios:
Endemol Shine Studios develops and produces original scripted television programming and scripted formats in the U.S. for global exploitation across all platforms. The Los Angeles-based independent scripted television studio operation is part of Endemol Shine North America, the entertainment company that delivers world-class content and compelling storytelling to multiple platforms in the U.S. and across the globe. Endemol Shine North America is part of Endemol Shine Group, the newly launched global content creator, producer and distributor with a diverse portfolio of companies in the U.S. that are behind some of the most prominent hit television formats and series in the world. Endemol Shine Studios scripted series in North America include the award-winning and critically acclaimed original drama series Hell on Wheels (AMC); KINGDOM (DirecTV) and upcoming HBO series "Utopia" from David Fincher.

DIRECTV (NASDAQ: DTV) is one of the world's leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology, unmatched programming and industry leading customer service to more than 39 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America. In the U.S., DIRECTV offers its over 20 million customers access to more than 195 HD channels and Dolby-Digital® 5.1 theater-quality sound, access to exclusive sports programming such as NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, Emmy-award winning technology and higher customer satisfaction than the leading cable companies for 14 years running. DIRECTV Latin America, through its subsidiaries and affiliated companies in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, and other Latin American countries, leads the pay TV category in technology, programming and service, delivering an unrivaled digital television experience to more than 19 million customers. DIRECTV sports and entertainment properties include ownership interests and management of four Regional Sports Networks: ROOT SPORTS Rocky Mountain, Pittsburgh, Southwest and Northwest; and has minority ownership interests in Game Show Network. For the most up-to-date information on DIRECTV, please visit

About Audience Network:
Always Original. Always Smart. Always Bold. Never Ordinary. Audience is a unique and exclusive television experience available only to DIRECTV subscribers. The channel first made its mark by partnering with NBC to produce and air three additional seasons of the Emmy Award-winning series Friday Night Lights and then became the exclusive home of the Emmy Award-winning drama Damages, starring Glenn Close and Rose Byrne. DIRECTV continues its commitment to original, provocative content with a growing slate of critically acclaimed original series including the MMA drama Kingdom, starring Frank Grillo and Nick Jonas;  the suspense-drama ROGUE, starring Thandie Newton and Cole Hauser; Full Circle: Chicago Payback, written by Keith Huff and starring Calista Flockhart, Eric McCormack, Rita Wilson, and Terry O’Quinn; and Neil LaBute’s second project with the network, Billy & Billie, starring Adam Brody and Lisa Joyce. Audience is also home to acclaimed original documentaries including The Fighting Season, a first hand account at the deadliest year in our nation’s longest war, Executive Produced by Ricky Schroder. Sports fans will find live, daily sports and entertainment news from two renowned sports journalists with The Dan Patrick Show and The Rich Eisen Show. Plus, viewers can enjoy exclusive concerts by today’s hottest artists on Guitar Center Sessions and intimate interviews with top talent like Matt Damon and Jessica Chastain on Off Camera with Sam Jones. It’s original entertainment you won’t see anywhere else. For more info, please visit


Endemol Shine Studios
Kelly Kimball
310.701.7773 | [email protected]

Cara Brugnoli 
212.205.0887 | [email protected]

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